Norcross, Cooper Foundation, Michaels and NFI Announce Plans for $1M Grant Program

By TAPINTO CAMDEN STAFF, January 28, 2019

CAMDEN, NJ— Camden nonprofits and community organizations could get a large boost this fall.

Today, George E. Norcross, III, the executive chairman of Conner Strong & Buckelew and chairman of Cooper University Heath Care; John J. O’Donnell, CEO of The Michaels Organization; Sidney Brown, the CEO of NFI; and Susan Bass Levin, president and CEO of The Cooper Foundation, announced the establishment of a new $1 million grant program to benefit City of Camden non-profit community organizations.

The grant program will provide $200,000 per year for each of the next five years to Camden non-profit community organizations. Conner Strong, NFI and The Michaels Organization are moving their national headquarters to the Camden waterfront in June.

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“By working with area non-profits and community groups, we can ensure that every community is sharing and participating in the city’s progress," said Camden Mayor Frank Moran in a statement. “This program, which will provide $1 million to Camden area non-profits and community groups over five years, will help provide access to additional services and opportunities for city residents.”

“We know that moving our companies to Camden is good for our firms and we know the thousands of new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment we are bringing is good for the city of Camden,” said Norcross in a statement today. “We need to make sure that people across the city are benefitting as well – not just from new economic investment, but from investment in the community.”

The Norcross family and Conner Strong & Buckelew also previously donated $1 million to The Cooper Foundation, which was used in part to fund the Camden Health & Athletic Association [CHAA], which helps sponsor and run sports programs for city youth.

This new grant program will be administered by The Cooper Foundation and is designed to complement CHAA’s work. Grants will be made to non-profits operating initiatives and services benefitting residents and neighborhoods throughout the City of Camden.

“Our experience building and rebuilding communities across the country, with a focus on enhancing the lives of our residents, has taught us how important non-profit community groups are to strengthening and enriching communities,” said O’Donnell in a statement.

“The dramatic impact of having a long-term plan, investment and a commitment from everyone from government to business to non-profits is clear and undeniable,” said Brown. “This new program will bring the widespread improvements the city is experiencing to neighborhoods and families and have an impact that far surpasses the investments.”

The Cooper Foundation will develop a grant application and anticipates awarding its first grants to Camden non-profit community organizations in the fall of 2019.

“The Cooper Foundation is proud to be part of this effort to bolster community nonprofits that help make the neighborhoods and people of Camden stronger,” said Bass Levin.  “Since Cooper’s founding over 130 years ago, its mission has been to support the people of its hometown and today’s announcement adds to this strong legacy.”

Grant applications and additional details on the application process and award criteria will be available in April on the Foundation’s website,