Change Capital Fund Invests in Next Chapter of Community Development

New York City, NY – May 6, 2013 – The Neighborhood Opportunities Fund is a long standing collaborative of foundations and banks, which has invested $25 million of philanthropic dollars, over nearly 20 years, enabling non-profit Community Development Corporations (CDCs) to pioneer the revitalization of distressed communities throughout New York City. New and renovated housing, resurrected shopping districts, safer streets and restored civic pride has proven out the benefit of coordinated philanthropy supporting entrepreneurial community based nonprofits.

Reflecting on this success, and yet determined to reach those neighborhoods still left behind, on  May 1, donors awarded grants to ten of New York City’s most innovative CDCs to plan for the future of community development in neighborhoods of persistent and concentrated poverty through a new Change Capital Fund.  The grants will enable the organizations to develop plans to interrupt multi-generational poverty - and its link to poor outcomes in education, health, jobs, and housing stability - and to generate new sources of revenues to sustain results proven interventions. The selected organizations will create business plans with the help of the TCC Group and the Nonprofit Finance Fund, technical assistance organizations contracted by the donors to support the grantees’ efforts. The most promising plans will be selected for four-year implementation grants in January 2014.   

“The Change Capital Fund is a bold investment in re-engineering the community development sector to tackle persistent poverty in New York City.” said Gary Hattem, president Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. “The same entrepreneurial spirit that reclaimed our neighborhoods from abandonment is being put to work to enable our most vulnerable citizens to fully participate in our great City’s continuing success.”

The ten organizations receiving Change Capital Fund planning grants are targeting the South Bronx, Central and East Brooklyn and Western Queens, areas of New York City where residents have not shared in New York’s increasing prosperity. The funded groups will identify methods to demonstrate improved outcomes and quantify associated reductions in public spending for crisis services. The donor collaborative is seeking to build the capacity of CDCs to demonstrate that the outcomes of their neighborhood-focused work ultimately reduce public costs for crisis systems. This would increase the potential for community development corporations to leverage a payment-for-results financing model (aka social impact bonds), whereby, private investors fund some of the upfront working capital to deliver promising community interventions in exchange for a share of downstream benefits in the form of public cost savings. 

The organizations will hone and scale up existing and new interventions to increase opportunities for residents of these high-poverty neighborhoods: 

  • Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, America’s first community development corporation, will collaborate with community, educational and government partners to achieve a holistic service model to support individual and household success. 
  • Community Solutions/Brownsville Partnership will develop its capacity to act as a magnet and an anchor for multifaceted services in the Brownsville neighborhood, which includes over 4,000 apartments in public housing plagued with extraordinarily high poverty and crime.
  • Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation will integrate their programming to create a clear path to better educational, health and housing outcomes for the residents of Cypress Hills and East New York.
  • East River Development Alliance (ERDA) will identify and scale up proven interventions to change the outcomes for residents of the largest public housing community in the nation. 
  • Fifth Avenue Committee will expand partnerships to improve educational and workforce outcomes, particularly for the young people of Red Hook and Gowanus.
  • Make the Road New York will scale up effective interventions, including its Promotoras peer-to-peer health model, housing preservation, college access and workforce programs by expanding and deepening its partnerships with local service providers.   
  • New Settlement Apartments will expand successful initiatives to improve educational, workforce and housing outcomes.
  • St Nicks Alliance Corporation will partner with City agencies, local hospitals, schools and community organizations to implement a transformational case management program in a persistently high poverty pilot area.
  • United Neighborhood Housing Program and Fordham Bedford Housing Corp will partner to analyze the efficacy of their programs while addressing systemic issues that perpetuate poverty.
  • Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation will strengthen its Home-based Childcare Program to raise incomes, quality childcare and improve health in the South Bronx. 

Current NOF Donors include:  Altman Foundation, Bank of America, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., BNY Mellon, Capital One, Citigroup Community Development, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., HSBC Bank USA, JPMorgan Chase, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Mizuho Corporate Bank, M & T Bank, New York Community Trust, New York Foundation and Scherman Foundation. 

“Growing up in one of New York City’s high-poverty neighborhoods is associated with poor outcomes in education, health, criminal justice system involvement and even homelessness with life expectancy in the city’s poorest neighborhoods four years shorter than the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods,” said Steven Flax, Vice President M& T Bank, and chairman of NOF. “The Change Capital Fund is supporting local organizations seeking to alter this trajectory.”


Wendy Fleisher, Donors’ Representative

Tricia McKenna for Nonprofit Finance Fund  

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