The Cummings Fund’s main interest is in the piloting or expansion of new, innovative programs of organizations primarily based in New York City and its more urbanized surrounding areas in Northeastern New Jersey (i.e., Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic and Union Counties) [view map]. Exceptions to the geographic restriction are granted only when a Co-Trustee or Advisory Board Member has personal knowledge of an organization outside of this region.
The Co-Trustees generally endeavor to creatively fill existing community needs in areas particularly under-funded at present. The Cummings Fund has a particular interest in programs serving young people.
The Fund provides support for:
- New program development
- Staffing for new programs and program expansion
- Capacity building (technical/management assistance)
- Consulting services (e.g., to assist the Board’s development of a strategic plan)
The major fields of interest are:
- Social Welfare, especially programs addressing issues including child welfare, youth development, juvenile delinquency, housing/homelessness, and employment/job training.
- Education, especially efforts to reform the public education system or programs that serve public school children from disadvantaged backgrounds including but not limited to in-school and afterschool STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and literacy initiatives, staff/teacher training and development, college access and success, and counseling services.
- Health Care, especially institutions and programs that connect economically and socially disadvantaged populations to health care and mental health services.
On a less frequent basis, the Fund also provides funding for:
- Medical Research, which has been pre-screened, ranked and given high priority by an objective, national scientific advisory committee.