Caren Kaufman Memorial Grant Program

About the Caren Kaufman Memorial Mini-Grant Program


  • Awarding $500-$1,000 grants. We intend to issue a minimum of three (3) to a maximum of six (6) grant awards
  • Applications were due March 15, 2024 / Projects to be completed by Dec 31, 2024

Sustainable South Jersey is excited to announce our new mini-grant program, created to honor Caren Kaufman, a grassroots activist who was dedicated to sustainability and health. In 2010, Caren was diagnosed with breast cancer. Receiving this unexpected, life-changing news triggered her to research causes; she wondered if environmental factors could have contributed to her illness.

To gain further insight, she felt compelled to volunteer with Sustainable Cherry Hill, one of the first South Jersey-based sustainability organizations.  She immediately formed a Green Health Task Force and worked to make the environment safer. Her task force put on many presentations each year with health and medical experts, educating thousands of people in the South Jersey region. She was also a lead organizer for the annual Cherry Hill Earth Festival, which brought in thousands of attendees and grew each year and evolved into the “South Jersey Earth Festival.” 

A natural born leader, Caren became Board President of Sustainable Cherry Hill, leading the all-volunteer organization. During her tenure, she recognized that the movement was growing so rapidly, so she led a re-branding of the organization from “Sustainable Cherry Hill” to “Sustainable South Jersey”. The new brand focused on a wider audience and aimed to spread the message about sustainability and raise awareness to people throughout South Jersey. Unfortunately, after a year and a half, she had no choice but to step down due to breast cancer recurrence. In February 2023, Caren passed away from breast cancer.

With such an important influence on so many lives, we felt strongly that we wanted to honor Caren, carry her legacy forward, and continue to give back to South Jersey communities. So, we launched the “Caren Kaufman Mini-Grant Fund”.  This new initiative will fund $500-$1000 grants to students in grades 6 through graduate collegiate programs, grassroots community leaders and/or environmental organizations who are working to create cleaner, greener, and healthier communities. 

Caren Kaufman was a true grassroots warrior passionate about the environment and health and we hope to keep spreading her energy through this annual award program.


2024 Eligibility criteria and grant application process


Sustainable South Jersey invites the community to submit mini-grant applications for grassroots projects that create cleaner, greener, and healthier communities. We envision that this fund can support community events, campaigns, supplies, and/or activities being planned in the region. Activities can be connected to the Sustainable Jersey program but do not have to be related.

The Caren Kaufman grant is $500-$1,000. We intend to issue a minimum of three (3) to a maximum of six (6) grant awards. (Depending on the donations we receive, the size and number of grants awarded may be expanded). Projects must be implemented within 6 months (by December 31, 2024). Please note that applying for a mini-grant does not guarantee you will receive funding. Those who are awarded mini-grants will be required to provide email updates on the project timeline, share photos, and report on completion date. 

Applications were due by March 15, 2024, with decisions likely being made in late April. Grant awards will be announced via press release and on Sustainable South Jersey’s website and social media networks. 

Eligibility Criteria:

Individuals and/or organizations that fall into these categories can apply:

  • An IRS recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
  • A K-12 public, private, or charter school, community college, or university
  • A faith-based organization requesting funds for the community at-large
  • A volunteer group, individual, or community organization/collaborative

Grant Selection:

Sustainable South Jersey will review mini-grant applications and notify grantees by late April.  Public notifications of grant selections will be released via a press release and on social media networks following the notification. Funding decisions will be made by our board, and notifications will be delivered by email. The number of mini-grants funded is dependent on our annual budget and may vary year-to-year. We intend to award a minimum of three (3) to a maximum of six (6) grant awards a minimum of two (2) grants this cycle. (Depending on the donations we receive, the size and number of grants awarded may be expanded.)

Applying for a grant does not guarantee funding. Sustainable South Jersey reserves the right to decline funding to any organization at any time.


Interested in funding our mini-grant programs? Learn more and donate now!


Note: Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Questions about the mini-grant program should be submitted to:

Please note: Sustainable South Jersey is a volunteer-based organization. We will do our best to answer questions promptly, but please plan ahead by reaching out in advance of the deadline to ask questions. As volunteers, we do not have regular business hours.
Sustainable South Jersey is a 501(c)3 organization.


Application submissions for the 2024 Caren Kaufman Memorial Grant Program have concluded. Thanks everyone who submitted!


2023 Grant awards were announced via press release and on Sustainable South Jersey’s website and social media networks!

Click here to view the 2023 grant recipients