Authored by John Fitterer
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CITC: By the Fundraising Numbers

July 15th, 2015 by John Fitterer

The numbers are counted, tabulated and recorded:  In its first year, the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) is a clear financial success for CDCs, the Commonwealth and, most importantly, Massachusetts residents.  As individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits from the outer beaches of the Cape to the rolling hills of the Berkshires learned about this new program, CDCs began to use the tax credit not simply to invite their historical supporters to increase their giving, but also welcomed hundreds of new donors to support their work. The Community Investment Tax Credit gathered speed through the second half of 2014, and concluded by generating $2.7 million from new donors. Overall, $4,709,998 was raised last year through the program. Critically, for every taxpayer dollar allocated toward the program, the Commonwealth realized $2.00 in community-directed donations, including $1.43 in totally new funding not previously available. While these are perhaps the biggest fundraising successes recorded for the first year of the CITC program, the details yield even more positive results worth sharing.

At first, MACDC staff were most concerned that CDCs with rural service areas would be the hardest pressed to execute effective fundraising strategies. After all, if the towns in which you work have no large corporations or foundations and just a few thousand people, it can be hard to raise money. But we were thrilled to be wrong. Hilltown CDC, for example, which has a service area sandwiched between the Pioneer Valley and the Berkshires had several donors step up to make contributions of $1,000 or more whereas in the past they had only donated a few hundred dollars. CDCs on the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard found incredible success too by reaching out to members of their community, even seasonal residents. This is not to overshadow the incredible fundraising efforts from CDCs in Boston and the Gateway cities, but the expectation, at first, was that urban communities, given the greater density of individuals, families and businesses, would find it easier to roll out a new fundraising initiative.

Patterns of how CDCs issued their credits are hard to identify as individuals, families, banks, businesses and nonprofits all participated. While one CDC had one donor consume all their credits and another had a handful of foundations use the tax credit to increase their grants, most CDCs found a balanced mix of individuals, financial institutions and local businesses, as 65% of all funds raised came from these two taxpayer categories. Sixty-seven percent of all new donations came from individuals and families, which raised 47% of all new revenue generated through the program in 2014. The average donation from individuals and families was $3,189.37. Of the 1,014 donations made last year, 610 were from individuals and families.  With this fundraising success, the CITC is achieving one of its fundamental goals of measurably diversifying the overall funding base of CDCs.

Additional highlights of the CITC program’s first year include the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley raising 23% of the total raised in 2014 or close to $1.1 million. We also estimate $250,000 came during the last week in December and that most donors made their donation in the 4th quarter of the year. This isn’t unusual, but it’s new to CDCs who are accustomed to budgeting their fundraising activities upon a grant and service contract schedule.

Notwithstanding all of this success, there is room for improvement. Not surprisingly, as a new program, the CITC got off to a slow start during the first half of 2014 and most donations did not arrive until the final quarter. A total of 79% of the credits available in 2014 were consumed. While these credits carry over to 2015, it means that CDCs will need to increase their collective fundraising by more than 200% in 2015.

If we were to draw a conclusion from the fundraising numbers for the first year, it would be that the tax credit is working and CDCs are stepping up to the opportunity that it brings. The public/private partnership model inherent in the CITC is poised to lift up new opportunities for neighborhoods and families across the Commonwealth.

Taxpayer Type # of donations % of donations $ donated % of Total raised % of $ from new donors
Construction 47 5% $220,240  5% 3%
Accounting Services 23 2% $61,200  1% 1%



3 0% $19,000  0% 0%
Wholesale/Retail Trade 20 2% $99,500  2% 1%
Finance Institution 89 9% $1,092,650  23% 14%
Insurance/Real Estate 41 4% $158,000  3% 2%
Business Services 22 2% $40,190  1% 0%
Health Services 8 1% $24,741  1% 0%
Legal Services 24 2% $64,950  1% 1%
Education Services 3 0% $8,000  0% 0%
Individuals 610 60% $1,945,518  41% 27%
Other 124 12% $976,009  21% 8%
Total 1014 100% $4,709,998 100% 58%

Mel King Institute Celebrates with 6th Anniversary Breakfast

June 30th, 2015 by John Fitterer

The Mel King Instiute had a wonderful annual breakfast complete with testimonials about their impact, a moving poem from Tufts students about race and the immigrant experience in America, and a insightful keynote speech by DHCD Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay on thinking about present problems with a mind towards future ones. The program ended with a recited poem by the Institute's namesake, Mel King. 

Thank you again to all our sponsors including our presenting sponsor, Citizens Bank! Our work would not be possible without your support.  

Boston LISC Expands Services across Commonwealth

April 30th, 2015 by John Fitterer

With the launch of the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) last year, Boston LISC committed to expanding the range of their services beyond their traditional focus on greater Boston to the entire Commonwealth.  With just over a year following the initial allocation of tax credits through the CITC program, Boston LISC is actively reaching out to provide new programs and services to Community Development Corporations across Massachusetts.“Boston LISC is working to bring resources to community development corporations across Massachusetts as a Community Support Organization.  We are building on the work we have been doing with MACDC as cofounders of the Mel King Institute.”Some of the highlights from LISC’s expansion of services over the past year:

  • Issued first two loans of LISC’s Transit Oriented Development Accelerator fund in Salem, MA
  • Provided $120,000 in capacity building grants to eight CDCs outside of Boston, including:
    • North Shore CDC
    • ACT (Lawrence)
    • Twin Cities CDC
    • CEDC
    • HAP
    • Franklin County CDC
    • Hilltown CDC
    • CDC of South Berkshire
  • Served CDC affordable housing owners statewide through LISC’s Green Retrofit Initiative
  • Expanded LISC AmeriCorps program from 11 members to 16 members, with residents at CDCs such as South Berkshire CDC, CEDC in New Bedford and North Shore CDC.

“This is another excellent way the CITC program is expanding and strengthening the Community Development field in Massachusetts,” noted Joe Kriesberg, MACDC President.  “Boston LISC has an incredible track record providing programs, services and funding to CDCs in communities and neighborhoods in greater Boston.  Now they are expanding this geographical focus and within one year the impact is substantial.”Learn more about Boston LISC.

People and Places Conference: National Convening Fosters Unity & Highlights Incredible Work

March 16th, 2015 by John Fitterer

Earlier this month, over 30 representatives from Massachusetts, including 4 MACDC staff, converged on Washington D.C., bringing snow and a city shutdown with them, to join peers from across the country for the People and Places Conference.  With close to 500 participants and 150 speakers, the conference highlighted the role that local practitioners are playing in fostering long-term, positive and durable change for low-income people and places. The conference was a joint project of the National Association of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA), the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB), the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) and the National Urban League.

The conference had four major themes that provided an overarching outline to addressing critical needs in low- and moderate-income communities:  community control, capital flow, neighborhood level economies and thriving people.  Dozens of workshops were included within each of these four themes – with several Massachusetts –based practitioners highlighting their work.  

“I was very pleased to see this conference achieve both of its core goals,” said MACDC President Joe Kriesberg, who is currently serving as chair of the NACEDA Board of Directors. “First, we wanted to foster greater unity within the community development field by bringing together diverse leaders from throughout the country. Second, we wanted to highlight the exciting work being done by local practitioners who are adapting and innovating to the changing times and creating a community development movement for the 21st Century.  We did both.”

Going forward, the conference organizers will seek to build on their emerging partnership to create a stronger voice for community development practitioners in Washington, DC.  There also appear to be some emerging opportunities for new collaborations across the sector in such diverse areas as pay-day lending and responding to gentrification and red-hot real estate markets.  Keep reading the MACDC Notebook to learn about these and other efforts as they unfold.

Say No To Crumbling Roads and Bridges

August 21st, 2014 by John Fitterer

On November 4th, Massachusetts voters will decide on a statewide ballot question that would eliminate a portion of the gas tax.  If Question 1 passes, it would be a step backwards, causing our roads, bridges, public transportation, bikeways and sidewalks to fall into further disrepair.  It will threaten the gains we’ve made towards a sustainable, healthy, and equitable transportation system.

We urgently need your help for NO on Question 1.

As you read this, more than half our bridges are deficient, unsafe or even closed from the Cape to the Berkshires.  Recent reforms and revenues have finally put us on the right track - but Question 1 would derail us, hurting our economy and compromising our safety.

Question 1 would eliminate a law that links the state gas tax to inflation. This transportation funding from gas tax indexing is constitutionally protected for transportation.  

To help grow the campaign to defeat Question 1, please do these things today:

1. Spread the Word.  Please share this information with your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues.

2. Sign up for updates.  Visit

3. Follow this campaign on Twitter @VoteNoOnQ1 and  #NoOnQ1MA.

We urge you to join us and vote NO on Question 1 on November 4th!

3 MACDC Members Receive Over $3.2 Million for YouthBuild Programs

August 12th, 2014 by John Fitterer

Photo: Congressman Tierney, Mickey Northcutt (CEO of North Shore CDC), and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez


On Wednesday, August 6th, North Shore Community Development Collaborative ($1,100,000), Community Teamwork ($1,067,145) and Just-A-Start Corporation ($1,100,000) were awarded grants by the United States Department of Labor for their YouthBuild programs.  Overall, 71 programs across the country received $73.6 million in funding for their YouthBuild programs, with five organizations in Massachusetts awarded support through this grant round.  These grants will help to sustain and develop critical programming that will provide necessary skills and resources for young men and women who stive to further themselves and advance in the construction fields. Many young adults living in the low- and moderate-income communities in which many CDC operate turn to YouthBuild programs to help them grow into successful adults who are able to not only support themselves and their families, but give back to their communities, and help create the necessary stability for neighborhoods that become thriving communities.

Learn more about this funding round and YouthBuild programming.

MACDC Interviews Governor Patrick

July 24th, 2014 by John Fitterer

On Wednesday, July 23rd, MACDC's President Joe Kriesberg sat down for an interview with Govenor Deval Patrick to talk about the Community Investment Tax Credit, why he signed into law this program and why CDCs are so important to all communities across the Commonwealth.  Check out the complete interview below!


CLICK HERE to view video.

2014 Lobby Day: A Focus on Small Business at the State House

April 24th, 2014 by John Fitterer

On Wednesday, April 16th, MACDC held its Annual Lobby Day at the State House with over 200 CDC board members, staff and community supporters joining us for meetings with elected officials and a lunchtime speaking program. This year’s Lobby Day focused on returning the Commonwealth’s Small Business Technical Assistance program back to its pre-recession funding level of $2 million in annual support, as well as increasing funding for the Mass. Rental Voucher Program and fully recapitalizing the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund (For more information, please review MACDC’s 2014 State Policy Priorities).

The highlight of the day was hearing from House Speaker, Robert DeLeo, who talked about the important role that CDCs play in expanding economic opportunity across the Commonwealth.  He recounted recent legislation that has been enacted in support of community development, including the Housing Bond Bill, Brownfields Redevelopment funding and, of course, the Community Investment Tax Credit.  Speaker DeLeo was introduced by Rep. Sarah Peake who used the opportunity to promote her proposed amendment to the House budget that would provide $2 million for Small Business Technical Assistance.

Indeed, much of the day was focused on Small Business, so our other lunchtime speaker was the cofounder of Chequessett Chocolate and Cafe, Josiah Mayo, who talked about how his local CDC, the Community Development Partnership, helped the company get started last year in Truro.  MACDC was also pleased to welcome State Senator Jamie Eldridge as the judge of the CDC table top displays our members set up to highlight their past projects and current programs.  The winners of this year’s competition where: First Place: The Neighborhood Developers; Runners Up: North Shore CDC and NOAH.

Highlights from the day included:

  • MACDC member organizations met with 61 elected officials
  • MetroWest Collaborative Development, a placed-based CDC paired with Accion, a state-wide organization to meet with seven legislators to discuss the value of  the Small Businesses Technical Assistance Program as well as the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund
  • Speaker of the House, Robert Deleo, affirming his confidence that the Commonwealth will raise the minimum wage this year
  • State Representative Sarah Peake somewhat guiltily acknowledging that prior to a dinner party, she and her wife ate all of the chocolate they had bought at Chequessett Chocolate before they could share it with their guests!

Check out photos from the day on Facebook!

Check out tweets from the day.

Community Investment Tax Credit Allocations Announced!

March 11th, 2014 by John Fitterer

MACDC is thrilled to join with Governor Patrick and the Commonwealth’s Department of Housing and Community Development in announcing the awarding of $3 million in tax credits to 38 nonprofits in Massachusetts.  

The Community Investment Tax Credit provides a 50% refundable tax credit to donors who invest in the Certified CDCs allocated tax credits through today’s award.  As a result, a total of $6 million will be made available this year to the participating organizations.

“The Community Investment Tax Credit will leverage private dollars for the state’s best CDCs so they can undertake high-impact, resident-led community development,” said Joseph Kriesberg, President of MACDC. “What is particularly exciting about this program is the way it brings together the public sector, the private sector and local communities to forge creative, bottom-up solutions that yield real results. This program will help to ensure that every community and every family has a better opportunity to fully participate in our economy.”

For a complete list of all CDCs allocated tax credits through the Community Investment Tax Credit program, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about the Community Investment Tax Credit program, CLICK HERE.

Media Coverage

Mass Nonprofit News (11/11/14)

DHCD Press Release

United Way of Mass Bay & Merrimack Valley Press Release

Boston Globe

Cape & Plymouth Business

Gateway Cities Journal

Lowell Sun

Patriot Ledger

Telegram & Gazette


Worcester Business Journal

Vineyard Gazette

Hyde Park Bulletin

South Coast Today

Banker & Tradesman

This Place Matters, Radio Interview with Joe Kriesberg & Jay Coburn

$15 Million for Brownfields Redevelopment Fund

February 18th, 2014 by John Fitterer

Last week, the Massachusetts Legislature voted to allocate $15 million for the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund in the Commonwealth’s Supplemental Budget.

“The Brownfields Redevelopment Fund is a vital resource for communities across Massachusetts as residents seek to clean up polluted sites in their neighborhoods and transform them into places where people can live, work and play,” commented MACDC’s President Joe Kriesberg. “$15 million is a strong start toward fully recapitalizing the Fund. We look forward to working with the legislature over the coming months to secure additional funding to keep cleaning up the Commonwealth.”

The Brownfields Redevelopment Fund is designed to support the cleanup of vacant or underutilized properties where environmental contamination prevents development or reuse, by providing both interest-free financing for environmental assessments and flexible loans for the environmental cleanup. Since the Fund was created by the Legislature in 1998, it has made 630 individual awards, totaling over $78 million. Over the past five years alone, the Fund supported the creation of 2,551 homes, 2,242 construction jobs, and an additional 2,191 jobs, expected to be created by fund borrowers. The fund was fully depleted in June, 2013.

As of April 2013, MassDevelopment had 26 projects that will receive funding only if the Fund is recapitalized. MACDC and its allies seek a total of $60 million to fully recapitalize the fund, even if it takes more than one year to achieve this level.


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