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Philanthropists Come Together at Women’s Impact Network

May 24th 2017

On May 24th, a group of women philanthropists gathered at Jayanne Tedesco's home at The Community Chest's invitation.  With The Chest's new focus on promoting, recognizing and championing philanthropy, the event was planned to acknowledge the work of a group of women who have donated their time and service to local nonprofits in the area.

 Invitees were nominated by the executive directors of the Chest’s grantees and asked to attend a luncheon to celebrate their leadership and generosity.  Hostess Jayanne Tedesco, a tireless volunteer for charitable causes, welcomed the group and explained the gathering's purpose.

  “We are here to thank you for your hard work on behalf of the nonprofits in our area.  You have so much to share, and we thought it might be a good idea to get you in a room together to begin that communication.  We are not sure where this discussion will go, but The Community Chest is willing to help gather your ideas and plan next steps to mobilize this fabulous volunteer resource," she said.

 Jayanne discussed how people are often unaware of the needs that exist in their own communities.  She noted disbelief upon learning almost 20 years ago some people in her own area faced serious issues.  Some did not have enough to eat.  In other instances, mothers were unable to take care of their children, or women lived in dangerous situations without support. 

When she joined The Community Chest's board of managers almost nine  years ago, she was exposed to the full range of community needs.  In recent years, as chair of the Allocations Committee, she learned about all of the agencies funded by The Chest and participated in the very difficult job of making decisions about funding grants.

 Jayanne suggested  the luncheon might be a first opportunity to form a networking group for volunteers to share ideas with the goal of enhancing services and programs in all agencies.   She also suggested many other women would benefit from the experience and wisdom of the long-time volunteers and being a mentor might be another valuable service the group's members could undertake.   

 Shelly Wimpfheimer, the Executive Director of The Community Chest, indicated the agencies value tremendously their volunteers' hard work.  On behalf of the agencies, she thanked the group and noted their creativity and intelligence were invaluable assets to the agencies.  She urged them to think about how they could use their own skills in even greater ways and asked them to communicate their ideas to The Community Chest, which will share them among the leadership of the various agencies funded by The Chest. 

 "This could be a first event," Wimpfheimer noted.  "We could consider holding more get-togethers to share ideas about how we can maximize this tremendous resource.”

The luncheon will be followed up with an email survey soliciting ideas about future “sharing opportunities”.  The results will be used to plan the next steps.  Finally, she extended a major thank you to Jayanne for hosting the lovely event and for preparing a delicious lunch.

The Celebration was a Success
But Donations are Still Welcome

May 3rd 2017

On May 3rd The Community Chest celebrated Spring by bringing together celebrities, friends, family, donors and agency representatives, for its annual Spring Gathering.  In the spirit of “neighbors helping neighbors”, the purpose of the event was to raise funds for the Chest’s Annual Campaign.   The Campaign provided funding for 23 nonprofits in 2016, serving more than 50,000 local residents.

The festive event featured Lori Stokes, ABC news anchor, Nick Dawes, from the Antiques Road Show and 40 members of the youth chorus from The Thurnauer School of Music.  The program brought smiles to the faces of many in the audience as the entertainers told stories and sang songs of hope, charity and celebration.

All funds raised through the auction are to be used to fund local programs.  The selection process for next year is going on during the Spring months and will culminate with the awarding of grants in late June 2017.  This year’s requests far exceeded those in past years and The Chest is eagerly raising funds to surpass it prior contributions, when more than $200,000 was distributed.

The program was supported by 32 sponsors, comprised of individuals and businesses in the area. More than 80 local enterprises made contributions to the raffle and silent auction.   A list of both groups can be found attached.  Friends of The Community Chest are urged to patronize our sponsors and donors and thank them for supporting The Community Chest.   “A reminder that supporting The Community Chest means supporting the whole nonprofit community” will go a long way!

President, Richard Kennedy, thanked the Events Committee, chaired by Barbara Strauss of Englewood Cliffs, for the outstanding job done by her committee.   Thanks  was also extended to The Community Chest’s Board of Managers for assisting with publicizing the event and Executive Director, Shelly Wimpfheimer, for coordinating all event-related work.     “An event like tonight demonstrates the charitable spirit of the people in our community.   We are grateful to you for attending and helping serve those in our community that are most in need.”

Those wishing to make donations to the Annual Campaign may go to our website at …….  Or mail a check to The Community Chest, 122 South Van Brunt Street, Englewood, NJ 07631.   All donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.  For more information about The Chest or to volunteer contact our office at 201-568-7474.

Article in Northern Valley Suburbinite

"Englewood Service Organization to Double Fundraising, Expand in County"

October 6th 2016

BY: Daniel Munoz Staff Writer |Northern Valley Suburbinite

ENGLEWOOD — The Community Chest of Englewood plans to double the amount of money it raises and expand through eastern Bergen County over the next three years.
The city-community service organization adopted its 2016-2019 master plan at a public meeting Sept. 28.

The organization is in talks with potential donors who might provide more money to the non-profit, as well as potential contacts in regions where the group hopes to expand, members said.

"Part of this is that because many of the agencies that we serve, serve many people in many other communities as well," Executive Director Shelly Wimpfheimer told attendees at the meeting at the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.

Wimpfheimer listed several organizations, such as BergenPAC, the Office of Concern, the Bergen Family Center and EHMC, that, while based in Englewood, serve residents from Bergen County.

"They are just examples of already serving people outside the three towns [we cover], and so it just makes sense for us to think about doing the same thing," Wimpfheimer added.

The group plans to double the amount of money it raises to $500,000 over the next three years.

On Sept. 22, the Community Chest announced it would award $195,000 in grants to 24 service organizations, many of them from the eastern Bergen County region.

"The requests for funding continue to outpace the amount raised," Richard Kennedy, president of the Community Chest's board of managers, previously told the Northern Valley Suburbanite in the Sept. 22, 2016 article, "The Community Chest awards nearly $200k to 24 organizations." "In 2014, the organization's grant awards serviced 40,000 people. We are working diligently to close the gap and meet the needs of more people in the future."

Currently, the Community Chest is considering expanding to nearby towns Cresskill, Alpine and Norwood, with the decision to be based on "census and planning data" as well as the group's own "donor data."

The group will disburse the funds in a proactive approach rather than a [reactive] one, wherein the organization will observe the needs of the areas it serves and then communicate its observations to relevant community service groups, said Wimpfheimer. The group's functions will promote group collaboration.

Wimpfheimer gave as an example a collaboration the Community Chest helped organize between the YWCA and the Women's Rights Information Center.

"We sat down with both agencies and said we'll accept a proposal for you that's a combined proposal, with each of you contributing your strengths to this," Wimpfheimer said, "The outcome has been really fabulous."

Community Briefing -The Strategic Plan

September 28th 2016

 Dozens of agency representatives and community members came together in a conference room at Englewood Hospital on September 28th to learn about The Community Chest’s plans for 2016-9.  The Community Briefing, co-led by Board Chair, Richard Kennedy, Executive Director, Dr. Shelly Wimpfheimer, and Jayanne Tedesco, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, began with a review of the 84 year history of The Chest, an organization formed by neighbors for the purpose of helping neighbors in need.   The discussion then moved to a review of the current conditions in the local community, with some focus on the City of Englewood.  The  speakers spoke about changes in our community that have brought about the need for The Community Chest to evolve in its work as well.

The Community Chest’s new Strategic Plan, adopted by the Board of Managers in September 2016, was designed to respond to the major shifts that have occurred in recent years, including the increasing number of people over 65, increased rates of divorce that have led to more single parent families, a large influx of new Americans into the communities with different customs and languages,  challenges facing the local public schools in Englewood and the increase in technology that has changed the way that people communicate with each other.  

In view of all of these changes the Board of Managers of The Community Chest felt that it was important to reposition the organization to become more proactive in its role as a community leader and to take the lead in identifying key issues that should be addressed in the grant making process.  In addition, it was determined that the agency must prepare itself to be the “go to” place for residents wishing to learn more about philanthropic activities.  

Dr. Wimpfheimer explained that she has had many conversations with local residents and business owners who expressed an interest in being more involved in philanthropic activities both fiscally and through volunteerism.  Their frustration was that they just didn’t know where to begin or how to do it.   It became clear that this was a role that could be easily played by The Community Chest.

Many ideas have been advanced by local citizens and The Chest has compiled a list of programs and services related to philanthropy that could be offered to the community.  Among the proposed activities are programs for children and teens, special programming for women interested in philanthropy and educational programs for the whole community about making decisions about how to “invest” their money in worthwhile causes. 

The Chest will look to communities outside the three town service area to support the expanded mission.  In the coming months, the Strategic Planning Committee will be considering a plan for expanding the agency’s footprint to other towns in Eastern Bergen County, with an eye toward increased donor capacity and community needs.   The future is very bright for The Community Chest and volunteers are encouraged to join in the plan to reach more people who wish to help and who need help.

Spring Event 2016

Check Out These Articles About Our 2016 Spring Event

June 3rd 2016

Click here to Read "Englewood Community Chest Raises $100,000 at Gala Fundraiser"

June 9th 2016

Click Here to Read "The Community Chest' Annual Gala Spotlights Needs in the Area and Raises Record $100,000"


Being Associated with The Community Chest is a Privilege - This is a unique community that cares

February 29th 2016

On Saturday, February 27, 2016, a group of 30 local residents came together to explore the future of The Community Chest. Co-led by consultant, Kirsten Richert and Board Member, Jayanne Tedesco, the group engaged in a directed and spirited 3 hour discussion at a retreat held at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. The Community Chest, a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1933 by a group of Englewood neighbors, is dedicated to supporting the needs of local residents through building the capacity of local agencies through funding and program support.

Since its founding the primary way of raising funds has been through direct mailings to local citizens and businesses soliciting support for citizens in need. The Chest’s tagline is “neighbors helping neighbors.” Last year, The Chest raised more than $200,000 which was then distributed to 27 local agencies to fund programs and projects serving local residents. In addition, The Chest awarded $40,000 in Impact grants to agencies that proposed innovative approaches to improving services to their clients.

But times have changed, stated Dr. Shelly Wimpfheimer, and people’s interests have changed as well. This is a unique community. Citizens are well informed , and, most importantly, they care. They want to know that their donations are being used prudently and that the agencies that they support are well managed and that services are of a high quality. They are interested in impact and results. They also are interested in learning about charitable causes through social media and volunteerism.

These changes have posed a challenge to The Chest and the leadership of The Chest is seeking new ideas for raising their visibility and new approaches to meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse set of donors. The charge to the retreat participants was to help The Chest think about its future and how the 83 year old organization can reach a new set of donors and tell its story more effectively.

Group members included current and past members of the Board of Managers of The Chest, agency directors of local nonprofit organizations and community leaders who were familiar with the work of The Chest. Dr. Esmilda Abreu Hornbostel of Women’s Rights Information Center told the group “we are lucky to have a Community Chest in our community. Community Chests existed in many towns in the past but most of them have disappeared. The people of Englewood have chosen to maintain this organization for more than 80 years!”

Inspired by this and many other comments supporting The Chest, the group assisted Community Chest leadership with developing many new ideas that will be assembled into a plan later in Spring 2017. Board Chair, Richard Kennedy, said “we were delighted by the thoughtful participation of our neighbors, colleagues and friends and are inspired to take their ideas and move ahead with a plan that will help us address the needs of our neighbors even more fully.”

For additional information about The Community Chest go to our website at or contact Executive Director, Dr. Shelly Wimpfheimer at 201 568 7474 or by email at


The Community Chest Chosen by Staples Associate to Receive $2,000 Grant

November 23rd 2015

Englewood, New Jersey - The Community Chest has been awarded $2,000 by Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., under a program that allows Staples Associates direct donations.

“We are very grateful to Staples Foundation for supporting this program that will teach valuable skills to local high school students entering the job market. The funds will be given to The Zone, a program of Bergen Family Center, located at Dwight Morrow High School, that will begin offering the classes in the Winter/Spring of 2016.”

This grant is part of a philanthropic initiative created by Staples Foundation which allows Staples Associates around the world to direct funding to non-profit organizations that are focused on education or job skills. The program, called 2 Million and Change, encourages local community engagement by awarding larger grants to organizations where associates are highly engaged in volunteering or fundraising – up to $25,000 per organization.

Visit the Staples Community For More Information

Staples Community

Promoting New Leaders in the Human Services Sector

Promoting New Leaders in the Human Services Sector

January 24th  2015

The Community Chest is pleased to announce a new initiative that was created to promote the development of new leaders in the human services sector. The program will launch with the awarding of two scholarships to The Volunteer Center of Bergen County's Bergen Leads program. Bergen Leads is a 10-month civic leadership and learning program for adults who live or work in Bergen County.

The first two recipients of these coveted scholarships are Glenda James and Dan Park.

Ms. James is a resident of Ledgewood, NJ and a school social worker in the Englewood Public Schools. She has worked extensively in the area of children's services. In addition to being bi-lingual she also works in substance abuse counseling, special education and conflict resolution among other specialties and She holds a Master's degree in Social Work from Fordham University and an Advanced Certificate in Education Administration from Long Island University.

Both of these outstanding citizens are completely dedicated to the human services and are very excited about increasing their leadership skills by attending this program. When they complete the program both will join the board of managers of The Community Chest.

The Board is very excited about this new initiative and looks forward to selecting additional outstanding candidates in future years.

What Are the 2015-2016 Impact Grant Recipients up To?

What Are the 2015-2016 Impact Grant Recipients up To?

January 24th 2015

Impact grants were awarded to Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative (BVMI) and to Southeast Center for Independent Living (SESCIL).

BVMI has been working closely with The Community Chest and The Englewood Health Department to bring free medical services to uninsured residents of Englewood and surrounding towns. This grant will cover the cost of offering pre-treatment services in Englewood (financial screening and diagnostic services). In this way patients will not have to go to the Hackensack Clinic until they are ready for treatment.

The SESCIL grant will be used to purchase much needed dental equipment for their dental office. Discussions are still under way with a few more agencies to determine whether they will receive funding this year.