NJLM Educational Foundation
The Foundation was incorporated in September 2004 under IRS regulations as a 501(c) (3) corporation. The work of the Foundation began in late 2007 with the Mayors’ School Funding Committee focused on the revised school funding formula. The Committee’s work, funded with a generous grant from The Fund for New Jersey, involved more than 50 Mayors and experts. The result was a report and set of recommendations provided to the Governor, Senate President, and Assembly Speaker offering a unique perspective on the impact of revising the school funding formula for the State of New Jersey. The Trustees continue to build on that foundation of work by developing educational programs, in-depth policy papers on critical issues, funding for important projects and a resource for stakeholders who need to communicate on the critical public policy issues affecting local government and New Jersey.
The Educational Foundation is a non-partisan informational resource for local government that offers timely research and a proactive approach to resolving the complex issues affecting New Jersey’s diverse communities. The Foundation provides a forum within which municipal officials, academics, government officials, business leaders, and other stakeholders can share their visions of New Jersey; their hopes for the future of public policy; and their solutions to the compelling challenges facing the State.
The NJLM Educational Foundation envisions itself as an independent forum for creative thinking; exploring innovative ideas; providing information and expert analysis to foster good public policy; implementing pilot programs; and encouraging a non-partisan dialogue centered on the issues, goals and priorities of municipal government.
- Values: The Educational Foundation is centered on those values that encourage freedom of expression and the level of creativity and individualism necessary to foster positive outcomes and solutions to complex problems. These values include:
- Independence and Non-partisanship
- Loyalty and a Commitment to Serving its Municipal Clients
By embracing these values in an atmosphere that encourages the free exchange of ideas, the Foundation will be a unique forum for tackling the challenges of municipal government.
- Principles: The values of the Foundation are also expressed in a range of key principles that will encourage the highest standards of academic excellence, research and integrity. These principles encompass commitments to:
- The mission and values of the Foundation;
- Thorough work and precise analysis that leads to precedent setting solutions and strategies to meet the needs of local government;
- The highest standards of ethical conduct among employees and affiliates;
- Partnerships and collaborations that lead to a broader dialogue and cost-effective solutions to community challenges;
- A strong level of staff and technical support for the work of the Foundation.
- Strategies: There are a number of strategies that can help the Foundation realize its mission and advance the goals of the organization. They include:
- Seeking financial and other resources from State government, other academic institutions, foundations, and funding resources;
- Providing technical services to its municipal and other clients;
- Hosting workshops and other special events for policy-makers that explore key issues and profound challenges facing New Jersey;
- Gathering, conducting and presenting high quality research on topical areas of interest;
- Administering/contracting surveys to assess opinions and priorities among New Jersey’s citizens, stakeholders and government Leaders;
- Maintaining an inventory of best practices, solutions and innovative concepts around the State.
Accomplishments & Ongoing Initiatives
In 2008, the Foundation started by partnering with the NJDOE on a half-day educational conference entitled: The New Education Order. Now, the Foundation continues to partner with a host of private and public sector co-sponsors to hosted educational programs such as an annual economic update; and a forum on state infrastructure and utilities.
In 2008, through a $200,000 grant from Wal-Mart, the Foundation established grants to municipalities in support of Sustainable Jersey Certification. Today, more than 300 towns have joined the initiative and funding is provided by a variety of corporate and government partners.
The Mayor’s Book Club
In 2009 the Foundation teamed up with Verizon and the National League of Cities to begin the Mayor’s Book Club literacy initiative in New Jersey. This ongoing program, through cooperation between our generous funding partners, mayors’ offices and universities across the state, continues to teach New Jersey municipalities how to promote literacy in families and especially young children.
Starting in 2009, the Foundation partnered with other public policy oriented organizations to publish “white papers” on issues of interest to local government. These white papers, titled the “Friends of Local Government Series” are published by the Foundation.