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Citizens Bank Foundation to give out $150K in community grants

Banner Staff

The Citizens Bank Foundation recently 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 and creation of small businesses and jobs. The application deadline is Sept. 19.

“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. “Grant recipients can invest in the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of small businesspeople who contribute to the wellbeing 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 invest in neighborhood revitalization based on the existing assets of a community.

The Growing Communities program was launched in Ohio in 2010 then extended to Michigan and New Hampshire in 2012. The program came to 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 Aaron Gornstein, undersecretary of the Department of Housing and Community Development. “We encourage nonprofit 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 businesses, 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 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.

• The project proposed must improve the quality of a specific neighborhood where there is a Citizens Bank branch location, and it must establish clear goals that will demonstrate and report measureable outcomes.

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 or that demonstrate a plan for long-term sustainability. 

Interested applicants must complete Citizens Charitable Foundation’s online application located at with the project title Growing Communities. Applicants must also submit a supplemental Growing Communities application narrative for the application to be reviewed.