Elevating Neighborhoods. Advancing Memphis.

CDC Capacity Fund



CDC Capacity Fund


Announcing the 2020 CDC Capacity Fund Grantees

Click the image below to learn more about this year’s grantees.

2020 CDC Capacity Fund Dates and Deadlines

Interim Grant Report October 1, 2020
Final Grant Report April 1, 2021


The CDC Capacity Fund (CDC Fund) grant was established after a comprehensive research process, and with support from a 13-person advisory committee composed of Community LIFT’s community partners and local foundations, philanthropy, financial institutions, and CDCs. The research process and subsequent State of the Memphis CDC Industry report revealed that the local CDC sector is severely underfunded and operating with limited capacity, but with increased investment, can have a larger impact on the communities they serve.  We developed the CDC Fund, the city’s only dedicated source of funding solely for CDCs, to help address Memphis’ broken cycle of community reinvestment activities.

The vision of the CDC Fund grant 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.  Since launching the grant in 2017, Community LIFT has invested $941,806 into communities to help build CDC capacity.

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 about the CDC Capacity Fund, 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. 227.


The 2020 round of the CDC Capacity Fund would not be possible without generous investments from the Assisi Foundation, Hyde Family Foundations, Kresge Foundation, First Horizon Foundation, and City of Memphis.

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

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