The Citi Foundation has anounced the 50 nonprofit organizations selected as the newest recipients of the Community Progress Makers initiative.
The $25 million grant initiative supports visionary organizations that are working to connect low-income communities and communities of color to greater social and economic opportunity in six cities across the United States: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C.
Each Community Progress Maker will receive an unrestricted grant of $500,000 and access to technical assistance and a supportive learning community from 2022 – 2023.
Brandee McHale, Head of Community Investing and Development and President of the Citi Foundation, uttered: “Six years ago, the Citi Foundation launched Community Progress Makers with a vision of empowering community leaders to grow their transformative impact through unrestricted, trust-based funding. This kind of approach and support is more important than ever as the U.S. continues to address the root causes and impacts of income and wealth inequality. Through the Community Progress Makers initiative, these social innovators and advocates can continue to look for new ways of addressing long-standing societal challenges at scale.”
The Community Progress Makers initiative was expanded earlier this year as part of Citi and the Citi Foundation’s Action for Racial Equity, which has already invested $1 billion in strategic initiatives to help close the racial wealth gap in the United States.
Through the Citi Foundation’s funding, the 50 Community Progress Makers will support low-income communities and communities of color by working to expand affordable housing and access; environmental sustainability; economic development; financial health and wellness; workforce readiness and high-quality jobs.
The Foundation will provide a supportive community network through which these organizations can connect to learn from each other, share best practices and strengthen their roles as social change agents.
As part of the initiative, the Citi Foundation is engaging longtime grantee Urban Institute to provide technical assistance to the cohort, helping to measure their impact and track their progress.
Sarah Rosen Wartell, President of the Urban Institute, said: “We’re looking forward to our continued work with the Citi Foundation and the newest cohort of Community Progress Makers that are striving to facilitate positive change in communities across the country. This collaboration has proved to be a powerful tool for many community organizations, and supporting a diverse group of grantees with technical assistance and data-building capacities will have a real impact in building stronger and more inclusive communities.”
According to a recent report from Citi Global Perspectives & Solutions, there is a growing need for multi-year, unrestricted funding, which empowers nonprofits to invest in the financial sustainability of their organization and gives them the flexibility to adapt to evolving challenges.
This kind of philanthropic support is even more urgent as local communities continue to face complex challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
From 2015 to 2019, the Citi Foundation has provided $40 million in multi-year, unrestricted funding to 72 Community Progress Makers, helping to place over 45,000 people in affordable housing, train over 33,000 people for employment, save over $10 million in energy costs, and expand over 12,000 small businesses.
Marco A. Carrión, Executive Director of El Puente, said: “This flexible support from the Citi Foundation is transformative for our organization and illustrates a trust and confidence in our leadership and vision as we advocate for equitable greenspace in South Williamsburg. El Puente is honored to be part of this new phase of Community Progress Makers and to work alongside other leading community organizations that share in our mission to increase access and opportunity for underserved populations.”
Malcolm Yeung, Executive Director of Chinatown Community Development Center, said: “Chinatown Community Development Center is thrilled to join the Community Progress Makers network and collaborate with other community leaders across the U.S. to promote social and economic opportunities for communities of color. Citi Foundation’s trust-based philanthropy is game-changing. It gives us the freedom and resources we need to pursue our vision for our local community.”
The newest cohort of Community Progress Makers was selected through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process announced earlier this year. Organizations were selected based on their strong track records of promoting economic opportunity in the communities they serve.
Citi Foundation is a part of Global Public Affairs’ Community Investing and Development team, which aims to enhance positive social impact and financial innovations that benefit underserved communities globally.
Through equity investing, lending and grant making, Citi and the Citi Foundation are working in new ways to effect positive and meaningful change in communities around the world.