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$500,000 Investment in core operating support will enable Catalyst Miami to deepen community engagement and disaster preparedness work

APRIL 26, 2018, MIAMI, The Citi Foundation announced that Catalyst Miami was selected as the recipient of a $500,000 grant as part of the 2018 Community Progress Makers Fund. The Fund is a $20 million, two-year initiative by the Citi Foundation to support high-impact community organizations that are driving economic opportunities in our communities by bringing together residents, nonprofits, businesses, and municipal agencies. Catalyst Miami joins a group of 40 change agents who are playing a key role in coordinating the efforts of multiple partners toward common goals and working in new ways to address urban challenges in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington D.C.

“We launched this program in 2015 as our version of ‘venture philanthropy’ – a chance to invest in the vision and mission of these organizations who are helping positively transform their communities,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. “We’re pleased with the results from our inaugural Community Progress Makers and are looking forward to implementing the lessons we’ve learned with this next, impressive group of community leaders as they scale, innovate and drive impact.”

Nearly 60 percent of Miamians don’t have enough savings to cover basic life expenses for three months. So when a disaster – like Hurricane Irma – happens, they literally don't have the ability to ‘weather the storm'.

“Catalyst Miami has been working with a broad array of partners to help low-wealth residents prepare for, survive, and recover from natural disasters,” said Gretchen Beesing, CEO of Catalyst Miami. “This grant will enable us to deepen our community engagement and disaster preparedness work, integrating our financial coaching and benefits access platform, so that community members will be prepared when the next disaster hits.”

In 2016-2017, the inaugural cohort of Community Progress Makers helped more than 14,700 low-income people secure financial assets; built over 10,500 affordable housing units; strengthened more than 1,100 small businesses; and connected 1,800 young people to jobs in their communities.

Below is a full list of 2018 Community Progress Makers:

Chicago Commons
Elevate Energy
Greater Southwest Development Corporation
North Lawndale Employment Network

Los Angeles
East LA Community Corporation
Homeboy Industries
Koreatown Youth & Community Center
LISC Los Angeles
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
Los Angeles LGBT Center
United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Catalyst Miami
Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF)
The Miami Foundation
United Way of Miami-Dade
Urban League of Broward County

New York City
Brooklyn Workforce Innovations
Center for NYC Neighborhoods
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation
Green City Force
Hot Bread Kitchen
Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF)
Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners
Start Small Think Big
The HOPE Program
The POINT Community Development Corporation

San Francisco Bay Area
Enterprise Community Partners Northern CA
Jewish Vocational Service
Main Street Launch
Pacific Community Ventures
San Francisco Housing Development Corporation (SFHDC)
Social Finance

Washington, D.C.
Building Bridges Across the River
Byte Back
Latino Economic Development Center-LEDC
Mary’s Center


About Catalyst Miami
Catalyst Miami believes everyone deserves a healthy and financially secure life; but currently, two in three families in Miami don’t have enough savings to weather a financial emergency of any kind. For over 20 years, Catalyst Miami has committed to empowering residents to build better futures by providing family economic security programs, developing leadership and civic engagement, and building coalitions to address poverty. More detailed information about all their programs can be found on their website (

About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit

Molly Delahunty
[email protected]

Click here to see the Citi Foundation press release.


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