Elevating Neighborhoods. Advancing Memphis.

CDC Capacity Fund



CDC Capacity Fund


The application is now closed.  Awards will be announced in May or June 2019.


Informed by our 2015 State of the Memphis CDC Industry report, which revealed that the local CDC sector is severely underfunded and operating with limited capacity, we developed the CDC Capacity Fund to help address Memphis’ 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 Fund is the city’s only dedicated source of funding solely for CDCs.

The CDC Capacity Fund was developed as a result of a comprehensive research process and with support from a 13-person advisory committee composed of LIFT’s community partners and local foundations, philanthropic organizations, 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 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 and 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 the BLDG Memphis Capacity Assessment Tool (CAT) within the last three years. If not, please contact Donna Olds-White via email at donna@bldgmemphis.org.

For more information, click below:

Should you have any questions please contact Nefertiti Orrin, Grants Director via email at nefertiti@communitylift.org or phone at 901-521-4232 ext. 222.


The 2019 round of the CDC Capacity Fund would not be possible without generous investments from the Assisi Foundation, Hyde Family Foundations, Kresge Foundation, First Tennessee Foundation, City of Memphis, and Patriot Bank.

Community L.I.F.T. Corp.
© 2018. All Rights Reserved.
119 South Court, Ste 100
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 521-4232

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