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Congressman David Joyce learns about importance of HUD funding

OCDCA is working with the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) to make the long-term case to key Ohio congressional officials about the importance of adequately funding community development and affordable housing in the HUD budget.

Congressman David Joyce (R – Geauga County) recently attended an educational convening with COHHIO and OCDCA members at the offices of Extended Housing in Painesville and learned about how housing is foundational to success and how federal programs work together to leverage resources to uplift the community.

From L to R – Gina Wilt (COHHIO), Karen McLeod (Extended Housing), Congressman David Joyce, Nate Coffman (OCDCA), Bill Faith (COHHIO)

Our organizations will continue to make the case in DC and throughout Ohio. We greatly thank Representative Joyce for spending the day with us, and our members who helped demonstrate their critical work.


OCDCA releases 2017 annual report

Group photo after the Friday morning Member Awards Breakfast at the 2017 OCDCA Annual Conference in Toledo, October 5-6.

The Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA) is a statewide membership organization that fosters vibrant neighborhoods and improves the quality of life in all communities through advocacy and capacity building of our member agencies.

OCDCA has just released its 2017 Annual Report.

Special thanks to our members, partners, sponsors, and funders for supporting us through 2017.

You can read the annual report on our website. While there, you can subscribe to receive our newsletters to learn about these things first and consider a donation to strengthen the work of the OCDCA network.

We look forward to continuing our work with all partners, funders, and members. We had a great year and are looking forward to an even better 2018!




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.


RFP Open: AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate

Jump-start your summer with a VISTA Associate

The AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate program is a 10 week initiative that offers organizations the opportunity to engage individuals in their community and get help enhancing existing programs.

The OCDCA AmeriCorps Summer VISTA RFP, which is separate from the year-long VISTA RFP, is now available.

Applications are due by February 9, 2018.

Funding for the OCDCA VISTA Project is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Limited slots are available; therefore, this is a competitive process.

This will be your only opportunity in 2018 to apply for OCDCA VISTA Summer support.

For questions or technical assistance, please contact Alana Perez at aperez AT or by phone at 614-461-6392 ext. 204.

Join us next week for a webinar that will provide an overview of the AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate program.

What Is The OCDCA VISTA Summer Associate? / January 31, 2018 / 10:00 – 11:00 AM


ICYMI: AmeriCorps VISTA year-long sub-site RFP available

RFP Opportunity Details

OCDCA welcomes current, good standing members to submit an application to become a sub-site to the OCDCA VISTA Project to begin summer 2018.

Funding for the OCDCA VISTA Project is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), US Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI), and the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) through the Ohio Housing Trust Fund (OHTF). Limited slots are available; therefore, this is a competitive process and some slots will be reserved for housing-only and rural-only initiatives.

This will be your only opportunity in 2018 to apply for OCDCA VISTA support.

If your organization is interested in becoming a sub-site of the OCDCA VISTA Project, please complete the RFP by 5 PM January 19, 2017.

Applying organizations must be members of OCDCA, and the membership process is easy. Brand new members may receive 50% off their dues by using code NMVISTA at checkout.

For questions or technical assistance, please contact Melissa Miller at or by phone at 614-461-6392 ext. 209.

Need TA on the Application?

AmeriCorps VISTA RFP TA Webinar   /   January 16, 2018   /   2:00 – 3:30 PM   /   Register Here!

This webinar will go through common errors in applications and what makes a great application. This is a great time to get all your RFP questions answered.


CareSource Foundation makes significant contribution for social determinants of health

(Front, L to R) Emily Seibel, Judy Jackson, Cathy Ponitz, Jamar Doyle, (Back, L to R) Steve Torsell, Nate Coffman

On October 6th, Ohio CDC Association announced a major gift from and exciting new partnership with the CareSource Foundation for the new Empowering Communities initiative. 

Community development organizations need a mechanism to synthesize ideas and neighborhood feedback to develop innovative, homegrown solutions to their unique challenges. In doing so, they empower their communities. Community development organizations not only listen to their community, but work directly with their neighbors to respond to these pressing problems. Working collectively and inclusively to solve problems results in diverse and truly innovative solutions.

The Empowering Communities program will encourage groups to test and pilot innovative, community-driven solutions to some of their neighborhood’s most pressing problems. This inaugural cohort of the program will provide implementation grants to OCDCA members to test innovative solutions to pressing community challenges related to the social determinants of health. While testing their solution, they will receive technical assistance from OCDCA and undergo an outside evaluation.

We are so excited to work with the CareSource Foundation and see what projects will come from this work.

Since 2006, the CareSource Foundation has awarded almost 1,200 grants to nonprofits who are working to eliminate poverty, provide much-needed services to low-and moderate-income families, encourage healthy communities, develop innovative approaches to address critical health issues and enhance the lives of a diverse array of children, adults and families.

Empowering Communities will begin in the first part of 2018, and we are more than excited for our new relationship and partnership with the CareSource Foundation to bring this program to realization in Ohio. Thank you, CareSource Foundation! 


Scholarships for social impact investing seminar

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 December 12-14, 2017.

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 covers 85% of the course tuition, reducing the cost to just $300 per staff member. Two scholarships are available, and one of the scholarships will be used for a member in the USDA Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI).

Interested applicants can apply here by December 1.


OCDCA receives significant gift from Bank of America for social enterprise

Ohio CDC Association is delighted to announce a significant gift from the Bank of America Foundation for the new Social Enterprise Incubation Program.

The Social Enterprise Incubation Program (SEIP) provides training and development for community development corporations (CDCs) interested in expanding into social enterprise activities. Social enterprises are entrepreneurial activities that provide social good while generating a profit. The SEIP is a four phase academy where CDCs complete rigorous social enterprise training and receive technical assistance from OCDCA. It culminates in a pitch competition where CDCs receive investment funds.

Phase One of the SEIP allows 30 CDC staff or board members (two from fifteen organizations) to attend an introduction workshop. Because initiating a social enterprise requires complete buy-in from the organization’s stakeholders as well as a considerable amount of time, planning, and resources, each participant completes an assessment to gauge their organization’s readiness. In Phase Two, twelve CDC staff or board members (two from six organizations) are sent to a three day social enterprise boot-camp. In Phase Three, three organizations receive technical assistance to help shape their enterprise idea. Phase Three culminates in a shark tank where the CDCs pitch to a room of investors. In Phase Four, one to two organizations receive startup capital and an OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTA to help implement their social enterprise.

The SEIP will begin in the first part of 2018, and we are more than excited to expand our relationship with Bank of America to bring this program to realization in Ohio. Thank you, Bank of America! We could not do this work without your support!



What’s happening? Microbusiness, budgets, & we’re hiring

A brief sample of our September 2017 newsletter: What’s Happening in Ohio Community Development?

OCDCA Receives Significant Gift from Fifth Third Bank for Microbusiness

OCDCA created the Ohio Microbusiness Recoverable Grant Fund to provide a sustainable pool of funding to the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program’s community development organizations, who can then use the funds to make loans to local microentrepreneurs in their community. We at Ohio CDC Association are  eager to announce that the OMBDP Recoverable Grant Fund received a significant gift from Fifth Third Bank. As this program gets rolling, we are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Fifth Third Bank to bolster Ohio microbusiness development programs and low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs throughout the state.

The Ohio Microbusiness Recoverable Grant Fund (RGF) is a statewide fund, from which OCDCA makes recoverable grants to sub-sites of OCDCA’s Microbusiness Development Grant Program, in order for the sub-site to then make loans to their low-to-moderate income microentrepreneur clients. Loan repayments are paid back to the subsite who repays OCDCA to replenish the grant fund, so that more grants for loans to microentrepreneurs can be made in the future.

Thank you, Fifth Third Bank!

2018 Ohio Micro
business Development Program Funding
OCDCA welcomes current, good standing members to apply for the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program. The maximum grant award is $40,000. Of this, up to 10% may be used for administrative expenses. The structure of the lending allocation for the microbusiness program has changed. The application is due by 4:00 pm on October 10, 2017. For questions, please contact David Foust at dfoust AT


Farewell, David!
After six years of dedication, October 25th is David Foust’s last day with the Ohio CDC Association. David joined the OCDCA in September 2011. His primary responsibilities included leading an industry marketing and branding initiative, overseeing the microbusiness development program, as well as new programming initiatives. Prior to this role, he served as the OCDCA Membership Manager where he assisted in coordinating membership activities, including training and technical assistance.

He won’t be out of our network though, as he joins member Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT) working to revitalize Columbus’s Near East Side. David will be missed, but we wish him the best on the next stages of his career!

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