What are CDCs doing with funds raised through the CITC program?

Since the CITC program started last year, there has understandably been much discussion about how CDCs across Massachusetts are raising new funds and diversifying their overall funding base (CITC: By the Fundraising Numbers). But what’s of even greater importance is how these organizations are actually using these funds to deepen their impact on people and places. Even though 2014 was the first year of the Community Investment Tax Credit, and the majority of donations arrived during the final quarter of the year, we are already beginning to see the impact of this program.

MACDC and DHCD surveyed all 36 CDCs that participated in the CITC program in 2014 and found that 64% of them expanded their organization’s goals and 89% deepened their community engagement. Check out the table (PDF) to see all of the results from our survey.

A core goal of the CITC Program is to encourage and support CDCs to meaningfully engage local residents in leadership roles. So we were pleased to see that 89% of the CDCs reported that the program helped them expand their community engagement work, 67% said it resulted in more board engagement, and 58% said it helped generate more volunteers. A second goal of the CITC program was to help CDCs offer a more comprehensive array of programs to their community that combines real estate development with business development, family asset building and community programing. Many CDCs are using their new CITC funds to do just that with CDCs also using it boost their small business work (25%), their workforce development activities (22%), their family asset building programs (33%) and their programs for youth & seniors (25%).

CITC funds are typically unrestricted, which means that they can also be used to build internal capacity. Therefore, we were not surprised to learn that 83% reported that they increased their operational capacity, with 33% of CDCs using CITC to expand their communications capacity; 28% to expand fundraising capacity; and 28% to improve information systems critical to measuring impact. This was indeed part of what we hoped to accomplish with the program since these capacities are key attributes of successful, 21st century CDCs. Equally exciting, 89% of the CDCs said the program would help them increase their organizational budget and 75% said it would help them leverage non-CITC funding.

The CITC program is just getting started.  The early results suggest that the program is both growing resources for the field and enabling CDCs to strengthen and deepen their efforts. At the same time, we have room for growth and room for improvement. MACDC looks forward to working with our members and partners to ensure that CITC program reaches its full potential to help the people and places of Massachusetts thrive.