Philanthropic and Formula Funding

Submitted by Lori Riggs

The Foundation Center is a leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide.  Established in 1956, the Foundation Center site allows you to gather and analyze data or participate in training as it relates to your funding topic or interest.  It also connects people globally to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on grants and grantmakers in the U.S. and the world.  It also operates education and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level.

While many of the Foundation Center’s grant funder lists require subscriptions, free “Cooperating Collections” information centers provide funding-related resources and technical assistance.  Along with print resources and fundraising research guidance, access to the internet and searchable databases are offered.  Many centers provide workshops and programs for local nonprofits.  For contact information, visit or call 800 424-9836.  (No fee is charged for use of these resources.)  Resources available include:  The Grantseeker’s Guide to Winning Proposals, Securing Your Organizations Future, Key Facts on Social Justice Grantmaking, and The 21st Century Nonprofit:  Managing the Age of Governance.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds are another avenue you may pursue when seeking to expand or sustain your programs.  CDBG funds are administered through State and Local Municipalities by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Details of the CDBG program may be found @  Or, do a Google Search on “CDBG (Type the Name of Your Local Unit of Government) 2012”.

The CDBG program is aimed at providing decent affordable housing and services to the most vulnerable in our communities.  It also aims to create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses.   The program provides communities with resources to improve building and infrastructure.  In order to be eligible, municipalities must spend at least 70 percent of the funding for low- and moderate-income persons.  The remaining funding must be used to prevent or eliminate blight or address community development needs.  Source:  Department of Housing and Urban Development

CDBG funding is an important way to help local governments tackle serious challenges facing their communities and make a difference in the lives of millions of people across the Nation.  HUD determines the amount of each grant by using a formula comprised of several measures of community need, including the extent of poverty, population, housing overcrowding, age of housing, and population growth lag in relationship to other metropolitan areas.  CDBG grantees must develop and follow a detailed plan that provides for and encourages citizen participation, including non-English speaking residents. This integral process emphasizes participation by persons of low or moderate income, particularly residents of predominantly low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, slum or blighted areas, and areas in which the grantee proposes to use CDBG funds.

In order to qualify for CDBG funding consideration, all economic and community development projects must meet one of 3 federally required national objectives, which include providing direct benefit to low and moderate-income people, elimination of slum and blight, or meet an urgent community development need.

Eligible activities for communities who receive CDBG funds from the State for community development activities include, but are not limited to:  acquisition of property for public use; construction or reconstruction of streets, water and sewer facilities, neighborhood centers, recreation facilities, and other public works; demolition; rehabilitation of public and private buildings; public services; planning activities; assistance to nonprofit entities for community development activities; and assistance to private, for profit entities to carry out economic development activities (including assistance to micro-enterprises).

Interested citizen may contact their local municipal or county officials for more information. Local governments may have applied for or received a grant from the State.  If your Local government or State officials cannot answer your questions, contact the HUD field office* that serves your area. Note that the State administers the program and determines which local governments receive funding. * Hearing impaired users may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: