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Empowering Communities RFP now open

Ohio boasts a strong reputation for innovation combined with heart. The diverse nature of the state includes eight urban centers, sprawling Appalachian counties, countless suburban towns, and rural communities. As a result, Ohio serves as an economic, cultural, and political microcosm of the United States. That translates into being a hotbed of activity for test markets and pilots of all kinds.

Social issues and solutions are the key to economic growth and community stability. We are eager to leverage more than 200 outstanding Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA) community development organizations to accelerate and implement next-generation social innovation.

Empowering Communities Grant Challenge

Ohio CDC Association and the CareSource Foundation are tackling this head-on by launching the Empowering Communities Grant Challenge.

The Empowering Communities Grant Challenge opportunity will provide funding for innovative solutions to unique community challenges that involve the social determinants of health. The process consists of three stages:

  • Request for Proposal (RFP) process
  • Concept Presentation including Q&A
  • Implementation Phase

Requesting organizations must be a nonprofit member in good standing of Ohio CDC Association, and applications are due by 4 PM EST on May 4, 2018.


Do you need funding support for your programs?

Are you looking for ways to bolster your existing programs or find funding for new ones?

There are many ways Ohio CDC Association may be able to help. Do you know them all?

Empowering Communities – Innovation Funding to Combat the Social Determinants of Health
In late February 2018, OCDCA and the CareSource Foundation will release the Empowering Communities RFP. Empowering Communities is a project that provides a mechanism for funding new and innovative solutions to unique community challenges that involve the social determinants of health. This innovation funding is available to OCDCA members. Look for the RFP release in just a few weeks.

Social Enterprise Incubation Program
The Social Enterprise Incubation Program (SEIP) is an intensive four phase program consisting of rigorous training and tailored technical assistance for OCDCA members while they create their own social enterprise. This program culminates in a structured “shark tank” where the participating CDCs gain access to startup capital. More information about this technical assistance and funding program will be available in the coming months.

AmeriCorps VISTA
The Ohio CDC Association VISTA Project, created in 1995 as a partnership between the Ohio CDC Association and the Corporation for National and Community Service, places VISTA Members every June or July at OCDCA member organizations throughout the state. VISTA Members are full-time volunteers that serve at a non-profit organization and focus their efforts on building organizational, administrative, and financial capacity for organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, strengthen community groups, and otherwise assist low-income communities. OCDCA members pay only $1,600 broken into quarterly installments for this full-time AmeriCorps member. Additionally, OCDCA operates a VISTA Summer Associate program. Both RFPs for 2018 have passed, but will open again in December 2018.

Ohio Microbusiness Development Program
The purpose of the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program is to provide funding for OCDCA members to further develop a local delivery system that encourages microbusiness development, provides low- and moderate-income households with access to capital for business development and self-employment, and creates and retains long-term jobs in the private sector. The RFP for this program opens in the fall.

Funding Opps
Each month, OCDCA members receive a lengthy newsletter called Funding Opps, which lists countless funding opportunities for Ohio community development organizations, separated into the buckets of affordable housing; food access; community engagement; community economic development; and financial empowerment.

All of these programs are available on a competitive basis to OCDCA members. Joining is simple and can happen at any time. All new member dues are 50% off for the first year – no matter when they join, just use code NM2018.

For more information about membership, please contact Melissa Miller, Associate Director, at or (614) 461-6392 ext. 209.


People Working Cooperatively “Ramp it Up for Veterans” WCPO telethon raises $50,000 for veterans

Last week, Cincinnati-OCDCA member People Working Cooperatively, in partnership with WCPO conducted a telethon to raise funds to aid disabled and low-income elderly veterans with critical home repairs. In a four hour time span, the telethon raised over $50,000.

“The impact will be huge for these hometown heroes who are waiting for emergency home repairs, home modifications and more.”

Get the whole story here.


Scholarships available for social impact investing training

OCDCA is pleased to announce the next round of capacity building scholarships for our members to attend the Tony Wells Foundation’s three day executive leadership training course April 18 – 20, 2017.

A brief sample of this training was provided at the 2016 OCDCA Annual Conference last October during the Social Impact Investing workshop.

View the course flyer.

This training is designed to help nonprofit leaders expand their thinking beyond their own resource constraints as they work to solve social problems and focus on several topics, including:

  • Social enterprise,
  • Impact investing,
  • Strategic collaboration,
  • Sustainability,
  • Creative problem solving to help you expand your impact.

Scholarship awards will cover 85% of the course tuition, reducing the cost to just $300 per staff member. Scholarships are competitive as quantities are limited, and a small amount are reserved for rural organizations through the USDA Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) project.

Early application is strongly encouraged.

Apply by March 31.


Please direct any questions to Patrick Westerlund at pwesterlund AT

We hope you, our members, take advantage of this opportunity!


Funding Opps: HDGF & AmeriCorps

One of the benefits of Ohio CDC Association membership is a monthly newsletter called Funding Opps. As the year draws to a close, perhaps considering joining so as to receive these each month.

Here is a sample of the December 2016 issue:

Affordable Housing

HDGF Deadline is Today
The December Housing Development Gap Financing (HDGF) round is approaching. OHFA will start accepting applications on Dec. 4th, continuing until 5:00 in the evening on Dec. 15, 2016. OHFA will announce applicants that are invited to continue to final application on Dec. 22.
EfficiencyCrafted Homes Incentives
EfficiencyCrafted Homes provides financial incentives for new home construction or gut rehabs in Columbia Gas of Ohio or AEP Ohio territory. For more information about becoming an Efficiency Crafted builder, contact 1-877-771-5506 or

Financial Empowerment

Discover Foundation – Financial Literacy Funding
Requests are accepted and reviewed throughout the year. To be considered, an organization must be a qualified 501(c)(3) organization with program that emphasizes education or financial literacy. More information here.

Community Economic Development

FY17 Guidelines for Brownfields Assessment Grants
The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to publish guidance for grants to assess and clean up brownfield sites. EPA’s Brownfields Program provides funds to empower states, communities, tribes, and nonprofits to prevent, inventory, assess, clean up, and reuse brownfield sites. Under these guidelines, EPA is seeking proposals for Assessment Grants only, to provide funds to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning (including cleanup planning) and community involvement related to brownfield sites. Deadline is December 22.

Read the whole issue here.


Fundraising development TA opportunities available

OCDCA is pleased to, once again, partner with the Dublin, Ohio based Cramer & Associates to offer a fundraising TA opportunity.

This competitive opportunity will provide six OCDCA member organizations one-on-one fundraising TA. Note, two of these opportunities are reserved for rural organizations as part of the OCDCA USDA RCDI.

Specifically, Cramer & Associates will analyze and address:

* What is the most efficient and effective philanthropic program/structure?
* What development benchmarks need to be created?
* What role should the Board play relative to fundraising?
* What role should the Executive Director play as it relates to fundraising?
* How do we increase funding from current donors?
* Is the organization utilizing staff and volunteer time efficiently and effectively?

Opportunity recipients will partake in leadership meetings with Cramer & Associates. Selected organizations will receive an internal evaluation as well as an analysis report with strategic recommendations including a timeline for implementation, prioritized core goals, organizational structure, and action steps.

To apply, applicants must submit a brief application, which should take about 30 minutes to complete, by 5 pm December 1.



Don’t miss Dan Pallotta at the OCDCA annual conference

Join OCDCA this October to hear conference keynote Dan Pallotta

Dan Pallotta invented the multi- day charitable event industry. He created the Breast Cancer 3-Day walks and the multi-day AIDS Rides, which raised in excess of half a billion dollars in nine years and were the subject of one of the first HarPallotta headshotvard Business School case studies on social enterprise. The model and methods he created are now employed by dozens of charities and have raised in excess of $1.5 billion more for important causes from pediatric leukemia to AIDS to suicide prevention and many others.

Dan’s iconic TED 2013 Talk, “The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong,” has been viewed more than 3.9 million times. It is one of the 100 most viewed TED Talks of all time. It generated tremendous conversation, and is one of the twenty most-commented TED Talks of all time. It is one of the featured talks in the book, “TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking,” by Chris Anderson, Head of TED.

Dan is the author of Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential, the best-selling title in the history of Tufts University Press. The Stanford Social Innovation Review said that the book “deserves to become the nonprofit sector’s new manifesto.” His newest book is Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has described it as “An Apollo program for American philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.” Dan is a featured regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review online.

He is the founder and President of the Charity Defense Council, a national leadership movement dedicated to transforming the way the donating public thinks about charity and change. Dan is the Chief Humanity officer for Advertising for Humanity, a bold agency of ideas committed to strengthening the fundraising power of some of America’s most innovative humanitarian organizations.

“I believe deeply in the potential of people and the potential of our society. And I don’t think we’ve come anywhere close to tapping that potential. Nowhere close.” – Dan Pallotta

Register now to hear Dan Pallotta at the luncheon, sponsored by PNC Bank, and enjoy the early bird discount.

Early-Bird Conference Rates until September 16
Members: $180
Non-Members: $230
Students & Young Professionals: $100

Members – Additional Staff: $100
Non-Members – Additional Staff: $180
Register and pay via check to be invoiced or credit card to pay now.

Students & young professionals can apply for one of a limited number of registration scholarships until Sept. 1.

These early-bird rates disappear September 16th. The hotel room rate only lasts until September 18.

Ohio University Inn & Conference Center
331 Richland Avenue
Athens, Ohio 45701

Rate: $114.95/night until September 18
Call (740) 593-6661 to book

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OCDCA awarded nearly $160,000 in federal funding for rural community development

We are very excited to announce that we were awarded $159,463 through the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI). We will use these funds to provide technical assistance to 37 rural nonprofit community-based housing and development organizations statewide.

Senator Sherrod Brown‘s office issued a press release for this award this week, stating, “Ohio’s rural communities will benefit greatly from this investment and from the community development efforts guided by the Ohio CDC Association,” said Brown. “These federal funds will support the Ohio CDC Association’s critical work to help local organizations implement successful programs in their communities – building strong neighborhoods and enhancing residents’ opportunities.”

With these funds, we plan to

  • Hold 12 rural-specific trainings in the 3 year grant period.
  • Provide fund development technical assistance to 9 of these organizations in the 3 year grant period
  • Provide 12 AmeriCorps VISTAs to these organizations in the 3 year grant period.

Nate Coffman, OCDCA’s executive director, states, “The Ohio CDC Association is excited to receive this support from USDA Rural Development to provide assistance to 37 rural nonprofit community-based development organizations to improve their capacity to serve the needs of rural Ohioans in affordable housing, community facilities, and community and economic development. By focusing on attracting alternative funding sources, professional development, and placement of rural-focused AmeriCorps VISTA members we look forward to assisting dozens of rural community developers across the state serve their communities.”

We are very excited for this opportunity to focus time and resources to help build the capacity of our rural members.


Do you have a passion for helping others?

If so, spend the next year helping uplift Ohio communities through the OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTA project. You will develop a state-wide revolving loan fund; promote social enterprise among nonprofits; and research and seek funding for innovative programming.


Benefits include: choice of end of year educational award or cash stipend; free downtown Columbus parking or bus pass; possible childcare assistance, and a modest living allowance and the opportunity to participate in statewide networking events. This is the perfect opportunity for college graduates or someone looking to make a career change to the nonprofit sector. For questions, email Melissa Miller, at

Check out the position here!


We found it helpful; we hope you can too

After offering two highly reduced fundraising TA opportunities with experts Cramer and Associates last fall, we are very excited to offer four of them this fall.

Last year, we received about twenty applications for the engagement where members received three days of direct TA with months of follow up. While most of the applications were great, we finally chose two: Yellow Springs Home, Inc. and Slavic Village Development Corporation in Cleveland.

These organizations, while very different, received customized assistance as well as a timeline for implementation, prioritized core goals, organizational structure, and action steps. Both organizations reported positive results and are actively working at achieving the goals set forth through this TA.

Cramer and Associates don’t change your plan; they help you best meet your goals (or determine them).

This past summer, OCDCA was pleased to work with them for our fund development endeavors. I won’t say too much on the subject as we are still working with the timeline and planning our next steps, but Mike and Dawn did an amazing job in challenging us to think differently (the staff, board, etc.). We found it helpful; we hope you can too.

We reaffirmed our mission and are ready to look to the future to accomplish both our mission and vision of a community development culture that comprehensively improves life opportunities for all residents.

If you haven’t looked at the application yet or are thinking of not applying, I encourage you to consider it further. The application only takes about thirty-sixty minutes to complete, and there is no cost to apply. Who knows? You might be surprised at the outcomes for your organization.

To apply, submit a brief application by 5 pm Friday, November 13, 2015. Please note, awarded organizations must contribute $500 as a commitment and be a current member of Ohio CDC Association.

Thanks for reading! I hope you take the time to apply. Have a lovely day! -Lisa