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Field
Empowerment
Fund

final Round

Awards range from:

  • $50,000 to $125,000 for Non-CDFI applicants
  • $50,000 to $300,000 for CDFI applicants

Need help applying?
Watch a review of the Field Empowerment Fund application process and proposal guidelines here.

DEADLINE: July 29, 2022

Photo by Charles Etoroma on Unsplash 

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash 

Creating a Just Economy through Racial Equity

Morgan Stanley’s commitment to the economic viability of minority and underserved communities directly supports the purpose of the Community Reinvestment Act. NCRC is proud to administer this $5 million fund for community development organizations advancing racial equity.

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Three Focus Areas

At nearly all income levels, investing in a home has enabled individuals and families to build equity and generate wealth. Over time, homeownership and rising property values have proven to be a key part of upward mobility. However, for too many Americans — particularly people of color — this dream has often been just out of reach. Construction and non-construction projects are eligible under this grant opportunity.
Entrepreneurship for women and minorities is a critical wealth building tool. A Just Economy includes ecosystems of entrepreneurs who have access to the tools, capital, knowledge, and networks to create a supportive environment in which to grow their businesses.
HUD-approved housing counseling agencies providing tools to current homeowners, prospective home buyers, renters, homeless, and victims of disaster, so they can make responsible choices to address their housing needs.

Eligibility Criteria

CDFI Applicants

  • Must be a certified CDFI;
  • Is a legal entity at the time of application;
  • Has a primary mission of promoting community development;
  • Is a financing entity;
  • Primarily serves one or more target markets;
  • Provides development services in conjunction with its financing activities;
  • Maintains accountability to its defined target market; and
  • Is a non-government entity and not under the control of any government entity (Tribal governments excluded).
  • NCRC Member by time of application submission. 

Funds may be granted to organizations that:

  • Serve primarily LMI individuals, families or communities
  • Seek funds to support a specific program that primarily benefits LMI individuals, families or communities or small business development
  • Propose projects directly addressing racial equity within the African American and/or Hispanic communities
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Non CDFI Applicants

  • 501 c3
  • NCRC Member by time of application submission

 

Funds may be granted to organizations that:

  • Serve primarily LMI individuals, families or communities
  • Seek funds to support a specific program that primarily benefits LMI individuals, families, or communities or small business development
  • Propose projects directly addressing racial equity within the African American and/or Hispanic communities
Show More

DEADLINE: July 29, 2022

Previously funded Grantees include:

Latino Economic Development Corporation of Washington, DC

The purpose of this project was to provide immediate financial relief to business owners impacted by COVID-19 by disbursing concessionary consumer loans and microloans. LEDC launched the Resilience Loan, a consumer loan that provides up to $2,500 at a 0% interest rate, with up to 6 months of grace period to start making payments and maturity in 36 months. The purpose of this loan was to help business owners cover personal expenses or reduce the high-cost debt they might have incurred due to COVID-19. LEDC also launched the Women Loan Fund to provide concessionary seed loans to help women start or consolidate a business idea. This seed loan has the same terms as the consumer loan (0% interest rate, term up to 36 months, grace period up to 6 months) and there are minimal underwriting and requirements.

Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises - Berea, Kentucky

This grant was intended to support the implementation of and scale Fahe’s micro-mortgage pilot program targeted towards low-wealth households to enable easier access to affordable housing and wealth building through homeownership.

The MicroMortgage pilot program launched in the Louisville metro area to provide affordable financing in low-income minority neighborhoods. Research shows that lifting low-income residents into homeownership can have resounding intergenerational effects. Traditional lenders are not making small mortgage loans, leaving some of the most affordable properties out of reach for low-wealth households, and creating a redevelopment market that threatens housing stability for low-income renters.

The micro-mortgage product streamlined fees and costs, simplify processing, and allowed for affordable home purchase and renovation for low-wealth households. This option provided greater housing security and stability than renting, and was a means of wealth building for new homeowners and preservation for older properties. This product is easier and less costly to originate, and scalable nationally, demonstrated as both transformative for consumers and profitable for lenders and servicers.

Washington Area Community Investment Fund - Washington, DC.

The Washington Area Community Investment Fund’s (WACIF) mission is to increase equity and economic opportunity in underserved communities in the Washington, DC area by investing knowledge, social, and financial capital in low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs. By offering advisory services and financial capital under one roof, borrowers easily get the technical assistance they need to ensure that capital catalyzes growth. WACIF offers one-on-one, group, and cohort based advisory services as well as flexible capital (grants, debt relief, and loans). WACIF directs services to underresourced communities in the greater Washington, DC area, with a focus on minority- and women-owned businesses in economically distressed communities east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC.

Black Cultural Zone CDC - Oakland, California

We’ve launched a set of comprehensive programming to combat economic fallout within Oakland’s Black community, particularly in East Oakland, including:

  • The AKOMA Liberate! Project – an early-stage venture supporting BIPOC-led businesses threatened by displacement in developing a cooperative social franchise model and ongoing presence at AKOMA Markets;
  • The Cowrie Currency Collective – an alternative community currency program designed to exchange skills and products in the community based on a point system instead of cash; and
  • The Black Economy Network – a set of technical assistance and rapid response packages designed to bolster local entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Reinvestment Partners - Durham, North Carolina

Reinvestment Partners is working to expand our housing counseling services from 23 counties to all 100 counties in North Carolina through a streamlined, virtual intake process developed in response to COVID-19. We have brought on additional staff and technology infrastructure to use our mobile intake platform to serve additional households in danger of losing their homes due to foreclosure. We are including outreach to Spanish-speaking households, those in rural areas, and those in underserved areas.

Pima County Community Land Trust - Tucsan, Arizona

PCCLT serves low-income and low-wealth neighborhoods and communities of color. Low- and moderate-income households are finding it increasingly difficult to find housing that is affordable and sustainable, especially in vulnerable neighborhoods experiencing gentrification. Further, post COVID, many in our community who were already housing challenged are experiencing even greater hardship. The ability to facilitate access to affordable housing, either through homeownership or rental is imperative as income has been greatly reduced and housing prices and rents are drastically increasing. With Field Empowerment funding, PCCLT has the timely and appreciated opportunity to increase the number of homes in our portfolio. The CLT model stabilizes families now as well as mitigating future crisis through shared equity and counseling.  Families, particularly those in low-income and low-wealth neighborhoods and communities of color, will have the tools and resources to prevent future hardship.

Frequently Asked Questions

NCRC’s Field Empowerment Fund (FEF) supports organizations that are making strides in helping low-wealth communities, with a focus on advancing racial equity through affordable housing, small business and housing counseling.

This the second and final installment of the Field Empowerment Fund powered by Morgan Stanley

An internal NCRC team of interdisciplinary professionals will rank and score applications based upon proposal strength in the following categories:

  • Scale
  • Implementation
  • Impact
  • Innovation

An aggregate score will be used to determine Grantees. Scale and innovation will be given consideration in determining award amounts.

Racial equity is a vision of a future where access to economic and wealth-building resources and opportunities is not predicated on race and is free of racial bias. We seek to accomplish and advocate for racial equity work in housing, small business and community reinvestment that centers the most vulnerable, low-wealth communities and people of color while addressing historic and existing structural, institutional and individual contributors to inequity, and by championing bold and data-driven policy, programmatic and systemic solutions to accelerate their community, economic and wealth growth.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

Complete the form to download the full report: