It has been a busy year here at the Grunin Foundation, and the last few months were no exception. Here’s what we’ve been up to this fall.

Strategic Planning Updates

Since our last update in July (which you can catch here in case you missed it), we’ve been diving deep into strategic planning. In October, our consultants Odelia and Vina of the Novalia Collective, came to New Jersey and we spent a week together in-person to continue our work. We had challenging but insightful conversations. Those discussions along with, and most importantly, community input (more about that in the update link above), helped us create our strategic plan.

We are currently in the drafting phase which will take multiple levels of review before we begin to implement this plan and present to the community. Our goal is to begin our strategic plan roll out in early 2024 with a broad communication strategy including website updates, webinars, virtual Q&A sessions, and blog posts. Stay tuned for more information – we can’t wait to share it with you.

Monmouth-Ocean Funder Roundtable

In collaboration with the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers (CNJG), we convened funders in Monmouth and Ocean Counties to meet and work on coming together as a philanthropic sector to create even more impact. The group has met numerous times and will continue into 2024 and beyond to share knowledge and discuss partnerships, collective giving, shifting the way we do our work, and so much more.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) Cohort

One of our three EDIB Working Groups, with a primary goal of Amplifying BIPOC Leadership, was a catalyst behind creating a group for EDIB-focused learning. This group was open not only to the Working Group members, but to leaders who have already begun an EDIB journey with the Grunin Foundation in the past, through various programs. We partnered with YRM Consulting Group to offer approximately 20 individuals (based on an application process) the opportunity to participate in this EDIB cohort-based learning and support circle. The group will meet monthly and will evolve collectively to: 

  • Share digestible resources of information, including videos and articles.
  • Provide peer mentoring for group members’ EDIB challenges and growth.
  • Gain access to the cohort facilitators, Yvette Murry and Brigid Lang, for individual guidance and coaching.
  • Focus specifically on the experience of nonprofit leaders at the Central Jersey Shore.

Pragmatic Activism Cohort

We hosted our third Pragmatic Activism Cohort this fall, facilitated by Orville Morales of Morales and Associates. Each cohort consists of 20 to 30 individuals (based on an application process) from the nonprofit and/or business communities in Ocean and Monmouth Counties. It teaches the importance of advocacy and how participants can get involved.

Pragmatic Activism is a strategic approach to social change that allows for intentional and reasonable action that is sustainable over time. The goal is to help people and organizations maintain a long-term commitment towards the social good, ensuring they are part of the broader, more public dialogue around topics they care about and allow for nuance and complexity to conversations and debates.

Each cohort meets for a full day, once a month for three months. As a hybrid offering, members can join in-person or virtually depending on their needs. You can read a bit more about the agenda and topics here:

We have heard from several past participants who took the learnings and knowledge they gained from the cohort to effectuate change by advocating for causes both personally and professionally.

Winter 2024 Nonprofit Board Retreat

We hosted our very first open Nonprofit Board Retreat for experienced, new and prospective board members at the Central Jersey Shore in June of 2023 at NJCU at Fort Monmouth and it was a great success! You can read more about that here:

We received such positive feedback that we decided to host another of what we hope will be many! We had originally planned the second retreat for the fall of 2023, but we learned that schedules were tight, so we moved it to March 1 and March 2, 2024. The Winter 2024 Board Retreat will be held at Two River Theater in Red Bank. This is a two-day retreat that will offer attendees tools, frameworks, and approaches for understanding the role of individual board members and the functioning of the board as a whole. You can choose to come on day 1 only, day 2 only, or both days – whatever best fits your schedule. We promise that with any option you choose, you will experience learning, networking, and JOY!

If you want to learn more about the Winter 2024 Nonprofit Board Retreat before you sign up, check out our pre-recorded info session and presentation slides:

We work to make our events as accessible as possible. If you are interested in attending and have accessibility questions or concerns, please reach out to Vick at

Grunin Capacity Survey 

In early November, we launched a Grunin Capacity survey to get input from the Central Jersey Shore nonprofit community to help us inform our Capacity Building and Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB) programming for 2024. We want to ensure we are providing the most useful topics, accessible venues, convenient days & times, impactful content, helpful tools and resources, and relevant events – and we can’t do that without input from those who are taking part in these programs.

The survey, open to all levels of nonprofit professionals in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, consisted of about 30 questions and accepted responses for five weeks. To recognize the value of participants’ lived experiences and the knowledge of their responses, we offered a chance to win a special surprise as a token of our gratitude through a weekly raffle. We received nearly 150 responses to the survey and will spend the next few weeks going through the data to build the 2024 Capacity Building and Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB) programming. It will be an incredible year so stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, you can check out for all Grunin Capacity event offerings!

The Year Ahead

2024 is going to be an exciting year and we can’t wait to continue this journey with you. Keep your eye on our blog and your inbox as we will have plenty of updates in the near future. Until then, wishing you a wonderful holiday season and Happy, Healthy New Year!