Pilot Program to Engage and Align with Community Development Finance Sector in Innovative Projects Focused on Building Resilience
NEW YORK – 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) has received a $200,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to engage the community development finance sector in resilience-building projects across the 100RC Network and beyond. Strongly aligned with the overall mission of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), impact investors, mission-related investors and their partners, the program seeks to elevate awareness and connectivity between the resilience finance and community development finance sectors, as well as engage investment opportunities in projects delivering innovative solutions.
“This work is essential in addressing the gap between the urban resilience projects prioritized by our 25 U.S. cities, and identifying resources to actually enable the projects to come to fruition,” said Elizabeth Yee, VP for Resilience Finance at 100 Resilient Cities. “Because of the nature of CDFI capital and focus on inclusive and vibrant communities, community development finance plays a critical role in capital mobilization for this ecosystem. This is why we are working to elevate urban challenges and resilience in the community development finance sphere, as well as move the needle on overall resilience adoption.”
Community development financial models and partners, combined with the work of CDFIs in cities in which they already invest, prove to be a natural nexus with the practice of resilience – the capacity of a city and its systems to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience. To explore these shared values and grow impact, the resilient finance program will focus on building pathways to economic mobility, helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.
CDFIs and their funding partners have for decades been active in the community and economic development arenas – including disaster response and recovery. Responding to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and even terrorist attacks, CDFIs have accelerated recovery by providing grants to affected individuals, forbearance to their impacted borrowers, and loans to repair businesses, homes, and social service facilities.
Through a set of activities which range from focus groups and convenings with regional partners, to developing a resilient investment filter and prospectus of projects, the program will:
- Promote community development finance investments in urban resilience projects;
- Raise awareness among community development finance practitioners, funders, and institutions on urban resilience and its capacity for driving local impact;
- Design and encourage the use of workshops, tools, and programs to embed resilience thinking in community development finance models;
- Explore the role of community development finance, partners, and investors in locations affected by natural disasters and climate change, using the “recovery through resilience” lens;
- Grow a long-term partnership which welcomes the community development finance sector into the greater urban resilience movement.
“We’re supporting 100 Resilient Cities to engage CDFIs in resilience-building projects,” said Amy Brusiloff, senior CDFI relationship manager, Bank of America. “As cities grow and become more connected, the impacts of global resilience challenges are felt more and more at the community level. As a leading provider of capital to CDFIs, we value their ability to bring innovative solutions to complex challenges, and the impact they will have in communities through this work.”
100 Resilient Cities supports its member cities with, among other benefits, financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, the Chief Resilience Officer. These visionary leaders drive local resilience efforts, including the development of a holistic Resilience Strategy reflecting the priorities of hundreds to thousands of stakeholders in their cities, and which are built with significant 100RC expert support throughout the process. Twenty-five cities in the United States are members of the global 100RC Network, 14 of which have publicly released Resilience Strategies and are actively working on their implementation. The 558 projects and initiatives within these Strategies are not only actionable, but also address multiple challenges at one time, thereby improving services and saving resources. The “resilience dividends” or co-benefits which emerge as a result demonstrate a clear stratum for community development finance engagement.
About Bank of America
At Bank of America, our focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors is critical to fulfilling our purpose of helping make people’s financial lives better. Our commitment to growing our business responsibly is embedded in every aspect of our company. It is demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our customers, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocate groups, such as community and environmental organizations, in order to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation
100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a Resilience Strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.