Our Grants

About Our Grantmaking

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and NJHI support a broad range of community-focused service delivery projects aimed at creating healthier communities across New Jersey. Projects funded through NJHI generally range from two to four years in duration with proposals submitted annually through calls for proposals issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. NJHI is a competitive grants program.

Our Active Initiatives

Since 1986, New Jersey Health Initiatives has supported innovations and driven conversations across the state with a vision of affording everyone the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible. Our active initiatives include:

NJHI 2020: Small Communities Forging Hyperlocal Data Collaboratives

NJHI 2020: Small Communities Forging Hyperlocal Data Collaboratives

The purpose of the NJHI: Small Communities Forging Hyperlocal Data Collaboratives funding initiative is to provide technical assistance and support to small communities in southern New Jersey. Through this initiative, 10 funded communities are addressing upstream challenges to health and health equity by: 1) collaborating across sectors; and 2) making better use of data resources.

This initiative is intentionally designed to improve equity in southern New Jersey communities with populations of fewer than 50,000 residents, by deliberately focusing on resources to which these communities are less likely to have access when making decisions that can improve the health of the community. Through this initiative, the selected communities will be provided a series of tools which will include a local data dashboard; examples of local data that can illustrate the factors that make up a healthy community; processes to identify local gaps and challenges; and opportunities to facilitate the development of common goals for improvement. City Health Dashboard developed the data dashboards to include data specific to city boundaries—such as life expectancy, obesity, and children in poverty—with the goal of improving the health and well-being of everyone in the community.

Learn more about the NJHI: Small Communities Forging Hyperlocal Data Collaboratives grantees, their coalition partners, and their plans for improving community health in this video:

New Jersey Health Initiatives Announces 10 Recipients for $500,000 Small Communities Support Initiative

NJHI 2020: COVID-19 Pandemic Relief and Recovery

NJHI 2020: COVID-19 Pandemic Relief and Recovery

With a focus on small New Jersey communities and geographic areas of the state that have less access to funding, New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI) – a statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) – ­­­recently selected 13 community-based organizations to receive grants totaling $400,000 to address immediate needs such as food, housing and income assistance, and social isolation in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thirteen community-based organizations have each received COVID-19 emergency response funding as part of the $5 million RWJF has committed to relief efforts in its home state of New Jersey, which has been hit particularly hard by the Coronavirus. Ranging between $20,000 and $60,000 each, these grants support relief and recovery efforts focused on connecting older adults to their communities through technology; providing resources and support to in-home childcare workers so they can remain open and safely care for children of essential workers; preparing and distributing meals to older adults and children; providing direct emergency assistance to individuals and families who don’t qualify for other types of support for rent, food or other emergency expenses, and more.

NJHI 2018: Upstream Action Acceleration

NJHI 2018: Upstream Action Acceleration

NJHI: Upstream Action Acceleration is intended to further the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s vision of building a Culture of Health by supporting existing community-focused, cross-sector coalitions to advance their efforts in adopting and implementing “upstream” environmental-, policy- and systems-change strategies, and accelerate their work in areas they have already identified as priorities to improve community health. Meet the 12 grantees here.

By upstream, we mean working with all community stakeholders to address the factors that are known to influence health. These factors include: income, employment, education, early childhood development, housing, nutrition and the built environment. Accordingly, areas of focus for proposed action acceleration might include, but are not limited to:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • New Sector Engagement (e.g., business, library, law enforcement)
  • Effective Use of Data Tools and Resources to Guide Actions
  • Civic Engagement
  • Environment/Open Space
  • Medical-Legal Partnerships and
  • Transportation

New Jersey Health Initiatives Announces 12 Grantees
NJ Biz/Vecchione, A. (2018, December 3).

New Jersey Health Initiatives Announces Twelve Grantees for $1.2 Million Upstream Action Acceleration Initiative

NJHI 2017: Next Generation Community Leaders

NJHI 2017: Next Generation Community Leaders

This initiative supports 10 community-focused, youth-serving organizations to prepare the next generation of civic and community leaders by providing them with the resources and technical assistance they need to focus the time, talent, and energy of youth ages 14-21 from varying educational, economic and social backgrounds. Additionally, this grant funding provides participating youth with an opportunity to make meaningful change in their communities through summer employment on a self-designed, community-focused project, such as a team of Bridgeton youth accomplished during the summer of 2016. Spanning the full geography of the Garden State, including communities where up to 40% of the population is under the age of 18, the 10 grant recipients will serve as a foundation for a statewide network of approximately 300 future leaders. The 10 communities funded under this initiative include: Atlantic City, Bound Brook, Bridgeton, Camden & Pennsauken, Elizabeth, Newark, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Secaucus and Trenton.

Hear alumni from the first-year Next Generation Community Leaders teams reflect on their work, the value of meaningful experiences and authentic adult-youth partnerships, and share new insights that developed a broader perspective in this video:

Next Generation Community Leaders: NJ Cities Create Space for Youth Civic Engagement
NJ Municipalities. November 2018.

New Jersey Teens At Rutgers Retreat Learning Leadership Skills, Activism
KYW TV. June 9, 2018.

Our Newest Grantees are Making Headlines Across the State

New Jersey Health Initiatives Announces $2 Million in Grants to Next Generation of Community Leaders

NJHI 2016: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action, Round 2

NJHI 2016: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey –
Communities Moving to Action, Round 2


Building on the momentum of the 2015 initiative, 10 additional communities received grants in July 2016 as a second cohort of grantees. The 20 communities funded under this Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action initiative represent a diversity of NJ communities – in size, geography, and demographics. The communities funded in 2016 include: Asbury Park, Bound Brook and South Bound Brook, Bridgeton, Cape May, Freehold, Hunterdon County, Perth Amboy, Paterson, Plainfield and Toms River.

Congratulations to the NJHI Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action, Round 2 Grantees

NJHI 2015: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action

NJHI 2015: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action

In July 2015, 10 organizations across New Jersey received four-year grants to fund multi-sector, community-focused coalitions to make sustainable system changes and policy-oriented long-term solutions for healthier living. Teams from each coalition participated in a Boundary Spanning Leadership Institute, to acquire tools and build skills to work on multi-faceted community issues, culminating in the development of an action plan to collectively address the most pressing needs of their community, which is a guide for the final three years of their projects. The 10 communities funded in 2015 include: Atlantic City, Camden, Elizabeth, Irvington, Jersey City, Morristown, Newark, Orange, Salem and Trenton.

Congratulations to the NJHI Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action Grantees