How We Work

The Nicholson Foundation is committed to helping New Jersey's vulnerable populations. Our goal of transforming the way health and early childhood services are paid for and delivered drives our search for strong partners and promising practices.

  • We collaborate with local service providers, government agencies, state and national experts, and other stakeholders to identify local champions, promising programs, and innovative strategies for addressing problems. We provide funds to nurture their development.

  • We seek out approaches and practices that have worked elsewhere and adapt them to meet New Jersey’s unique needs and circumstances.

  • We often act as both a catalyst and an accelerant. We make funds available to seed a pilot process or program. This allows us to build relationships, test new ideas, and make adaptations. Then, we provide additional support to build these projects over time and help them become self-sustaining.

  • We advance program areas by funding projects that complement and build on each other. This approach maximizes the effectiveness of each project and contributes to improving the overall impact of our efforts. 

Performance-Based Funding 

We feel strongly that projects that have clear goals, measurable objectives, and defined performance milestones have the best chance of success.

Requiring the organizations we fund be accountable for outcomes they define helps us know what we are supporting. It also ensures that we have attracted partners and collaborators who not only have good ideas, but who can achieve outcomes that result in measureable impact. Therefore:

  • The projects we fund include performance benchmarks delineating specific process and outcome objectives that are measured by “how much,” “how many,” and “when.”

  • Depending on the project, we link 25 to 100 percent of the total funding amount to the achievement of these performance benchmarks.

To help this approach succeed, we work closely with organizations during project development to help them articulate their goals, define their objectives, and determine the performance benchmarks. We also provide technical assistance and guidance throughout the project’s implementation.