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Now Accepting Grant Proposals for 2018 CDC Capacity Building Fund!

Community LIFT is pleased to announce a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 2018 CDC Capacity Building Fund.


Informed by our 2015 State of the Memphis CDC Industry report that revealed the local CDC sector is severely underfunded and operating with limited capacity, we developed the CDC Capacity Building Fund to help address Memphis's broken cycle of community reinvestment. We know that with increased investment, CDCs can have a larger impact on the communities and people they serve. The CDC Capacity Building Fund is the city’s only dedicated source of funding solely for CDCs.

The CDC Capacity Building Fund was developed after a comprehensive research process and with support from a 13-person advisory committee comprised of LIFT’s community partners and local foundations, philanthropy, financial institutions, and of course, CDCs. The fund's vision is to ensure a robust, effective network of CDCs that are capable of serving as quarterback agencies for scaled revitalization efforts that significantly enhance the quality of life in Memphis’ distressed neighborhoods, thus serving as catalysts for equitable economic growth and advancement.

For the purpose of this grant, the term capacity building refers to the development of core skills, management practices, strategies, and systems to enhance an organization’s effectiveness, sustainability, and ability to fulfill its mission.


The CDC Capacity Building Fund is exclusively for CDCs; other community based organizations are ineligible to apply. To be clear, we define CDCs as nonprofit, community-based organizations focused on the community engagement, physical and economic revitalization of the areas in which they are located, typically low-income, underserved neighborhoods that have experienced significant disinvestment. While their ultimate goal may be comprehensive community redevelopment, CDCs generally focus on one or more program areas, such as housing development, economic development (job training, commercial development, small business assistance, etc.), neighborhood planning, infrastructure, and the development of community facilities. In addition, CDCs often serve as the neighborhood quarterbacking agency for resident empowerment, community collaboration and engagement.
If you anticipate applying, please ensure that you have completed Building Memphis's (BLDG Memphis) Capacity Assessment Tool (CAT) within the last three years. If not, please contact Donna Olds-White via email at
NEW FOR 2018
In addition to completing the CAT, new and returning applicants must have a profile. If your organization does not already have a profile, please contact Mia Madison at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis via email at

We are hosting two information sessions, scheduled for Thursday, March 29 and Thursday, April 5YOU MUST ATTEND AT LEAST ONE INFORMATION SESSION TO APPLY. Register for the April 5th Info Session by clicking this link.

Wednesday, March 21: RFP Announcement to CDCs
Thursday, March 29: CDC Capacity Building Fund Information Session #1
Thursday, April 5: CDC Capacity Building Fund Information Session #2
Friday, April 20: Grant Application Closes
Friday, May 25: Award Announcement to CDCs


To submit a proposal, click this link to open the online application form. You can also read more about the eligibility requirements, policies, and procedures and the 2015 State of the CDC Industry Report in the attachments below. Should you have any questions please contact Nefertiti Orrin, Grants Director via email at or phone at 901-521-4232 ext. 222. 

Finally, this round of the CDC Capacity Building Fund would not be possible without the generous investments from the Assisi Foundation, Hyde Family Foundations, and the Kresge Foundation.

We look forward to working with you in 2018!
Eric Robertson
Community LIFT President