The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) is requesting applications from local governments looking to develop a municipal financial empowerment blueprint, outlining strategies for financial empowerment programs and policies based on stakeholder and community input and with a focus on racial wealth equity, for its CityStart initiative. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative, whose mission is to accelerate the pace of Black wealth accumulation in the U.S., is advising the CFE Fund and municipal partners on the design and execution of the CityStart program utilizing a racial wealth equity lens.
With support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, in this equity-focused iteration of CityStart, the CFE Fund will look to work with Black-majority city and county partners, as well as cities and counties with significant Black populations, to address the financial empowerment needs of residents and the opportunities to meet those needs, prioritizing the financial stability needs of Black residents. Selected partners will identify strategies to launch and increase access to financial stability programs, identify the intersecting issues leading to disparities and barriers to financial empowerment, and explore programmatic and structural investments to further financial stability work.
CityStart University: Grantees will participate in a series of learning community events, facilitated by the CFE Fund. CityStart University will kick off with a detailed, in-person orientation event highlighting key racial wealth equity principles and government-connected approaches, as well as sessions to support the planning and drafting of the blueprint, including the role of local government, financial empowerment program case studies, internal and external stakeholder engagement efforts, and lessons learned in creating the blueprint. Grantees will also have the opportunity to hear from field experts.
Story of Wealth and Landscape Analysis: The CFE Fund will work with each locality to develop a comprehensive landscape analysis, which includes engaging with key stakeholders, understanding the government structure and Administration goals, assessing financial empowerment issues both overall and for Black residents, identifying the drivers of wealth accumulation and extraction for Black residents, and reviewing related data.
Financial Empowerment Strategies & Blueprint: Based on findings from the landscape analysis phase, as well as administration priorities, each locality will work with the CFE Fund on developing a municipal financial empowerment blueprint focused on key local needs and priorities, including efforts to meet the needs of Black residents. This phase will consist of intensive technical assistance from the CFE Fund to help partners develop a comprehensive financial empowerment strategy, including implementation approaches and funding opportunities.