CDFA will review proposals for Community Economic Development Capacity Building funds based upon need, and innovation and effectiveness of the proposed activity. Applications will be reviewed on potential in encouraging the development of strong and successful organizations. CDFA will also consider the applicant’s likelihood of attaining sustainable capital for the activity and the extent to which the grant will encourage the exchange of information among community development organizations and cooperatives.

Available Funding

CDFA will award up to a total of $750,000 in tax credits to the Community Economic Development Capacity Building program over two years. For the first time, Community Economic Development Capacity Building program applicants are eligible to request up to $75,000 a year for two years (max $150,000 over two years).

A portion (20%) of the Community Economic Development Capacity Building program tax credit award is set aside to support the administration of the Tax Credit Program, as well as CDFA’s statewide investments, technical assistance, data collection, research, and general operations. Applicants should calculate and submit their total request based on this 80% effective award, taking the set-aside into account. For example, if your Community Economic Development Capacity Building program project needs $60,000 for implementation, the total request would be for $75,000 ($75,000 x .8 = $60,000).

Funding Priorities

The following section provides further clarification and examples of the funding priorities that are described in the Program Overview and Objectives section.

Applications for the following activities are prioritized:

  • Projects or collaborations that build the capacity of priority populations and organizations to implement community economic development solutions and traditional infrastructure projects.
  • Groups and organizations that have been historically under resourced and, therefore, have a greater financial need and a reduced ability to raise these funds from other sources.

Examples of high priority Community Economic Development Capacity Building Program type projects:

  • An organization or set of partners that have a community asset (for example a building, community space, piece of land, a loan, etc..) in place and need to deepen community engagement or bring in additional relationships to figure out how to engage that asset in ways that will drive the greatest benefit to target populations.
  • An organization or set of partners that have an asset or are looking to acquire an asset and need to identify the right legal, financial, and governance structure to manage the asset.
  • A group that is looking to establish a new leadership or governance structure for its organization or project to address a community economic development challenge.
  • A priority population organization developing new partnerships and/or collaborating with a well-established organization so that both have the capacity to engage in a traditional infrastructure project.

While not expressly disallowed, applications for the following activities will not be given priority:

  • Operating expenses, deficit-reduction or expenses already incurred.
  • Pre-development expenses and project costs that are supported through other CDFA funding streams. Pre-development expenses might include architectural designs, energy audits, market studies, appraisals and other expenses that are typical of the pre-development project phase.
  • Activities that support an existing/launched/proceeding/underway organizational strategy.
  • Requests that are typically the responsibility of federal, state, or municipal funding sources.
  • Replacement of typical revenue sources (contributions, grants or earned income, etc.).
  • Capital campaign activities not explicitly tied to a specific project or program.
  • Projects whose primary beneficiaries are not New Hampshire residents/individuals and/or whose primary activities are not located in or benefit New Hampshire communities.

Prior Investments

CDFA has awarded tax credit funds to the following organizations which clearly illustrate the funding priorities of the program.

  • Positive Street Art: Positive Street Art works to inspire a passion for the urban arts and to build strong communities through educational workshops, community events and artistic services. They will use Tax Credit funds to build staff capacity to facilitate new and sustained collaboration across organizations and stakeholders in Nashua and the greater region. This will help to sustain and grow programming to support the community and build safe spaces for marginalized populations.
  • Victory Women of Vision: Victory Women of Vision will use Tax Credits for a new leadership initiative for immigrants and refugees within the greater Manchester and Concord communities with the goal to build economic security and strengthen the safety net for New American families.
  • City of Lebanon: CDFA funds supported the City of Lebanon to develop a business plan and explore the development of a platform to prepare for the launch of Lebanon Community Power, a community choice aggregation program. A municipal aggregation program is an innovative, forward-looking program that if developed will provide an effective and local tool for the purchase of energy.
  • G.A.L.A. Community Center (Wolfeboro): CDFA funds supported the development of Makers Mill, a green makerspace and incubator, in Wolfeboro, through business planning and investments in the organization’s capacity.
  • Nashua Soup Kitchen: CDFA funds provided opportunities to explore innovative options for improving access to food in four underserved neighborhoods of Nashua with significant low-income populations. Specifically, the program explored new ways to distribute food to more challenged populations, including the elderly and children who might be unable to either come to the existing facility or carry enough food due to distance and transportation issues.
  • Overcomers Refugee Services (ORS): Overcomers will use Tax Credits to deepen capacity and build an initiative to help refugees help other refugees become trained, employed, housed, and contributing citizens of New Hampshire. The project will enable the organization to improve systems, training, and support services that will help ORS explore new and expanded services. ORS is led by and works with immigrant community members. They have demonstrated strong community impact in their efforts to support immigrant community members in finding employment, starting small businesses, and placing them in stable housing.
  • Northern Forest Center (Lancaster): CDFA funds enabled the organization to increase its presence and impact within its community. Funded boots-on-the-ground approach to community economic development, engaged local businesses and leadership to create solutions specific to their needs and community.
  • Spark the Dream: Spark the Dream has a vision of providing a place for young African immigrants to connect to their roots and culture. The capacity building funds will support Spark the Dream in acquiring a building so that they can provide critical learning and cultural programming to African children and youth in Manchester.
  • Business Alliance of People of Color: The Business Alliance for People of Color will use funds to deepen capacity as they transition from an all-volunteer organization to hiring staff. The project will enable BAPOC to continue to build its model for leveraging local, state, and federal resources to expand diversity, equity and inclusion, wealth building and social capital for the betterment of New Hampshire’s minority owned businesses, underserved communities, and economic vitality.
  • Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative: CDFA funds furthered the development of the innovative, non-profit NH Solar Shares program. NH Solar Shares provided interested donors the opportunity to gift locally generated clean solar energy to low-income New Hampshire families needing assistance with their electric bills. The goal is to develop multiple, mid-size solar arrays using charitable donations where the value of the solar energy generated will be credited to low-income families’ electric bills and to develop an energy use education plan.


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