Newly Merged Organization, Same Mission
The Independent College Fund of New Jersey (ICFNJ) was founded in 1953 as a cooperative effort involving business and academic leaders of New Jersey to broaden financial support for and awareness of independent higher education. The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey (AICUNJ) was founded in 1966 to collectively represent the individual colleges and universities of New Jersey at the state legislature. These two organizations completed a merger – to the single non-profit organization, Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey (ICUNJ) – in summer 2021 to build upon synergies and to more efficiently and effectively advocate on behalf of the students who are served by independent colleges and universities in New Jersey. The ICUNJ Board is comprised of the 14 independent college and university presidents plus four executives from the New Jersey corporate community. The organization is also supported by 60 corporate leaders from across the state of New Jersey who serve as a Board of Advisors. Our mission remains: to build support and awareness of independent higher education.
The Original Sister Organizations
The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey
Public affairs is the province of AICUNJ, which was established to advance independent higher education in New Jersey by studying, devising and promulgating programs to maximize the contributions of independent colleges and universities and foster public interest in public policy and legislation.
Our 14 member institutions perform a vital service to the state by giving more than 65,000 students access to diverse educational opportunities. They also make a significant economic impact through research, community development and relevant degree programs that meet New Jersey’s workforce needs.
The Independent College Fund of New Jersey
The Independent College Fund of New Jersey empowered deserving students to realize their goals by strengthening New Jersey’s independent colleges and universities with support for strategic investments in programs, scholarships and education. The Independent College Fund of New Jersey partners with the corporate and philanthropic communities to support its 14 member institutions.
The organization’s vision:
- To serve as an essential advocate in promoting wider understanding of and support for independent higher education in New Jersey through the cultivation and maintenance of relationships with members of the corporate and foundation communities.
- To emphasize unrestricted giving while presenting corporate donors with opportunities to make “business compatible contributions.” To identify and monitor trends in corporate philanthropy and recommend to our Board appropriate actions to benefit from these realities on behalf of independent higher education.
- To provide opportunities for our member colleges and universities to enhance quality, access and affordability and fulfill their respective missions.
A History of Service to Independent Higher Education
Comprising 14 regionally accredited, independent, non-profit, four-year degree granting colleges and universities in New Jersey, ICFNJ was founded in 1953 as a cooperative effort involving business and academic leaders of New Jersey. Our shared goal is to broaden financial support for and awareness of independent higher education.
Contributions to ICFNJ are used to supplement the operating budgets of our member institutions and are distributed using a formula established by the member institutions. Unrestricted money is distributed 60 percent equally, 40 percent by enrollment. A donor can also designate a gift specifically to one or a combination of members, though it is the unrestricted gift which benefits the entire independent educational community.
ICFNJ is affiliated with the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), the national partner in a network of 32 state and regional funds whose aim is to broaden corporate and philanthropic support of independent higher education. As a tax-exempt, nonprofit New Jersey corporation, it has been ruled “not a private foundation” by the Internal Revenue Service. It is a a 501(c)3 organization and all gifts are tax deductible as allowed by federal law.