Citi Foundation and Low Income Investment Fund Launches $3.25 Million Initiative to Promote Community Development Efforts Nationwide
The Citi Foundation and the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) today announced the launch of the Partners in Progress (PIP) initiative to bolster the ability of 13 organizations around the country to increase economic progress in low-income communities. With $3.25 million in funding from the Citi Foundation, administered by LIIF, the support is part of an effort to transform the field of community development by advancing the community “quarterback” model. The model leverages the capacity of high-performing local organizations to lead and coordinate across sectors and stakeholders to achieve shared goals.
Through a one-year grant of $250,000, each PIP grantee will initiate or deepen their efforts to become community quarterbacks by aligning objectives and coordinating efforts among local organizations and residents to improve neighborhoods and create pathways to economic opportunity. PIP organizations will lead the development or expansion of local stakeholder networks to improve places—the physical environment of a community including housing, transit, and safety—and create opportunities for people, such as jobs, child development, education, and health.
The impetus behind the PIP initiative came from Investing in What Works for America’s Communities, a book LIIF co-published in 2012 with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, which asserts that flexible and dynamic community quarterbacks could transform local community development efforts that are often fragmented and duplicative. The Citi Foundation supported LIIF’s work on the original book, and the PIP initiative now aims to advance the community quarterback model in 10 regions across the nation.
“Recognizing that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to improving economic opportunity, we know the quarterback model works to align smart approaches with smart financing,” said Nancy O. Andrews, president and CEO of LIIF. “Through Partners in Progress, we hope to build a movement. By creating a network of quarterbacks, we can promote learning and formalize a strategy that will fundamentally change our field for decades to come. The Citi Foundation is a uniquely innovative funder to invest in this idea that is aimed at nothing short of transforming neighborhoods and lives across the country.”
“The Partners in Progress initiative is focused on identifying and supporting organizations that have the credibility and potential to be local community development champions,” said Pamela Flaherty, president & CEO of the Citi Foundation. “Too often, well-intentioned community development efforts suffer from a lack of leadership, efficiency, and coordination. By bolstering the role of a local cross-sector quarterback, the Citi Foundation and LIIF are aiming to eliminate obstacles to effective communication and collaboration, all in an attempt to improve the quality of life in our communities.”
PIP funding will enable grantees to engage and align an expanded range of partners, share knowledge, and use data to drive project design. In addition, grantees will participate in a learning community that will include coaching and skill building. Throughout the year, LIIF and the Citi Foundation will share grantee progress and lessons, as well as make tools and resources available to participating organizations.
The 13 grantees have different levels of experience using the community quarterback model, as well as varying community needs—from linking affordable housing and health care in Los Angeles, to planning for integrated community service delivery near a new transit hub in Dallas, Texas, and creating new immigrant-driven approaches to community development in Queens, New York. Other grantees aim to build coalitions, develop governance and operating structures, set strategic goals, or map and analyze critical data. Grantees at more advanced stages will use the funds to strengthen, deepen, or accelerate their activities.
13 New Community Quarterbacks Take the Field
The 13 recipients of PIP Initiative funding will become community quarterbacks to coordinate efforts to improve neighborhoods and create pathways to economic opportunity. They include:
- Asian Americans for Equality, Flushing, NY
- BRIDGE Housing Corporation, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA
- CASA de Maryland, Langley Park, MD
- Chicago Community Loan Fund, Chicago, IL
- Community Solutions/Brownsville Partnership, Brooklyn, NY
- East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, Oakland, CA
- Fairfield County Community Foundation, Bridgeport, CT
- Frazier Revitalization, Inc., Dallas, TX
- Jubilee Housing, Inc., Washington, D.C.
- LINC Housing, Los Angeles, CA
- Little Tokyo Service Center, Los Angeles, CA
- Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, Miami-Dade County, FL
- Youth Policy Institute, Los Angeles, CA