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Funders funnel $42 million to communities

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The Wachovia Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation have joined forces to pump million into community development organizations in the U.S. in an effort to transform low-wealth areas.

Over the next five years, the two funders will funnel $42 million to community development financial institutions across the country that serve low-income people and communities by financing affordable housing, small business growth and creation of new community facilities.

Dubbed the Wachovia Next Awards for Opportunity Finance, the program each year will distribute a $5.5 million program-related investment and unrestricted grant to a community development financial institution with over $50 million in assets; a $2.75 million program-related investment and grant to a community financial institution with assets of $10 million to $50 million; and four $25,000 unrestricted grants to institutions with experience in innovation, advocacy, financing and community impact.

The Wachovia Foundation is committing $16.75 million to the effort and the MacArthur Foundation is contributing $25 million in program-related investments.

The Opportunity Finance Network will administer the program funds, oversee the application process and make the awards.

The first round of awards, totaling $8.25 million, will be announced in December.  The deadline for applications is Aug. 20.

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