Research Reports

Path to Impact

Strong communities need a strong nonprofit sector to support them.

In 2014, John Brothers of QuiDoo Consulting, met with almost 100 representatives of local organizations to review assessments of their own internal capacity.

John highlighted their strong coordination and collaborative work, and common challenges in outreach, marketing and fundraising. View the report here.

Shaping the Future

In 2012, to shape future work and grantmaking, The Fund for Women and Girls commissioned research to better understand the needs of women and girls in Mercer County.

We are pleased to share the results of this study, Shaping the Future, carried out by Dr. Sandy Gibson of The College of New Jersey.

View the report

View a summary of the report 

View a two-page handout 

Hearing the Heart of the Matter

In late 2011, the Community Foundation launched an initiative to gather input from Mercer County nonprofits. We enlisted AngelWorks Consulting to conduct one-on-one interviews and focus groups with a randomly selected group of executive directors and board chairs from organizations that received Greater Mercer Grants.

Area nonprofits identified governance and fundraising as particular challenges, as well as capacity-building work in general–and called upon the Community Foundation to step up as an advocate for the sector.

View the report. 

Better Together

We are all familiar with many measures of community life — real estate values; school enrollments, achievement and taxes; traffic statistics; acres of preserved open space; income; crime.

But these statistics miss many quality-of-life factors, such as how well you know and trust your neighbors, merchants, co-workers; how well we support our local nonprofit organizations by volunteering; how often we just kick back and have fun with family and friends; and how engaged we are as voters and citizens in local affairs.

The Central New Jersey Social Capital Benchmark Survey provides a new lens through which to view and understand ourselves.

In 2007, the Princeton Area Community Foundation, in partnership with the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation, commissioned the Central New Jersey Social Capital Benchmark Survey, conducted by Marc Weiner, Faculty Fellow and Associate Director of the Bloustein Center for Survey Research.

The phone survey interviewed 870 people across Mercer County and southern sections of Somerset and Middlesex Counties. Each interview lasted 19 minutes and 35% of those contacted completed the survey. The data have a margin of error of 3.3% at the 95% confidence level. View Key Findings from the Study.

Community Experience Partnership

The baby boom generation is the largest, healthiest, and best educated group in history to move through and beyond their sixth decade. National research shows that tens of millions of people over 60 are looking to make a difference in their community.

In 2006, the Community Foundation studied how to take full advantage of this interest locally – identifying opportunities for older adults to provide creative solutions to problems by engaging residents over 60 in work that benefits Mercer County.

Along with 30 U.S. community foundations, the Community Foundation undertook this work with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies, as part of phase one of The Atlantic Philanthropies’ Community Experience Partnership, a project to assess and better understand opportunities for older adults to become engaged in devising creative solutions to problems in their communities. View the report.

For more information or support, please contact:

Nelida Valentin
Vice President, Grants & Programs
Email Nelida Valentin