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Community Revitalization Fellowship

Frequently Asked Questions


About the Application

1) What communities can apply?


Any small or midsized community (population of 300,000 or less) in the United States is eligible to apply, including cities, suburbs, and rural municipalities. Priority will be given to communities with serious challenges related to vacancy, abandonment, and disinvestment, particularly in low-income communities of color.


2) 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 or land bank authority with experience in revitalization and a deep commitment to resident engagement may apply.


3) 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. The Institutional Partner provides support, mentorship, and logistical help to their community’s cohort of Fellows during the application process and, if chosen, over the course of the fellowship.


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


By design, the Community Revitalization Fellowship is structured to meet the unique needs of small and midsized communities. Any small or midsized community in the United States with a population of 300,000 or less is eligible to apply for the Fellowship, including cities, suburbs, and rural municipalities. Population is determined based on the population of the legal jurisdiction as a whole, such as a city or a town. If the overall city’s population is greater than 300,000, it is ineligible for this program. For example, if your city has a population of 600,000, but the neighborhoods you hope to target have a population of approximately 50,000, your city is not eligible to participate in the Fellowship because the city’s total population is greater than 300,000.


5) 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.


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?


Here you go!


8) When are applications due?


February 22, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. EST to crf@communityprogress.net.


9) When will you announce the selected applicants? 


By March 13, 2019.


About the Learning Exchanges

10) Where will the three learning exchanges take place?


The learning exchanges will take place in each of the three communities accepted into the Fellowship. The selected communities will be announced once all applicants have been notified.


11) When will the learning exchange dates be chosen?


The learning exchange dates will be determined in partnership with the accepted 2019 cohort communities. We hope to confirm the dates of the learning exchanges by the end of April 2019.


12) How long are the learning exchanges?


The learning exchanges will be two-day events, spanning Friday to Saturday. Each participating community will be the site of an exchange, meaning each community’s Fellows will participate in one exchange in their home community and travel to the other two exchanges. Please anticipate a one or two overnight stay for each of the two learning exchanges that require travel.


13) What is the role of the Institutional Partner in the learning exchanges?


The Institutional Partner will be expected to participate fully in the three (3) two-day learning exchanges. They will also be expected to gather the six local Fellows before the first learning exchange, and after each of the three learning exchanges. These gatherings are intended to help Fellows set and make progress toward goals and continue the momentum generated during the learning exchanges. The structure of these gatherings is flexible and could include, for example: a meeting to debrief from a learning exchange and plan next steps; a meet-and-greet with relevant local government or law enforcement officials; helping out at a neighborhood clean-up; or other formats that make the most sense based on the community’s and Fellows’ needs.


14) What is an example of a community project that will be highlighted as part of the learning exchange (Question 5 of the Narrative Questions on page 9 of the RFA)?


Community projects can take many shapes and forms, and we are excited to see what will be shared in applications. Community projects could include, for example, a community garden on a formerly vacant property, an art project on a deteriorated home, events hosted in partnership with local police or other stakeholders in an underutilized park, or neighborhood advocacy efforts that result in local government making improvements to a vacant building that improve neighborhood safety. But please do not feel limited by these examples of community projects related to vacant, abandoned, or deteriorated properties.


15) Are Fellows and the Institutional Partner required to attend the learning exchanges?


All 18 Fellows and one representative from each institutional partner are expected to attend all three learning exchanges. Please refer to pages 6-7 of the Request for Applications for detailed expectations for Fellows and Institutional Partners.


About the Revitalization 101 Training


16) What is the Revitalization 101 Training?


The Revitalization 101 training is an opportunity for up to 40 community members in each of the cohort communities to learn from national experts to increase their knowledge of practical, actionable ways residents can support revitalization on their own blocks. The training will be approximately two hours long.


17) What is the difference between the Revitalization 101 training and the learning exchanges?


The learning exchanges are reserved for the six Fellows from each community. The Revitalization 101 training is an opportunity for up to 40 additional community leaders to build their knowledge, helping to extend the momentum of the Community Revitalization Fellowship into the broader community.


About Participating in the Fellowship

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

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


19) What if a resident can no longer participate once the learning exchange dates are chosen?


If a resident who was included in the cohort’s accepted application package can no longer participate in the Fellowship, the Institutional Partner may propose another resident to take his/her place. The Institutional Partner should send a letter of commitment from the proposed replacement including a biography, involvement in community revitalization activities, and what he/she hopes to gain from participating in the Community Revitalization Fellowship. Please note this is different than if a participating Fellow cannot attend one of the learning exchanges (see below).


20) I am an enrolled Fellow but I can’t make a learning exchange. Can another resident 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 each other during the nine-month engagement. Therefore, a replacement cannot be sent in your absence.


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


Each Fellow will receive a check by mail after attending each of the learning exchanges. Stipends for participation are $230 per learning exchange, up to $690 total. Fellows will only receive stipends for learning exchanges they attend.


22) When will the Institutional Partner receive their funding?


The Institutional Partner will receive the pass-through funding in three installments following the completion of each learning exchange.


23) 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 to the community, and neighborhoods across the community.


24) Can potential Fellows work in the community that is applying to participate in the Fellowship; for example, as employees of CDCs 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, the Fellowship’s primary aim is to serve those who are engaged on the topics of this Fellowship (including vacant properties, neighborhood revitalization, and safety) in a volunteer capacity.


25) Can potential Fellows serve as volunteers on nonprofits boards in the community that is applying to participate in the Fellowship?




26) Our community has some great resident leaders, but we cannot find six residents to serve as Fellows. Can we still apply?


Each application must include six resident leaders as proposed Fellows and one institutional partner to be considered eligible to participate in the program.


27) Do the resident leaders 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.


28) 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.


29) Can youth be a part of the community cohort?


All Fellows need to be 18 years of age or older. If youth were 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.


30) How can the private sector be involved?


If the local project that will be highlighted as part of the learning exchange in a participating community involved a private business, we will work with that community’s cohort to determine the best way to involve that business during the local learning exchange.


31) Will Spanish language interpretation be available for Fellowship participants?


We want to ensure that the Fellowship is as inclusive as possible. If a participating community has language interpretation or translation needs, we will work with the cohort to accommodate those needs.


About Stipends for Fellows and Pass-Through Funding for Institutional Partners 

32) Can you please explain if Fellows’ stipends or the Institutional Partner’s funding should be used to cover the costs to participate?


Community Progress will cover expenses related to travel, lodging, and on-site meals for all 18 Fellows and one representative from each institutional partner up front, so that reimbursement is not needed. Fellows will not need to use their stipends to cover these expenses. Institutional Partners will not need to use their funding to cover these expenses.


Fellows will receive a $230 stipend following each of the three learning exchanges attended (up to $690 total) in recognition of the time and effort they are committing to the Fellowship. The Institutional Partner will receive $14,000 in capacity-building funding.


33) 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. We have intentionally left the description of the use of these funds flexible because we know that each community has specific needs. However, we do ask the Institutional Partner to share in their application their ideas for how these funds can best support the goals of this program (see Question 8 of the Narrative Questions on page 9 of the Request for Applications). We do not require a budget to accompany the explanation.


Additional Questions  


34) Where can I watch the informational webinar on the fellowship?


You can watch a recording of the informational webinar here


35) Who do I contact with questions?


You can send an email to crf@communityprogress.net. Questions must be received by 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday February 18, 2019, to receive a response.