Strategic Focus Areas

In 2002, The Nicholson Foundation started to focus on improving the ability of New Jersey’s service delivery systems to respond to the social, economic, and environmental factors—such as poverty, homelessness, language barriers, and lack of community and social cohesion—that negatively affect the lives of vulnerable populations in our state. 

Through our work, we came to recognize that there were two critical entry points through which we could best influence the complex web of problems that accompany poverty and social disadvantage: the healthcare and early childhood service delivery systems. Efforts to achieve transformative, sustainable systems reform in health and early childhood are now the Foundation’s primary priorities.

This translates into vibrant grantmaking programs in five focus areas.

Primary Care

Vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected by chronic health conditions and behavioral health issues. We fund the application and expansion of proven, evidence-based models to strengthen primary care, the first and often most important point of access to the healthcare system for vulnerable populations.

Learn more about our Primary Care focus area.

Population Health

Vulnerable populations often live in areas with poor housing, pollution, and limited access to healthy food options, all of which increase their risks of health conditions. We support projects that improve health by addressing social, economic and environmental factors.

Learn more about our Population Health focus area.

Early Childhood

Evidence clearly shows that early experiences profoundly affect brain development, and children raised in environments that don’t provide positive educational and social experiences face increased risks of cognitive, behavioral, and health problems. We support programs that strengthen early childhood development by increasing access to, and the quality of, early care and education.

Learn more about our Early Childhood focus area.

Professional Development

Health and early childhood professionals who serve vulnerable populations can truly make a difference when they have the right skills and the best training. We support training, coaching, and mentoring programs to maximize the knowledge and expertise of current and emerging professionals.

Learn more about our Professional Development focus area.

State Government

Policies implemented at the state level shape the practices and approaches used by all of those working in health and early childhood in New Jersey. We support data collection and analyses and other efforts to help New Jersey’s programs deliver efficient and effective health and early childhood services to vulnerable populations in the state.

Learn more about our State Government focus area.