Citi Foundation $25 Million Global Innovation Challenge: to improve Food Security In Low-income Communities.

Deadline: 22-Mar-23

The Citi Foundation is launching its first ever global innovation challenge (“Challenge”) to identify and provide philanthropic support to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) developing innovative solutions to social and economic challenges facing low-income communities.

This inaugural challenge will provide a collective $25 million to 50 organizations working to pilot or expand ideas and projects that are designed to improve food security and strengthen the financial health of low-income families and communities.

Enabling Food Access:Across the world, nonprofit organizations are on the front lines working to meet the needs of a growing number of individuals and families experiencing food insecurity and the economic strain of overall household expenses. The Challenge seeks to support community-based NGOs to improve or scale direct access to food. Programs could include (but not be limited to):Providing technical assistance to strengthen existing food initiatives operated by community-based organizations, including support for new partnerships or coalitions to improve food accessInnovative programming to leverage existing small, local grocery stores and/or neighborhood-based farmers’ markets to improve low-income communities’ access to foodSupporting the creation of toolkits, courses, and educational resources to embed food initiatives into existing programs already reaching low-income communities, such as housing, financial inclusion, workforce, educational, and health programming.

Addressing Food Affordability:With record food prices and soaring energy costs, people globally face high costs, which make it difficult to afford food. This is particularly true in low-income countries where people spend almost half of their income on food. The Challenge seeks to support community finance efforts that enable low-income individuals and communities to address the affordability of food, thereby reducing their financial burden. Programs could include (but not be limited to):Pilots involving community financing to raise income opportunities (e.g., direct cash assistance, microloans, debt management and reduction, household and food budgeting)Providing technical and financial assistance to food retailers and food enterprises working in low-income communities to offer affordable and nutritious foodImproving awareness of and streamlining enrollment into government support programs
Improving Food Availability:to address food insecurity in the 2022 UN State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report is to reinvent the supply chain to lower the cost of food, particularly by shortening supply chains in urban areas so that residents can access fresh food. The Challenge seeks to support innovative solutions or pilots that could address challenges in the food supply chain while also catalyzing positive community benefits, such as spurring the creation of new jobs and businesses. Programs could include (but not be limited to):Providing resources and capacity building to community-based food delivery organizationsProviding access to storage solutions to prevent food wasteDeveloping mobile applications, open data sources, interactive maps, and other technologies to enhance the efficiency of local food supply chains
Supporting Community Resilience:The growing frequency and intensity of natural disasters and conflict, along with an increasingly volatile world, is jeopardizing the entire global food system. The potential harm to lives, livelihoods, and quality of life can be reduced by implementing strategies to manage disaster-related risks. The Challenge seeks to support communities to more effectively prepare for and respond to crises that disrupt food security, ensure a secure food supply for the future, and make communities more resilient to food related external shocks. Programs could include (but not be limited to):Supporting new or expanded collaborations for preparedness and planning, including coordination of rapid-response effortsDeveloping tools and/or resources that help communities improve their resilience by setting priorities and allocating resources to manage risks for their prevailing hazards.

Funding Information
The Citi Foundation is focused on the role that NGOs play in addressing food insecurity in communities around the world. This is a purposefully broad question intended to surface locally relevant and potentially game-changing ideas. In this first Challenge, Foundation support will include:Grants of $500,000, to be used over a 24-month period, to 50 finalists in select communities where Citi has a presence.Grants are meant to be catalytic in nature, supporting the piloting or expansion of ideas and projects in the field of food security. In addition, the Citi Foundation will offer post funding support by connecting grantees to Citi subject matter experts and employee volunteers as well as hosting learning opportunities to promote shared lessons and best practices on the topic of food security.

Target Geographies
As such, to be eligible for this RFP, your organization’s proposed program needs to primarily impact one or more of the target geographies noted:Africa – Algeria, Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zambia.Asia Pacific – Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.Europe – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Jersey Islands, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and United Kingdom.Middle East – Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.Latin America & the Caribbean – Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, and Uruguay.North America – Canada, Mexico and select U.S. states and territories: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Virginia, and Washington DC

Eligibility Criteria
Applicant organizations must be registered as nonprofit entities under local law. For example, for U.S. entities, applicants need to be tax-exempt public charities as per Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
Applicant organizations must be able to submit at least one year of externally audited financial statements, covering all or part of calendar year 2021.
Applicant’s proposed program must align with the Foundation’s mission of supporting low-income communities as defined by local standards and definitions.
Applicant’s proposed program covers one or more of the target geographies.

The types of organizations and projects that will not be considered for funding include, but are not limited to:

Private foundations
Religious or fraternal organizations (unless they are engaged in a project benefiting an entire community)
Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, sex, gender identity or expression, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, or other legally protected personal characteristic or status
Lobbying, political causes, campaigns, or candidates
Advertising, special events, dinners, telethons, benefits, or fundraising activities
Gift matching
Organizations that do not meet the eligibility criteria.


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