NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Citi Foundation (the “Foundation”) today announced the launch of a $50 million New Request for Ideas (RFI) to support the next level of growth of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) ) across the United States. Representing the largest fundraising request in the history of the Foundation, this national inquiry aims to solicit and support breakthrough innovations from nonprofit organizations working to advance the field of community finance in four key areas : the development of human capital and talents; financial and risk-sharing models; technology and operational efficiency; and thought leadership and research.
The CDFI industry has reached an all-time high in lending volume during the COVID-19 pandemic, recording a 52.3% increase in lending and investment activity from 2020 to 2021, totaling over 38, $7 billion in funding, according to the CDFI funds. Innovations in training, technical assistance, and capacity building for community organizations are essential to help sustain this level of impact, and through this RFI, the Citi Foundation seeks to identify and fund resources to help communities across the country thrive.
“CDFIs play a critical role in reaching historically underserved communities in the United States, particularly over the past two years, as the economic impacts of the pandemic have made achieving financial stability all the more difficult,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Head of Community Investment and Development, Citi. “The Citi Foundation will help CDFIs grow and innovate with this $50 million Community Innovation Fund so they can continue to meet the needs of the communities they serve.
The $50 million Community Finance Innovation Fund builds on Citi and the Foundation’s longstanding support of CDFIs. In 2020 and 2021 alone, the Foundation provided more than $50 million in grants to CDFIs and small business support organizations across the United States. $15 million to 30 CDFIs, each of which received $500,000 in unrestricted funding primarily used to fund operations and loan loss reserves. An additional $10 million supported the New York Forward Loan Fund, and another investment of $25 million supported a combination of CDFIs and community organizations working to support small businesses during the pandemic.
The deadline for submitting ideas is May 24, 2022, 4 p.m. EST. Selected organizations that submit ideas will be invited to apply for funding, which will be awarded on a rolling basis. For more information on this opportunity, please visit www.citifoundation.com/cfi.
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 employment opportunities for youth, and reinvent approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation’s “More Than Philanthropy” approach leverages the tremendous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.