Upcoming Funding Opportunities through CDFA

  • January 30, 2023
  • Economic Development, Housing

As part of their mission to aid low to moderate income businesses and families in New Hampshire, the Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) offers several programs to help local economies thrive, from building up infrastructure to funding technical assistance programs for small business owners. These programs represent fantastic and currently underutilized opportunities for local businesses and municipalities to fund projects critical for fostering economic prosperity in the Monadnock Region and beyond.

 CDFA offers several major programs for economic development: the CDFA Tax Credit Program, the Community Economic Development Capacity Building Program, and Economic Development Grants through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. These programs are supported by several smaller funded programs as well, namely grant writing assistance and planning grants.

A new homeless shelter being built in Keene, NH. This project utilized both tax credits and a CDBG grant

The Tax Credit Program is conducted on an annual basis, awarding approximately $5 million in tax credits per year to non-profit organizations throughout the state of New Hampshire. Tax Credits are awarded through a competitive process where CDFA selects projects that provide key public benefits and meet particular criteria. Awardees then sell the tax credits, typically to local businesses, to raise funds for the project. For businesses, purchasing tax credits is a fantastic way to both stretch dollars spent on donations while also helping to keep their tax dollars to their local community. On average, a business can expect to spend 17 cents on the dollar for tax credits. These funds are primarily intended to address at least one of three goals: meeting basic human needs, providing access to economic opportunity for low- and moderate-income families, and helping to build vibrant local communities.

A subsection of CDFA’s Tax Credits Program is the Community Economic Development Capacity Building Program. This funding carveout is intended to help local non-profits build internal capacity for economic development work. Among other activities, capacity building could include things like improving organizational structure and governance. The opportunity is up to $150,000 per applicant split evenly across two years and can be applied for alongside the general tax credit program.

The last program offered to local non-profits and municipalities is the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program for economic development. These grants are up to $500,000 and focus primarily on creating or retaining jobs for low and moderate income workers. The program also supports improving job access for our most socio-economically disadvantaged workers. Importantly, all CDBG grants require a municipal or county sponsor, so having the support of the local selectboard, city council, or county commissioners is paramount to using this program. These grants are awarded on a bi-annual basis starting in January and July, and have rolling applications.

A variety of resources are available to help those interested in applying for CDFA grant opportunities. For either of the tax credit programs, up to $2,500 is available for grant writing services, which are intended for non-profits who lack the capacity to write grants themselves. In addition, those interested in pursuing CDBG funding could consider seeking a CDBG planning grant, which are designed to help projects transition from the idea and pre-planning stage to a project ready for implementation. Planning grants may be as high as $25,000.

In addition to exploring the links throughout this post, non-profits and municipalities are encouraged to contact SWRPC staff Ben Gradert with questions or prospective projects.