Our Initiatives

Community Leadership

Our work hinges on the insight, experience and expertise of hundreds of community development groups rebuilding neighborhoods across the country. The better they do their job, the better we can do ours--and the more communities we support together.

So we help them to become more effective change-makers. We do this through financing, in the form of operating grants and working capital. And it happens via training programs and learning opportunities for staff and leadership at the community development corporations (CDCs) and many other local groups with whom we partner.

$1 billion
in grants to local groups

We like to share: we make resources available to our colleagues in the field within and beyond the LISC footprint—to social service organizations, arts groups, child care providers, local business associations and youth and recreation groups, to name a few.

LISC has amplified the voices of progressive leaders, enabling hundreds, if not thousands, of them to realize their dreams.
— Scott Kohler in "Casebook for The Foundation: A Great American Secret"

Our Institute for Comprehensive Community Development serves as an industry resource and clearinghouse for news, best practices and webinars for anyone who wants to learn more about our approach to comprehensive community development. LISC conferences, webinars, guidebooks, reports and research papers all aim to cast a wide net across sectors and practitioners, sharing knowledge and sparking conversations.

And for almost 25 years, our LISC AmeriCorps progam has placed passionate, community-minded people with partner CDCs in neighborhoods where we work. LISC AmeriCorps members help engage residents in revitalization projects and bolster the staffing and capacity of the organizations where they work.

Our Creative Placemaking initiative invests in neighborhood arts and culture infrastructure to strengthen communities and create local opportunities for commerce, employment and cultural expression. This is a new approach for most community developers, one we know is vital to maintaining neighborhood diversity and identity. To that end, LISC is training and guiding local development groups to integrate the arts and artists into revitalization work—to nurture both the transformation, and the soul, of a neighborhood at the same time.

The Rubinger Community Fellowship invests in talented leaders from all corners of the country who share a deep commitment to helping their communities thrive. Through the fellowship program, they have the chance to focus on transformative efforts they might not otherwise have the time or resources to pursue. Their yearlong projects focus on wide range of concerns–from disaster recovery and incarceration to small business development, domestic violence and youth empowerment–through a number of different mediums including new research, toolkits, models and documentaries.