The Citi Foundation, the philanthropic arm of behemoth banker Citigroup, 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 New York City (defined as Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond counties). For many non-profits, the potential funding one can receive here is the holy grail: Core Operating Support—up to $500,000 worth over two years.
This is a big payout, so it should come as no surprise that in order to be well-positioned to receive this grant, a non-profit 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 New York City's low-income communities.
Besides already being a fairly big presence in New York City, the Citi Foundation is looking to fund organizations that play well with others. Collaboration is key. The foundation seeks to support those who “break down silos” and “connect communities” by working with New York City's municipal agencies, residents, businesses, and other non-profits 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 in 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.
Though this RFP is the first of its kind, it could be illuminating to know what NYC-based nonprofits the foundation has previously funded in support of “Urban Transformation.” Recent grantees include the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, the Settlement Housing Fund, and United Neighborhood Houses of New York. The Citi Foundation’s past two years of grantees can be searched here.
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.