The , in partnership with the , has announced the launch of the , a $10 million initiative to identify and support successful community-driven approaches to expanding economic opportunity for low-income individuals and communities across the United States.
Over the next six months, the challenge will seek to identify organizations with a proven, scalable approach to helping low-income and financially insecure people find and keep well-paid, meaningful work and achieve financial security and/or build economically vibrant neighborhoods. This could include a nonprofit program, an organizing or advocacy model, a new technology or platform, or an economic development strategy that delivers significant results in any of the following areas: better work (including improving job quality, pay, and worker benefits, or creating well-paying jobs for low-income or otherwise marginalized working people); skills development and opportunity matching (connecting low-income people with work and the skills they need to succeed in a changing labor market); financial security (enabling underserved and financially insecure working people and their families to better manage unanticipated changes in their income and expenses without experiencing periods of poverty or being forced to rely on predatory debt); and economically vibrant communities (building neighborhoods, cities, or towns that foster economic stability and mobility for residents who have historically been excluded or marginalized, and ensuring that their neighborhoods benefit from a region's economic growth and vibrancy).
Up to ten organizations will receive grants of $1 million, as well as technical assistance and an opportunity to share their stories on the national stage. In addition, representatives of the Rockefeller Foundation and CZI will visit about a dozen communities, where they will meet with local government officials, community leaders, organizers, employers, and families. When the challenge concludes in October, a searchable database of eligible applicants will be published to help funders, policy makers, and others identify and learn more about approaches that are already making a difference in communities across the country.
"This challenge is about ensuring more people in America have access to a good job and a secure future," said Rockefeller Foundation president Rajiv J. Shah. "At a time when we lack broad consensus about how to address the economic challenges facing our cities and towns, the Communities Thrive Challenge recognizes the potential of people and organizations taking action in their own communities and shares their lessons with a national audience to improve economic mobility in communities everywhere."
For more information and/or to register for the challenge (deadline: June 12, at 5:00 PST), visit the website.