This week's Behind the Board feature is Jeremy Grunin. Jeremy is President of the Grunin Foundation, as well as Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Grunin Foundation Board.
1. 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. What does economic excellence mean to you?
To me, economic excellence is the ability for all people to support themselves and their families in a way that is in line with how they envisioned their life goals. This would also include the opportunity for everyone to have equitable access to great healthcare, culture and education.
2. Of our grantmaking pillars (arts, education, healthcare) which are you most passionate about and why?
I’m going out on a limb here and picking one of our pillars of work instead of picking from the three above…Capacity Building. We have the ability to help make all of our nonprofit partners more successful. As the saying goes, “many hands make light work.” It’s not just about what the Foundation or nonprofit organizations can do on their own, it’s about what the nonprofit community can do together with businesses and civic-minded individuals. When nonprofits are able to work as efficiently and effectively as possible with the resources they need, everyone benefits.
3. We strive to ensure that all our partners are committed to advancing equity. How do you (or how does your organization) work to advance equity in the community?
For me, it’s my own personal journey to becoming an accomplice. It’s using my voice even when the discussions are uncomfortable. It’s showing up in Board rooms, committee meetings or events and continuing to work towards a more equitable community.
From a Foundation perspective, we have made diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging a priority in our grantmaking, partnerships and in our work to carry out our mission. This is a forever journey that will be integrated into all we do at the Grunin Foundation.
4. What is your favorite part of the Central Jersey Shore and why?
The people. The Central Jersey Shore community has fought through so many difficult situations, namely Superstorm Sandy and the Fort Monmouth Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and is now stronger than ever because of the resiliency of the people.
Another favorite part of the Central Jersey Shore for me is the transition of summer into fall. It’s beautiful with perfect weather and quieter days – it’s a hidden gem this time of year!