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 (new video available here). 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, TX; to creating new immigrant-driven approaches to community development in Queens, NY. 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.
The 13 PIP grantees are:
To learn more about the PIP program, visit www.partnersinprogressproject.org.
Follow PIP on Twitter, @PIPCommunities, and like the PIP Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/partnersinprogressproject.
About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation is committed to the economic empowerment and financial inclusion of low- to moderate-income individuals and families in the communities where we work so that they can improve their standard of living. Globally, the Citi Foundation targets its strategic giving to priority focus areas: Microfinance, Enterprise Development, College Success, and Financial Capability and Asset Building. In the United States, the Citi Foundation also supports Neighborhood Revitalization programs. The Citi Foundation works with its partners in Microfinance, Enterprise Development, and Neighborhood Revitalization to support environmental programs and innovations. Additional information can be found at www.citifoundation.com.
About the Low Income Investment Fund
The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) invests capital to support healthy families and communities. Since 1984, LIIF has served 1.5 million people by investing $1.4 billion. Over its history, LIIF has provided financing and technical assistance to create and preserve affordable housing, child care centers, schools, healthy food retail, health clinics and transit-oriented developments in distressed neighborhoods nationwide. LIIF’s work has generated $26 billion in family income and societal benefits. LIIF has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C. For more information about LIIF, visit www.liifund.org.