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Community Revitalization Fellowship

Frequently Asked Questions


About the Application 


1) Who is on an ideal application team?


The ideal application team is organized by an Institutional Partner — a community foundation or other eligible organization — with a demonstrated commitment to addressing community and economic development challenges. The ideal application team also includes six individual Fellows who are actively working in revitalization and/or creative placemaking efforts on vacant or problem properties, preferably outside of their professional work.


All applicants must be from a small or midsized community (population of 300,000 or less) in the United States or Puerto Rico. Communities can be either urban, suburban, or a rural municipality. Priority will be given to communities where vacancy, abandonment, and disinvestment most severely impacts low-income communities or communities of color.


2) Can you explain the 300,000 population limit?


If your city’s total population is greater than 300,000, you are not eligible for this program. That means if the neighborhood you hope to target has a population of approximately 50,000, but your city’s total population is 600,000, but you are not eligible to participate in the Fellowship.


3) If a community is unincorporated, what population is used to determine eligibility? 


If your community is unincorporated, we will use the population of the county to determine eligibility.


4) Who can be an "Institutional Partner"?


Local community foundations are the preferred Institutional Partners. In the absence of an appropriate community foundation, any established nonprofit organization with a 501(c)3 designation, or land bank authority with experience in revitalization and a deep commitment to resident engagement may apply.


5) What role will the Institutional Partner play in the application process?


The Institutional Partner will serve as the lead applicant and point of contact for the Community Revitalization Fellowship. They will be responsible for gathering and submitting all application materials, and will provide support, mentorship, and logistical help to their community’s cohort of Fellows during the course of the Fellowship.


6) What can be included in the additional attachments?


Applications may include additional attachments that help us better understand the challenges and opportunities in your community, such as data summaries, maps, reports, relevant policies, news articles, etc.


7) Where can I find the application?


The application period for the 2020 Community Revitalization has now closed.


8) When are applications due?


Applications are due no later than Wednesday, November 20, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. EST. Applications and any questions about the application process can be submitted by email to crf@communityprogress.net.


9) When will you announce the selected applicants? 


We will announce selected applicants by January 15, 2020.


About the Learning Exchanges

10) Where will the three learning exchanges take place?


One Learning Exchange will take place in each of the three communities accepted into the Fellowship.


11) When are the Learning Exchanges?


The tentative dates for the Learning Exchanges are as follows:


•           April 24-25, 2020

•           July 17-18, 2020

•           October 16-17, 2020


Dates will be confirmed after the cohort communities are selected.


12) How long are the learning exchanges?


The Learning Exchanges will be two-day events, spanning Friday to Saturday. Each participating community will host one Exchange, meaning Fellows will participate in one Exchange in their home community and travel to the other two. Applicants should anticipate a one- or two-night overnight stay for each of the two Learning Exchanges that require travel.


About Participating in the Fellowship


13) How much does it cost to participate in the Community Revitalization Fellowship?


Thanks to the generous support from the Oak Foundation and The Kresge Foundation, tuition is on us! Travel, lodging, and on-site meals are also included.


14) What if a Fellow included on our application can no longer participate?


If a proposed Fellow who was included in the team’s accepted application package can no longer participate in the Fellowship, the Institutional Partner may propose another participant to take their place. The Institutional Partner should submit a new Fellow Questionnaire (included in the application) for the new Fellow. Please note this is different than if a participating Fellow cannot attend one of the Learning Exchanges (see Question 15, below).


15) I am an enrolled Fellow but I can’t make a Learning Exchange. Can someone else attend in my place?


Your presence will be missed! The Community Revitalization Fellowship is committed to investing in people. Participants will be guided through trainings that build on one another during the course of the Fellowship. Therefore, a replacement cannot be sent in your absence.


16) Can Fellows come from different neighborhoods across a community?­


Yes. Each cohort should be comprised of grassroots community leaders representing a diverse range of skills, connections, and neighborhoods across the community.


17) Can potential Fellows work in the community that is applying to participate in the Fellowship? For example, can Fellows be employees of community development corporations or local government?


Community Progress expects that most or all Fellows will be engaged in their neighborhoods as volunteers, not as career professionals. Those who work on revitalization issues through their jobs may be part of a cohort, as long as they are also residents of the community. However, this program’s primary aim is to serve people who are engaged in vacant property projects, neighborhood revitalization, and creative placemaking in a volunteer capacity.

18) Do the Fellows need to have an established history of working together?

No, Fellows do not need to know each other prior to participating in this Fellowship. One of the goals of the Fellowship is to strengthen relationships within participating communities.


19) We have a local community foundation, but they are not able to serve as the local Institutional Partner. Can our organization apply instead?


In the absence of an appropriate community foundation, any established nonprofit organization or land bank authority with experience in revitalization and a deep commitment to resident engagement may apply. If you wish, you may submit a letter of support from the local community foundation as supplemental attachment, though it is not required.


20) Can youth be part of the community cohort?


All Fellows must be 18 years of age or older. If youth are involved in the local project that a participating community would like to highlight as part of the Learning Exchange, we will work with the cohort to determine an appropriate role for those youth during the Learning Exchange.


About Stipends for Fellows and Funding for Institutional Partners


21) How and when will stipends for residents be paid?


Fellows will receive a $230 stipend for each Learning Exchange they attend, up to $690 total. Stipends will be delivered as a check by mail or a direct deposit after each of the Learning Exchanges.


22) When will the Institutional Partner receive their funding?


Institutional Partners will receive funding in three installments following the completion of each Learning Exchange.


23) Are there any restrictions for the use of the $14,000 in funds for the Institution Partners?


Each Institutional Partner will receive $14,000 in funding to support their participation in the program. Of that, $4,000 may be used by the Institutional Partner to reimburse for time spent on providing guidance, mentorship, and logistical support to the cohort. The remaining $10,000 should be used to support creative placemaking on problem properties.


About the Revitalization Workshop

24) What is the difference between the Revitalization Workshop and the Learning Exchanges? 


The Learning Exchanges are reserved for the six Fellows from each community. The Revitalization Workshop is an opportunity for a broader group of community stakeholders to build their knowledge, helping to extend the momentum of the Community Revitalization Fellowship into the broader community. The Revitalization Workshops will be approximately two hours long and hosted the day before the Learning Exchange. 


Additional Questions

25) How can I learn more about what you’ll look for in applications?


The full application document has much more information about what we’ll look for in successful applications. Additionally, feel free to watch a recording of the informational webinar, which may also contain answers to questions you have.


26) Who do I contact with questions?


Any additional questions can be sent by email to crf@communityprogress.net.


Thank you so much for your interest in the 2020 Community Revitalization Fellowship. We look forward to seeing your application!