The Citi Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the huge bank, recently announced a new funding stream aligned with its established mission “to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world.”
The foundation’s new program is called the Community Progress Makers Fund, a $20 million, two-year initiative spread out over six U.S. cities, including the San Francisco Bay Area (defined as San Francisco, Alameda, and Santa Clara counties). For many nonprofits, the potential funding Citi offers is the holy grail: core operating support—up to $500,000 over two years.
This is a big payout, so it should come as no surprise that in order to receive this grant, a nonprofit should present as a big player. The Citi Foundation seeks to support “high-potential community organizations” that are already “trusted, visionary, and established” in their work transforming the Bay Area’s low-income communities.
Besides already being a fairly big presence in Chicago, the Citi Foundation is looking to fund organizations that play well with others. Collaboration is key. The foundation supports those who “break down silos” and “connect communities” by working with Chicago's municipal agencies, residents, businesses, and other nonprofits in order to accelerate positive change. The foundation believes that “working comprehensively and collectively with others” is the key to substantially creating this change sooner rather than later.
In addition to receiving up to $500,000 of that coveted core operating support, a Community Progress Makers Fund payout nets an organization professional technical and research assistance, Citi volunteers, and that large Citigroup platform through which to broadcast its mission.
First-round RFP applications are due January 8. And while you’re at it, you can check out the foundation’s other Signature Programs. There’s no strict calendar when it comes to the Citi Foundation’s RFP announcements and funding, but when they come about, they’re always worth investigating.