The Community Preservation Corporation has awarded $500,000 to ten nonprofits as part of its new philanthropic initiative, CPC Connections.
CPC, a nonprofit multifamily housing finance company, targeted local organizations throughout New York state whose work promotes environmental justice, racial wealth equity, and provides COVID-19 relief resources.
Green City Force, Community League of the Heights/CLOTH, Youth Construct Program, Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region, Nepperhan Community Center, Inc., Hester Street Collaborative, House of Mercy, Nassau Community College, Rockland Housing Action Coalition Inc. were selected through an inclusive process following lower-scale community work in the early stages of the pandemic, according to an announcement CPC made about the funding in mid-July.
Initially, Jaime Sharrock, CPC’s vice president of external affairs noted how over the course of the past two years the organization “took a look at communities where we have a presence and obviously noticed that a lot of communities – and nonprofits – were being impacted by the pandemic.”
Groups that CPC had worked with previously reached out saying “‘Hey, we need a little bit of extra help and there are ways that you can help us.’”
With that, CPC began supporting local organizations across New York state, from Buffalo to the Washington Heights. Within the boundaries of CDC guidelines, staffers engaged other nonprofits in a number of volunteer activities as the pandemic continued. There came a point when supporting these groups on a small scale sparked the desire to contribute more, given the challenging situation.
In the fall of 2021, during the early stages of the selection process for recipients, 17 organizations were originally considered, chosen in collaboration with CPC’s staff who had the opportunity to nominate groups whose work they were familiar with. In the end, after meeting the established criteria and passing through a final committee, ten organizations made the cut, receiving a total of $500,000.
“I think there’s a great need for flexible capital [for] these organizations so that they can ramp up their efforts [and] build upon their foundation [for] success. [The nonprofits that were selected, we believe, really appreciated] that we didn’t create a rigid box that they had to fall into. We said ‘You’re an organization that’s aligned with these broad goals at the highest level. Tell us what you’re doing and how we can help you,’” Sharrock said.
In addition to financial help for organizations like the ten selected by CPC, Sharrock pointed out that volunteering is another reliable way for nonprofit groups or even individuals to get involved.
“People that [can] volunteer their time to work and support these organizations is [another] way people can get involved. People were very receptive to CPC staff volunteering to do specific things in line with their mission[s].”
As pandemic restrictions have changed to allow more in-person engagement, CPC has plans for a Volunteer Day with Green City Force scheduled for early August. Sharrock said CPC also plans to issue another round of grants in the upcoming fiscal year.
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