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Funding Portal Launches for CRA-Eligible Projects

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond launched an online portal today that will give nonprofits in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and parts of Virginia (Northern, Southside, Central and Hampton Roads regions) an opportunity to connect with funders whose support can help fulfill their missions to serve vulnerable communities and small businesses.

Through Investment Connection, which premiered in the Richmond Fed region last year, organizations may submit community and economic development projects through an online Request for Proposal application process. Projects deemed potentially eligible under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) are those that specifically support small businesses or that serve or are located in low- to moderate-income or non-metropolitan, middle-income distressed or underserved communities.

These projects will be featured in an online database on the Richmond Fed website. This database will be accessible to bankers, CDFIs, foundations and other funding entities seeking to invest in their region. A select number of eligible proposals that are the first to apply during the application period will be invited to “pitch” their ideas to multiple potential funders.

The application process opens today and extends through May 1. Eligible organizations can submit proposals by accessing the portal on our Investment Connection webpage.

Nonprofits that fit the funding criteria — offering programs focused on affordable housing, employment training, digital inclusion and more — should apply by the May 1 deadline. A video that offers guidance on the application process can be viewed on the Investment Connection website.

Additionally, organizations can learn more by participating in an April 9 Facebook Watch Party being hosted by the Richmond Fed’s Community Development staff guiding the Investment Connection program.

Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve issued a joint statement with the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) and the FDIC to encourage support for communities and businesses impacted by COVID-19.Organizations that fit this criteria will be given full consideration during the application process.

“We encourage organizations working on the frontlines in our communities helping low- and moderate-income populations respond to the impacts of COVID-19 to submit a proposal and take advantage of the opportunity to connect with potential funders,” said Christy Cleare, assistant vice president of Community Development.

Visit Investment Connection to learn more or to submit an application.

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