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Grants and Technical Assistance to USA City and County Governments to Address Racial Wealth Equity and Build Financial Stability



GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Array ( )

Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Deadline: 12/20/23 Save

Grant Description
Grants of $75,000 and technical assistance to USA city and county governments to address racial wealth equity and build individual and community financial stability. Preference will be given to applications from cities and counties with significant Black populations and to Black-majority city and county partners.

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.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Grantee Eligibility:

Cities or Counties with 50,000 or more residents are eligible to apply.
- Preference will be given to Black-majority city and county partners, as well as cities and counties with significant Black populations.

Only city or county governments can apply.
- The application should be from the Mayor’s or City Manager’s office; County Executive’s office; or from any agency/department (with the approval of senior leadership) working on relevant financial empowerment issues.
- This engagement is ideal for cities and counties who are seeking to prioritize resident financial stability needs, based on a racial wealth equity lens, informed by stakeholder input, and committed to creating an actionable strategic plan.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Informational Webinar: Thursday, November 15, 2023 at 3 p.m. EST.

Pre-Application Information
Important dates:
- Application release date: November 1, 2023
- RFP Informational Webinar: November 15, 2023
- Proposal submission due date: December 20, 2023
- Applicant Interviews: January 10 - 19, 2024
- Notification of selection: Mid-March 2024

Once an applicant has submitted an application, they will receive an email to sign up for an interview.

The CFE Fund held an informational webinar about the CityStart opportunity; watch a recording of the webinar here: (passcode SdH3#5b&)

Estimated Size of Grant
Grantees receive funding of $75,000, and significant technical assistance to develop and publicly launch an actionable blueprint outlining local financial empowerment strategies (e.g., financial education and counseling, asset building, access to banking, and consumer financial protection) and opportunities for broader systems investments to further equitable financial stability and address racial wealth equity.

Term of Contract
The CFE anticipates a 12-month engagement, with the following timeline.
- March 2024: Start of grant and cohort orientation session including CityStart University’s in-person orientation event in New York City.
- March to August 2024: CityStart University, landscape analysis and stakeholder and community engagement.
- September to January 2025: Blueprint development.
- February 2025 to April 2025: Final blueprint release. Please note strategies can be launched/announced on a rolling basis.

Contact Information
Apply online:

Please direct any questions to Sol Vilera Ramos, Senior Associate, (

Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund
44 Wall Street, Suite 1050
New York, NY 10005

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