Since its inception in 2014, the Massachusetts Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program has been an integral and reliable source of funding for Community Development Corporations (CDCs) across the state. Despite the still many unknowns and knowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, CDCs raised over $16.5 million. The CITC program provides an avenue of fundraising for CDCs that allowed for the growth and adaptation of programs across the state in response to the pandemic. Here we will go through a few of the critical ways in which CITC was helpful in 2021.
Every year CDCs are required to complete the MACDC GOALs report. This report collects data on the six main aspects of CDC work: community leader engagement; families supported; homes built or preserved, job opportunities created or preserved; and funds invested by CDCs in local communities. The CITC program provides funding that is needed for agencies to best serve their constituents in the ways that they most need.
In 2021 CDCs reported:
- 1,717 homes were created or preserved
- 6,744 jobs were created or preserved
- 3,416 entrepreneurs were provided technical or financial assistance
- 86,124 families were served
- $1.45 billion was invested – the first time ever CDC investment reached over 1 billion!
To tell the story visually we will use 3 key points: how the CITC program helped CDCs grow their staffing, expand and/or add to their program, and capital improvements.
The ever-growing demand for the services that CDCs provide has meant that staff capacity is often stretched. With the help of the CITC program, many of our CDC's were able to expand their staffing levels in the areas most important to the work they do in their communities. In 2021 89% of CDCs reported that they were able to expand their staffing. The CITC program provides the flexibility agencies need to add staff where they are most needed to meet the needs of the communities they serve. The pandemic meant that most agencies were pivoting on a consistent basis to keep up with the needs of their communities. 57% of CDCs reported that they were able to increase their program staff levels which was critical to being able to keep up with the growing demand of services offered.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic raged on in 2021, with the help of the CITC program many CDCs were able to expand or even add on services to continue to serve their community members with what they were most in need of. Across all areas of work, 85% of CDCs were able to either add additional programs to their repertoire or expand upon their existing programs as the demand grew. In 2021 42% of CDCs added or expanded their services to youth and elderly in their communities, highlighting the growing need for these populations.
In 2021 CDC's were able to improve their infrastructure technologically, physically, and intellectually. While we often think of infrastructure in the sense of bridges, roads, and buildings, we cannot forget the ever-growing importance of infrastructure within an organization. It is the infrastructure that allows agencies, and their staff, to meet the needs of their community members. Nearly 50% of all CDCs were able to make capital improvements such as upgraded communication systems to better reach their clients and community members, upgraded equipment that allowed their staff to work better in an every-changing hybrid work world, and the ability to have staff attend more trainings continuing to grow their professional development.
When the legislation for CITC was passed in 2012 the collective of CDCs across the state knew what this would mean for them, but the outcomes of the program have continued to exceed the vision that was initially set forth. As a program that brings together public and private support to address critical community needs, the CITC program strengthens bedrock institutions that are mission driven to ensure that all Massachusetts residents have an opportunity to thrive.