Do you know a special nonprofit that is going above and beyond to help our neighbors as COVID-19 impacts the communities we care so much about? In partnership with OceanFirst Foundation, we want to shine a light on them and let everyone know how their compassion, collaboration, and commitment to service is making a difference.

Each day we’ll spotlight these extraordinary nonprofit heroes and give their stand-out team members the recognition they deserve on Townsquare Media stations. How can you help? It’s easy…simply nominate that special nonprofit. Click here for the Acts of Kindness Nomination Form.  To top it off, nonprofits selected for recognition on Townsquare Radio will receive a $500 grant supported by the Grunin Foundation and OceanFirst Foundation.

Now for the small print…nominated organizations must have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, provide services within the footprints of Grunin Foundation and OceanFirst Foundation and be taking action specifically to help those affected by COVID – 19. Selection of the nonprofits to be highlighted will be done by the teams at Grunin Foundation and OceanFirst Foundation and decisions are final.

Thank you to ALL who are helping to take care of one another under these challenging circumstances. Be well and we’ll get through this stronger together!

At the Grunin Foundation, the welfare of our community is always our top priority.  Due to the rapidly developing situation with COVID-19, we know that our nonprofits and community members face unprecedented challenges and concerns. We want you to know that we are in this together with you.  With that, we want to share the actions we are taking as a Foundation.  We understand this will be an evolving process, as things are changing minute by minute.  We don’t have all the answers.  However, we are working to stay up to date on activities, not only here in New Jersey, but across the country.

Foundation-related Events

The Catapult Institute Booster scheduled for Friday, March 20, 2020 at 8:30AM at the American Red Cross is postponed.  We will hold the Booster at a later date once the direction from the CDC and other health experts becomes clearer on social distancing and gatherings.

The Catapult Institute Workshop (Social Entrepreneurship 101) scheduled for Friday, April 24th has been rescheduled to Friday, November 13, 2020.  If you have already registered, your spot will automatically be reserved for the new date.  However, if you are unable to attend on the new date, please email and we will coordinate with the Support Center for your full refund. 

Like most of you, we are disappointed that many community events will not continue as planned. However, we look forward to working collaboratively online in the weeks to come and at in-person events once this health threat has passed.

Previous Grants and Sponsorships

Previously awarded grants and sponsorships will not be revoked if a program, conference or event is cancelled or postponed.  Many of you have understandable concerns about meeting fundraising goals; however, you put the health of your staff and community first and we commend you.  We support you in your decisions on how to best manage your organization’s activities and events.

Monitoring the Situation with Our Peers and the Community

We are in close communication with partners like the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, Center for Nonprofits, Council on Foundations, and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, and will continue to monitor the situation locally and regionally for philanthropic responses to emerging community needs.  In addition, we have been talking to you about your current and future challenges.  We will continue these conversations so we can keep up to date with the state of our community.

Local Community Support

The Grunin Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for all members of our community by using philanthropy to drive economic excellence at the Central Jersey Shore.  In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its incredible impact on our community, it’s more important than ever for us to support quality of life and the economy.  After much research, and with the guidance of organizations and philanthropic institutions across the country, the Grunin Foundation has determined that we will be proactively making contributions to local nonprofits that are providing direct services that support basic human needs.  These organizations will be called upon to serve the growing needs of our most vulnerable individuals feeling the financial effects of social distancing.  As with our general grantmaking processes, and in order to move resources quickly, we are not hosting a formal application process.  As the situation evolves, and as we learn more about the community’s needs, we will monitor our strategy and make adjustments, as necessary.

Zoom Technology Offering

Recognizing not everyone has robust teleconferencing options, we are working to ensure all of our Central Jersey Shore nonprofits have access to a paid Zoom account free of charge for the next three months (if needed).  We understand that many offices may be working remotely, and we would like to accommodate this process.  Should you need access to a Zoom account, please visit: to fill out a very quick intake form.

We have overcome much adversity over the years at the Central Jersey Shore and have no doubt that we will continue to thrive.  We now need to come together as a community while we navigate this challenging time.  Thank you for all the work that you do each and every day to make this a safe and healthy place to live, work and play. 


Your partners at the Grunin Foundation

The Grunin Foundation understands that there are many paths from education to employment and we strive to empower students to choose his or her own journey. We are here to support our partners to ensure that all students can make the right decision for their future. Every investment we make in the education space is with the purpose to encourage each student’s ability to think creatively, to empower teachers to provide innovative curriculum and to drive economy impact. Access to abundant education opportunities helps to create a vibrant and thriving economy ecosystem. For more information on how we are making an impact, visit


This publication was written by the Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship at NYU School of Law.

New York City, NY. (February 25, 2020) – The Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship at NYU School of Law is delighted to announce the release of a first-of-its-kind impact investing case study: Launching the MicroBuild Fund. This case study, developed in partnership with the Social Innovation & Investment Initiative of the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, explores the legal, business and policy considerations that arose in the creation of the MicroBuild Fund ––a blended finance facility that was sponsored by Habitat for Humanity International to attract funding into housing microfinance on a global scale. 

The case study focuses on Habitat’s decision to sponsor the launch of its first impact investment fund, and the structuring and documentation issues Habitat confronted as it blended capital from a variety of actors. Secondary points of view include other significant, early investors in the MicroBuild Fund – including, in particular, Omidyar Network (equity from a private foundation) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC, now U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, DFC) (debt from the US Government’s development finance institution). The case study can be accessed on the Grunin Center’s learning platform here

“We launched the MicroBuild Fund in 2012 in response to the vast need for housing finance services to address the realities of the informal housing sector,” said Patrick Kelley, Vice President for the Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter at Habitat for Humanity International. “After seven years, the MicroBuild Fund has enabled financial institutions across the globe to provide new housing financial products and services to low-income individuals and families, and is having a ripple effect on the market as others adopt the model. This MicroBuild Fund case study is an invaluable and novel tool for the field to learn more about this innovative financial product and how it is providing safe, decent and durable homes to millions.” 

The Grunin Center is also pleased to announce that Omidyar Network has expanded its grant to the Grunin Center to support the development of a second case study on the MicroBuild Fund, which will explore the unique challenges that arose in effectively securing legal services to support the structuring and launch of the MicroBuild Fund. Told from the point of view of deal counsel to the MicroBuild Fund, the case study will examine the nature, type, and fee arrangements of legal services used to structure and document an impact investment fund, as well as the legal, business and ethical considerations faced by deal counsel in determining how to structure, price and account for legal services. Through this effort, the Grunin Center aims to share critical learnings that may help incentivize the legal support and innovation needed to scale blended finance. 

“Too often when we think of the resources required to advance impact investing, we talk only of the financial capital necessary for these transactions,” said Deborah Burand, associate professor of clinical law and faculty co-director of the Grunin Center. “This case study examines another valuable, but 

sometimes overlooked, resource necessary for impact investing – intellectual capital. This case study looks at the intellectual capital contributed by the lawyers who helped to launch the MicroBuild Fund.” 

Once completed, the second case study will also become part of the learning platform being developed by the Grunin Center. This learning platform aims to help prepare a new generation of talented, committed, and globally oriented impact professionals by giving educators access to a range of teaching tools to support their efforts to embed themes of social entrepreneurship and impact investing into their course curricula. 

On February 26, 2020, the community came together to celebrate the grand opening of the Ocean County Vocational Technical Schools Performing Arts Academy at its new building on the Ocean County College campus. The PAA, previously located in Hanger One at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, is now in a new 57,000 square-foot building that was officially opened in January of 2020. The new building houses everything from a black box theatre to dance and recording studios, and hosts classroom space and learning labs.  This new facility is shared by OCC and OCVTS, allowing expansion of college programs in the performing arts. High school students enrolled at the PAA will also be able to earn college credit while still in high school.  Students will also have the opportunity to graduate with both a high school diploma and an OCC associates degree. The OCVTS Performing Arts Academy is sure to create a spark in our community, in the arts, in education and in our economy. We are so excited for the future of the arts Ocean County!

PAA students perform for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

“We are proud to support this innovative academy which provides first-class education and enhanced performing arts training to empower graduates with the practical skills for higher education or a professional career in the arts. This will surely create a booming future for the arts, the Ocean County community and the economy.” –Jay Grunin, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Grunin Foundation