The Citi Foundation today announced an expansion of its Community Progress Makers initiative through a $25 million investment in community organizations working to connect communities of color to greater social and economic opportunity in the United States. Organizations serving Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C. may apply for unrestricted grants of $500,000 through an open Request for Proposals. The deadline to apply is July 12, 2021 at 4PM ET.
The expansion of Community Progress Makers is a part of Citi and Citi Foundation’s Action for Racial Equity initiative, and will focus on investing in nonprofits that are supporting communities of color through affordable housing and access; environmental sustainability; economic development; financial health and wellness; social justice; workforce readiness and family sustaining employment.
“Community change agents are both tireless advocates for the communities they represent, and social innovators working to reduce racial inequity and its negative impacts,” said Brandee McHale, Head of Community Investing and Development and President of the Citi Foundation. “Through Community Progress Makers, the Citi Foundation wants to ensure that these change agents have flexible resources to address the challenges of today while creating a new reality for tomorrow.”
“I was pleased to work with the Citi Foundation and its first two cohorts of Community Progress Makers to support the learning community that accompanies the Foundation’s flexible, multi-year support to the grantees,” said Shena Ashley, Vice President at the Urban Institute. “As part of this effort, a team of Urban Institute colleagues and I provided the grantees with tailored training and assistance with building data capacities to better position them to make decisions, design programs and measure success. I look forward to working with this new cohort to identify and track how they are making strides toward achieving racial equity in the communities they serve.”
Since 2015, Citi Foundation has invested $40 million in 72 community organizations through Community Progress Makers, helping to place over 45,000 people in affordable housing, save over $10 million in energy costs, train over 33,000 people for employment, and expand over 12,000 small businesses.
“Receiving a grant from the Citi Foundation gave us the opportunity to step back, think big and take our organization to the next level,” said Brenda Palms Barber, President of the North Lawndale Employment Network, a 2018-2019 Community Progress Maker based in Chicago, IL. “The support came at a critical juncture in our growth and allowed us the freedom to take chances and bet on our own success. Today, we have a new workforce development campus and are helping more people to achieve their personal and professional goals through meaningful employment.”
“We know from years of research, extensive surveys of nonprofits, and countless hours with community leaders that multi-year, general support is vital to an organization’s ability to effectively execute against their mission,” said Phil Buchanan, President of the Center for Effective Philanthropy. “This kind of unrestricted support allows nonprofits to focus on achieving their impact goals, rather than the fundraising hamster wheel of single-year funding or the accounting challenges of program-restricted grants.”
In addition to unrestricted grant support, selected organizations will have access to technical assistance from national experts, including Urban Institute researchers, and the opportunity to learn and share best practices with fellow Community Progress Makers.
The deadline to apply is July 12, 2021 at 4PM ET. Grant recipients will be announced in late 2021. For more information on Community Progress Makers, including live Q&A session dates and application details, please visit citifoundation.com/cpm.
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach deploys the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.