With a finite amount of money available, grant giving is increasingly affected by deciding which organizations can deliver the deepest impact or benefit to society. For corporations, where the nonprofit is viewed as a business partner, determining which organizations will positively impact the corporation’s business side is a key factor. This panel of community and corporate grant givers discusses trends in grant giving today and what nonprofits need to do to be more successful at receiving grant money.
Linda M. Czipo, Executive Director, Center for Nonprofits
Jeffrey M. Vega, President & CEO, Princeton Area Community Foundation
Lenora M. Green, Executive Director, ETS Center for Advocacy and Philanthropy
Kelly Ingram, President, I Am Trenton
Marion O’Neill, Manager, Corporate Contributions, Public Service Enterprise Group
Linda Czipo is the executive director of the Center for Non-Profits, New Jersey’s state association of charitable nonprofits. The Center strengthens New Jersey’s charities, individually and as a community, through advocacy, public education, management and compliance assistance, and membership services. Linda’s nonprofit sector experience spans over 25 years and includes expertise in public policy, compliance, and management issues. She was named one of the 2014 Top 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ. Linda is a Public Policy Committee member and a former board treasurer of the National Council of Nonprofits. She also serves on the New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service; the advisory board of the Center for Excellence in Leadership, Governance and Philanthropy at Fairleigh Dickinson University; and the Leadership and Policy Committee of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers.
Lenora M. Green, the Executive Director of the ETS Center for Advocacy and Philanthropy oversees philanthropy, social investment, community relations and employee engagement. She also works on education advocacy, developing strategic relationships and collaborations with key national, regional and local organizations that promote educational improvement initiatives for disadvantaged groups in order to further ETS’s mission of advancing quality and equity in education. Among the Center’s objectives are to use philanthropy and advocacy to help mitigate educational challenges for disadvantaged populations and to identify, support and help replicate programs that are achieving results.
Active on the national level as well as in her local community, Lenora serves on the National Urban League’s Advisory Council on College Access and Success, the Advisory Board of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Office for Access & Success, the National Advisory Committee for the College Board’s A Dream Deferred™ conference, and the Advisory Council of Parents Step Ahead, a Texas-based nonprofit organization that focuses on family and community engagement in schools. In 2012, she was named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education as one of the top 25 influential women nationally who are making a difference in higher education. She holds a B.A. from Rutgers.
Kelly Ingram is a founding board member of I Am Trenton Community Foundation, established in 2007. She has served in the various capacities needed to grow the foundation and build its strength and position within the community. Currently serving her second term as president, she is committed to ensuring I Am Trenton Community Foundation is a lasting resource for Trenton.
An artist, decorative painter, and gilder, Kelly has successfully run her own business, Kelly Ingram Finishes, for over 25 years. She creates decorative finishes and works on canvas both locally and afar. Kelly dedicates much of her time to organizations in the city and county. Prior to joining the I Am Trenton Community Foundation board, she spent 10 years on the board of the Trenton YWCA. For its centennial celebration, Kelly organized the first Run for Justice, coordinated numerous In Celebration of Women friend- and fund-raisers, and continues daily to commit to the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
She believes in Trenton and the great communities of people working hard every day for the continued building of a greater, stronger, and thriving Trenton.
Marion O’Neill holds the position of Manager – Corporate Contributions for Public Service Enterprise Group, a diversified energy company headquartered in New Jersey and one of the ten largest electric companies in the United States.
She began her career at PSEG in governmental affairs and has served as the manager of legislative and regulatory issues for the gas business and manager of legislative issues in the federal affairs department. In the Corporate Responsibility Department she has been responsible for developing philanthropic strategy integrated with corporate operating needs; safety and disaster-related funding; external events for senior management; employee programs such as the Crisis Fund; and budgets for the Foundation and each corporation. Marion earned a B.A. in English from Montclair State College and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She serves on the board of the Center for Nonprofit Corporations, the Zoological Society of New Jersey, and the Newark Museum Business and Community Council.
In 2015 Jeffrey Vega joined the Princeton Area Community Foundation (PACF) as president and CEO. PACF is a nonprofit charitable organization that enables individuals, families, businesses, and organizations in central New Jersey to create permanent charitable funds to help communities meet the challenges of changing times. The Foundation invests and administers these funds, award grants and scholarships, and provides an array of services to promote philanthropy and support local nonprofits.
Before joining the PACF, Jeffrey was president of New Brunswick Tomorrow, a private, nonprofit organization that fosters public/private partnerships to improve the quality of life there. He serves on the boards of The NJ Center for Nonprofit Corporations and LeadNJ. He is a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s National Advisory Council for New Jersey Health Initiatives. He has been honored for his work by various nonprofit and faith-based organizations and government agencies.
Jeffrey was awarded a fellowship to study public policy at Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, where he earned his Master’s degree. As an undergraduate at Cook College, he completed three majors—Urban Studies, Human Ecology, and International Environmental Studies.
He lives in Monroe Township with his wife, Angela Klizos, and young son, Nico.