The Princeton Area Community Foundation, in partnership with The Burke Foundation, awarded more than $600,000 in grants to 16 local nonprofits working to address critical needs in the community.

Nonprofits received grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 through the Princeton Area Community Foundation Community Impact Grants and The Burke Foundation Legacy Grants program.

“Through our collaboration with The Burke Foundation, we increased the pool of funds available to award to nonprofits serving our communities,” said Jeffrey M. Vega, President & CEO of the Community Foundation. “We know the needs in our community are significant – we received 64 requests for funding. We hope to foster more of these partnerships in the future so we can help support even more programs.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Princeton Area Community Foundation to deepen our support of the nonprofit agencies that serve to address the needs of low-income individuals, families and communities in our local area,” said James Burke, President of The Burke Foundation.

The grants include support for specific programs, as well as those for operating support, which allows nonprofits to strengthen their capacity to serve their clients. The Community Foundation and The Burke Foundation are among the few funders in the region that award operating grants. Operating grants were awarded to Artworks, Passage Theatre, the New Jersey Agricultural Society, Womanspace, Better Beginnings Child Development Center, PEI Kids, and the Trenton Circus Squad.

Nonprofits based in Ewing, Hamilton, Hightstown, Lawrenceville, Princeton, Trenton and Bordentown received grants. Some provide services countywide.

Arts Education

  • Artworks Trenton, $25,000; the agency works to connect community, culture and creativity through the arts.
  • Passage Theatre Company in Trenton, $50,000; it creates and produces socially relevant new plays and arts programming that reflects the community.

Behavioral Health

  • Trinity Counseling Services in Princeton, $50,000, for its Childhood Intervention Initiative, which provides mental health counseling and support services to students and their families. Students attend Princeton Nursery School, and Princeton, Cranbury and West Windsor-Plainsboro public schools and are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals.

Career Development and Literacy Programs

  • Lawrenceville Job-Training Partnership, $10,000, for its CookWell program, which seeks to increase employment prospects and reduce recidivism rates by providing culinary job training to people who have recently been released from prison. Its partners are Arm In Arm, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Mercer County Community College, First Presbyterian Church of Trenton, and local restaurants.

Community and Economic Development

  • Greater Trenton, $50,000; the nonprofit is a citizen and business-led organization that works to advance economic development and revitalization projects, especially in downtown Trenton. The agency works with private, public and nonprofit entities throughout the region.

Community Development and Education

  • Thomas Edison State University Foundation in Trenton, $47,500, for its New Jersey Cultural Competency & English Language Learners Institute & Mentoring Program, a 10-year evidence-based professional development program that works to improve teachers’ interaction with and instruction of English Language Learners. It works to transform educators’ thinking and practices so students can succeed academically and develop strong cultural identities.

Food Insecurity

  • Meals on Wheels of Mercer County, based in Ewing, $40,000, for its Subsidized Meal Program, which serves homebound participants who live at or near the federal poverty level and cannot afford the traditional Meals on Wheels fees. No one is turned away, and there is no waiting list for services.
  • New Jersey Agricultural Society in Bordentown, $30,000; it works to preserve and enhance agriculture, farming, and related activities. Its Farmers Against Hunger program collects 1.4 million pounds of fresh produce each year and distributes it to local hunger relief organizations.

Nonprofit Capacity Building

  • VolunteerConnect in Princeton, $50,000, to continue its work partnering with nonprofits, businesses and individuals to help develop more effective nonprofit boards, recruit skilled volunteers to assist nonprofits with projects, and provide workshops for nonprofit leaders.

Social, Health and Homelessness Services

  • Interfaith Caregivers of Greater Mercer County, based in Hamilton, $25,000 for its Neighbors Helping Neighbors program, which trains volunteers to help homebound, elderly residents and people with disabilities with everyday tasks, such as grocery shopping. Last year, volunteers provided over 22,000 hours of service to 433 adults. About 60% of those served were at least 80-years-old.
  • Womanspace in Lawrenceville, $50,000; it works to prevent abuse, protect families and change lives through empowerment and by providing a safety net of supportive services.

Youth Development         

  • Better Beginnings Child Development Center in Hightstown, $25,000; it provides high-quality and affordable childcare to youngsters, allowing their parents to work or attend full-time training or educational programs.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer County, based in Trenton, $42,270, to expand site-based mentoring programs that pair Hightstown High School student-mentors with children from local elementary schools.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Mercer County in Lawrenceville and Trenton, $50,000, for its Read for Success program, which will provide 550 students, ages 3-11, with a highly structured, computer-based reading and tutoring program. The Trenton school district has agreed to provide access to the program for city students.
  • Prevention Education Inc. (PEI Kids) in Lawrenceville, $36,500; it works with children, families, and caregivers to provide prevention, intervention, and advocacy programs relating to personal safety, sexual abuse, and the overall well-being of the child.
  • Trenton Circus Squad, $50,000; it works to inspire and develop the life skills of young people from Trenton and the surrounding suburbs through the practice of circus arts. Students learn how to cooperate, push themselves and serve their communities.

About the Community Foundation

The Princeton Area Community Foundation promotes philanthropy and builds community across Mercer County and central New Jersey. It helps people and companies make effective charitable gifts and awards grants to nonprofits. Since its founding in 1991, the Community Foundation has grown into an organization with $180 million in assets and made grants of more than $149 million, including $21 million in 2018, to support the critical work of nonprofits in making the communities they serve more responsive to the needs of their residents. Learn more at

About The Burke Foundation

The Burke Foundation is a private foundation based in Princeton, New Jersey. It funds transformative early childhood initiatives to foster the healthy development of families and communities in New Jersey. The Burke Foundation focuses on three key areas: healthy pregnancies and births, positive parent-child relationships, and high-quality early care and learning. Learn more at