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Citizens Bank launches community economic development grant program in Massachusetts

The Citizens Bank Foundation today announced a call for applications for its Growing Communities initiative in Massachusetts. Through the Growing Communities initiative, the Citizens Bank Foundation will award up to $150,000 in grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 for projects that contribute to the resiliency of neighborhoods by fostering economic growth.

 

Applications may include efforts for neighborhood revitalization in distressed communities, support for local economic activity, creation of small businesses, job creation and other creative and collaborative responses to make a neighborhood a better place to live and work. The application deadline is Thursday, September 19, 2013.

 

“Investing in the health of our local communities by funding key community partners is a priority for Citizens Bank and we are proud that our Growing Communities initiative will support and encourage neighborhood-based economic development activities throughout our Commonwealth,” said Jerry Sargent, President of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, Massachusetts. “With funding from Citizens Bank, grant recipients can invest in the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of small business people who contribute to the well-being of communities across Massachusetts.”

 

Growing Communities is part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, the bank’s program to help contribute to the economic vitality of its communities. The Growing Communities initiative is designed to promote and make an investment in neighborhood revitalization based on the existing assets of a community. The Growing Communities program was launched in Ohio in 2010, extended to Michigan and New Hampshire in 2012, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and New York earlier this year, and is now expanding its reach to Massachusetts.

 

“These grants will continue to revitalize local communities and create jobs in cities and towns across the Commonwealth,” said Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein of the Department of Housing and Community Development. “We encourage non-profit organizations in cities and towns across our Commonwealth to apply and take advantage of these grants and we thank Citizen’s Bank for their commitment to giving back to the community.”

 

Growing Communities investments may support the creation and expansion of small business, workforce development and job creation, or activities to encourage patronage of local businesses. Investments may also support efforts to make an area more livable, including façade and block beautification, park clean-ups, public art enhancements, access to local farm systems and nutritious food, and provide financial education to encourage stability.

 

Projects eligible for the Growing Communities initiative must meet the following criteria:

 

  • Applicants must be 501(c)(3) organizations and meet all the eligibility requirements of the Citizens Bank Foundation;
  •  Improve the quality of a specific neighborhood where there is a Citizens Bank branch location; and

 

  • Establish clear goals that will demonstrate and report measureable outcomes.

 

A complete list of requirements can be found on the Citizens Bank website at http://www.citizensbank.com/community/corporate/grants.aspx.

 

Priority consideration will be given to projects that serve low- or moderate-income individuals, that strongly impact a community in need, that foster collaboration with other nonprofit partners, and that demonstrate a plan for long-term sustainability. 

 

Interested applicants must complete Citizens Charitable Foundation’s online application located at www.cybergrants.com/citizensbank/charitable_grant with Project/Program Title Growing Communities. Applicants must also submit a supplemental Growing Communities Application narrative for the application to be reviewed.

 

The deadline for applications is September 19, 2013. For questions about the program or application process, please contact Andrea Martinez Frey at andrea.martinezfrey@rbscitizens.com or MAGrowingCommunities@CitizensBank.com.

 

 

Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities is part of the bank’s broader Citizens Helping Citizens program addressing five key areas: hunger, housing, economic development, financial education and volunteerism. Get more information about Citizens Bank’s community initiatives online

 

About Citizens Helping Citizens

Grounded in the belief that a good bank gives back to its community and to the people who live there, Citizens Helping Citizens is a program embracing the community goals of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. – the commercial bank holding company serving consumer and small business customers as Citizens Bank and Charter One and commercial banking customers as RBS Citizens. The Citizens Helping Citizens program is composed of five key initiatives supported directly by RBSCFG and its nonprofit charitable foundations, the Citizens Charitable Foundation, the Citizens Bank Foundation and the Charter One Foundation: Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger, Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter, Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities (economic development), Citizens Helping Citizens Teach Money Management (financial education) and Citizens Helping Citizens Give (volunteerism and colleague charitable donations). Across all of these initiatives, Citizens Helping Citizens strives to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in local communities.

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