Continuing Over Three Decades of Community
Investment and Support with New Leader
Montclair, NJ (December 7, 2021) — The Schumann Fund for New Jersey, a private foundation with deep roots in Essex County and a proven track record of advancing innovative social and educational systems reform statewide, as evidenced by its pioneering work in early childhood, has appointed community advocate Lucy Vandenberg as its next executive director. Board chairperson, Barbara Bell Coleman said, “Lucy’s passion for improving the lives of children and their families and her commitment to racial and economic equity, already a focus of the foundation, supported by her impressive background in public service, nonprofit leadership, and the philanthropic sector make her the right person for the job, and the board looks forward to working with her.”
Vandenberg will begin her new role in January 2022. She will oversee the Schumann Fund’s grantmaking efforts and will be a thought leader and strategic partner to grantees working in community, to philanthropic peers throughout New Jersey, and to government decision-makers. “Joining public policy, philanthropy, and on-the-ground implementation will be an intentional focus of my work,” Vandenberg said.
The Schumann Fund for New Jersey supports local, direct-service programs aimed at meeting the social and educational needs of vulnerable children, youth and families that have a lasting positive influence on their lives and the broader community. “Public policy is an important complement to the direct service work,” Bell Coleman noted. “The Schumann Fund for New Jersey supports efforts to engage the public in informed discussion of policy issues facing New Jersey, particularly in the areas of racial and economic equity, education, and child welfare. Lucy’s commitment and experience will advance the Schumann Fund for New Jersey’s mission to improve the lives of vulnerable children and families.”
“I am excited about the opportunity to lead this organization with its deep roots in the community and important mission,” said Vandenberg. “I look forward to working in partnership with the Board and stakeholders to identify opportunities for community empowerment to support healthy families and resilient communities.”
Vandenberg is currently a senior program officer at The Fund for New Jersey, a private foundation that works to improve public policy decision-making on the most important issues facing New Jersey. During her tenure, she has led initiatives to end childhood lead poisoning, advance mission-related investing, support environmental justice, and make grantmaking more effective and equitable. Previous roles include serving as executive director of PlanSmart NJ, a nonprofit regional planning organization, executive director of the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing, and senior policy advisor for Governor McGreevey. She is an active volunteer and has served on many nonprofit boards. She currently serves as a Trustee of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and is a Council on Foundations Career Pathways Fellow.
About The Schumann Fund for New Jersey
Located in Montclair, where the Schumann family were residents and active community members, the Schumann Fund for New Jersey traces its roots to the Florence and John Schumann Foundation, created in 1961. In 1988, Florence Schumann and her children created the Schumann Fund for New Jersey to continue the lifelong philanthropy of Mrs. Schumann and her husband, John. Early childhood, social service delivery within Essex County, and advancement of systemic reform in the delivery of social and educational services through policy analysis and advocacy have been the Fund’s grantmaking priorities for the past several years.
Serving in a variety of roles, current executive director, Annette Strickland, will retire at the end of the year after over thirty years with the Schumann Fund of New Jersey. Bell Coleman said, “The board has great admiration for her dedication, wisdom, and steadfastness to the values and principles of the Schumann Fund, its grantee partners, and its other colleagues. We wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement.”