Meet the CFSJ Staff

The CFSJ people with whom we will have an ongoing working relationship are
Sidney Hargro,
Executive Director
Alice Andrews,
Executive Assistant
Susan Soldivieri,
Chief Financial Officer
Dorothy Hoolihan,
Financial Assistant


Q: Are there other towns which have funds like Ventnor that are managed by CFSJ?
A: Yes, Haddonfield does. It had an independent Haddonfield Foundation which had assets of approximately $250,000 and served as a grants-dispensing enterprise within that town. It chose to turn that corpus over to CFSJ so that Haddonfield's trustees could better use their time to engage the community and emphasize more pro-active pursuit of goals around which Haddonfield’s own citizens developed consensus. Although Haddonfield is ahead of Ventnor in terms of the assets transferred into CFSJ from a pre-existing source which had been around since 1983, Ventnor’s fund is on the right track from the outset. It has no prior history as a somewhat passive grant maker. Rather it approaches projects pro-actively and they have goals around which Ventnor people want to rally.

Q: Are other towns thinking about creating community funds like these?
A: The CFSJ is encouraging all towns in its region to think about the “big tent” opportunities which lie ahead when charity is handled in this fashion. You can read more HERE. For example, if the residents of Ventnor Heights (or any other area within town) wanted to form a neighborhood association unique to their area of town and pursue some of the activities that have revived North Beach, there is a ready-made vehicle for instantly rendering all donations to their activity tax-deductible. As another example, if Ventnor had had a “big tent” non-sectarian charity like this fund at the time Superstorm Sandy impacted the town, it would have had a ready vehicle for receipt of rebuilding grants being dispensed by the Robin Hood Fund and other national or regional charities. Those entities needed local 501(c)3-qualified recipients for the aid they could render.

Q: How will the Ventnor Fund Advisors – people known to citizens and donors from Ventnor – keep track of the money?
A: Through a portal that reports on week-to-week, day to day, and minute to minute, activity. Its link is HERE and while casual viewers won't get its User ID and password, the people with financial expertise on Ventnor’s own board have access so they can report periodically on where we all stand.

Q: How long has CFSJ been around and how much does it manage?
A: Although affiliated with the much older and larger statewide community foundation, CFSJ was conceived as the best way to address a need for a philanthropic vehicle attuned to, and devoted to our own specific region consisting of the 8 counties of Southern NJ. It’s young, having been established in late 2009. It’s growing, with approximately $17 million in assets under management from a start of $300,000 when founded. In conjunction with the pass-through donations made by charitable givers, it has dispensed over $6 million.


To learn about Ventnor Community Fund and Endowment’s managerial procedures is to learn about the regional Community Foundation with which Ventnor’s fund has chosen to affiliate. From its website:

The Community Foundation of South Jersey was created by a group of committed and passionate New Jersey residents with the assistance of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, which recognized the need for a community foundation to serve the specific needs of southern New Jersey. Research clearly indicated that a community foundation would benefit the local area, and would help people of every race, gender and class take pride in supporting their local community. Giving to, and supporting where you live and work makes philanthropy personal.

Communities and individuals in southern New Jersey have historically been philanthropic, but not always through formal, organized philanthropy. Data provided by “New Jersey Gives,” revealed that New Jersey is home to over 2,400 private grantmaking foundations, all with their own approaches and strategies to address community issues but with few direct connections or partnerships with other foundations to work together to resolve those issues. While all giving is inherently good, philanthropy that is organized and collaborative drives lasting change and is effective. Community foundations are known to bring about lasting change through organized giving opportunities.

The idea that wealth could be captured and held within the region to benefit the people that live there was the cornerstone in seeking grant support from the Ford Foundation to help launch this effort. Ford’s expression of support for the development of a community foundation for southern New Jersey was welcome news. The Ford Foundation was interested in supporting an effort that embodied community ownership and the region’s diversity. The Foundation’s willingness to underwrite a planning process provided a wonderful opportunity for developing a community foundation that would encourage giving, and use that wealth to benefit the community.Link

The Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) is providing an array of services to support Ventnor’s Fund including financial “back office support. As such, CFSJ

  • handles all online deposits, as the donation tabs for “Endowment” and “Projects” on our website link to their website portals to securely process online donations,
  • handles all paper check deposits, as any donors wishing to contribute by check are asked to name “Ventnor Community Fund/CFSJ” or “Ventnor Endowment/CFSJ”
    as the payee and send to
    Community Foundation of South Jersey
    P.O. Box 446
    Haddonfield, NJ 08033
  • promptly dispatches receipts acknowledging tax-deductible donations to the donors
  • manages investments with particular attention to the permanent endowment desire for growth, as seed corn planted for future harvesting
  • issues payments on invoices which have been approved by the Fund Advisors relating to specific projects
  • files the annual Form 990 returns with the IRS which account for revenues and expenses
  • monetizes non-cash donations for which volunteers of smaller non-profits might lack the expertise to handle; e.g., gifts-in-kind, donated real estate, testamentary bequests, transfers of annuities.

In return for these services, the more active Projects fund is charged 3% annually since handling it will entail more book-keeping work as checks are issued and invoices filed.

Funds donated toward Endowment are charged 1% which typically are more than covered by investment yield and the larger the corpus grows, then the management fee slides down along a sliding scale. The purpose of Endowment is to be grown through a combination of donation and ongoing investment to reach a credible size.

Anyone who has been involved with a small-asset, local non-profit knows that the ratio of expenses to revenues for legal, accounting and other work necessary to remain compliant with IRS rules and regulations, and transparent to donors, can be substantial. Valuable volunteer time can be diverted to red-tape which might be better spent on achieving the worthy goals that were the reason for starting a charity in the first place. By affiliating with CFSJ, small local charities end up spending less; the cost of the staff discharging these kinds of functions is spread out over many Donor Advised Funds and a greater asset base.

CFSJ is itself an affiliate of the much larger Community Foundation of New Jersey in Morristown, NJ. The latter has been around a long time and has over $300 Million in assets which have been raised from private philanthropic giving. It is the sixth largest dispenser of philanthropic funding in NJ, awarding approximately $30 million in charitable giving annually, and consistent with the purposes stated by its substantial array of Donor Advised Funds.