Four Things to Know About Citizens Bank’s New England Grantmaking

PHOTO: Helen89/shutterstock

PHOTO: Helen89/shutterstock

There are numerous corporate bank funders headquartered in the New England states, but some of these entities are more locally focused than others. Citizens Financial Group, for example, is one of the oldest and largest financial institutions in the U.S., but its Citizens Charitable Foundation has a strong regional slant and this is a particularly important funder to know in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Here are four key points to remember about the Riverside, Rhode Island-based giver.

Hunger, Financial Management, and Community-Strengthening

This bank funder has three main interests when it comes to supporting the communities that it operates in. The first is fighting hunger and food insecurity among local residents. The second priority is financial management; the foundation supports financial literacy programs that help people and businesses become more fiscally secure.

The third issue area is strengthening communities, and this is a broad one. Under this umbrella, the bank funder supports everything from job training to affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization, and small business development. Citizens Bank also has a partnership with the Military Warriors Support Foundation to support combat-wounded heroes who are transitioning back to civilian life.

Funding for Direct Services

While many foundations shy away from supporting direct services, Citizens Charitable Foundation is all about these types of grants. A majority of its grants go to projects that provide direct services to low- and moderate-income populations. More specifically, grants go toward unmet needs and plans that have the potential to be replicated and sustainable for the long term.

A Preference for Single-Year Projects

Pitch a project idea for something that can reasonably be completed in a year or less. Almost all foundation grants go towards single-year projects. As a rule, this funder does not provide general operating support for local nonprofits. Most of the grants coming from this bank funder are between $1,000 and $60,000 each. In addition to grants, Citizens also awards sponsorships to nonprofits in exchange for marketing and promotional perks.

Rhode Island and Massachusetts Come Out on Top

It’s important to know that Citizens Bank operates in 11 states and has well over a thousand branches. That poses some competition for grantseekers in New England, especially since Citizens also operates in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. Yet Rhode Island is the bank’s home, and there’s no denying that many grants stay close to home. Massachusetts is also a top spot for local grantmaking.

You can learn more about this funder and the best ways to get in touch with questions or to apply for a grant in our New England profile of the Citizens Charitable Foundation.