2024-25 Community Revitalization Fellowship FAQs

The Center for Community Progress’ Community Revitalization Fellowship (CRF) is a learning opportunity to help cohorts of grassroots community leaders revitalize neighborhoods that are struggling with serious challenges related to vacancy, abandonment, and disinvestment. Applications must be submitted via this form by Monday, April 8, 2024 at 5:00 PM ET. To learn more, visit the program page or read the FAQs below.

Application Process

Who should apply?

The ideal application team includes:

  • An institutional partner with a demonstrated commitment to addressing community and economic development challenges.
  • 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 community in the United States or Puerto Rico. Communities can be urban, suburban, or rural municipalities. Priority will be given to communities where vacancy, abandonment, and disinvestment most severely impacts communities of color.

Are there any restrictions on community population size?

No. In the past, the CRF program was restricted to communities of 300,000 or less. This restriction is no longer in place for the 2024-25 CRF cycle.

What is the role of the institutional partner?

The institutional partner serves as the lead applicant and point of contact for the CRF. They are responsible for gathering and submitting all application materials and providing support, mentorship, and logistical help to their community’s cohort during the fellowship.

Who can be an institutional partner?

Any institution with experience in revitalization and a deep commitment to resident engagement and racial equity is a possible institutional partner. Community foundations, land bank authorities, or any established nonprofit organization with a 501(c)3 designation are all possible options.

When are applications due?

Applications are due via this form no later than Monday, April 8th at 5:00 PM ET. Questions about the application process can be sent to [email protected].

When will you notify selected applicants?

We will notify selected applicants by May 14, 2024.

About the Learning Exchanges

What is a learning exchange?

The CRF learning exchanges are two-day in-person gatherings where fellows and institutional partners participate in classroom-style training and tours of local projects and initiatives.

Where will the three learning exchanges take place?

One learning exchange will take place in each of the three communities accepted into the fellowship.

When are the Learning Exchanges?

The tentative dates for the learning exchanges are as follows:

  • August 1-3, 2024 (alternate date: August 8-10)
  • March 13-15, 2025 (alternate date: March 27-29)
  • May 15-17, 2025 (alternate date: May 1-3)

Dates will be confirmed after the cohort communities are selected. Applicants should anticipate a one- or two-night overnight stay for each of the learning exchanges that require travel to other communities.

About Fellowship Participation

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

Thanks to the generous support from The Kresge Foundation, participation in CRF is free. Tuition, travel, lodging, and on-site meals are covered by Community Progress.

What if a fellow included in the application can no longer participate?

If a  fellow  proposed in your  application can no longer participate in the fellowship, the institutional partner should propose another participant to take their place and submit a new Resident Leader Questionnaire (included in the application) for the new fellow.

Please note this is different than if a participating fellow is available for most of the program but cannot attend one of the learning exchanges.

If a fellow can’t attend one of the learning exchanges, can someone else in their place?

No. Individual fellows are expected to attend all three learning exchanges. When putting together a cohort, institutional partners should confirm the availability of the fellows.

In the event a fellow must miss a learning exchange, their presence will be missed! The Community Revitalization Fellowship is committed to investing in people, and building relationships and knowledge over time is a vital part of the program. Trainings build on one another over the course of the fellowship, so a replacement cannot be sent in someone’s absence.

Can fellows be from multiple neighborhoods across the community?

This depends on the population size of the community. All cohorts should comprise grassroots leaders representing a diverse range of skills and connections who are a part of the community they are serving with their revitalization work.

For communities with a substantial population, it is likely more appropriate to bring together a cohort from just one or two neighborhoods. But for communities with a smaller population, it many be appropriate to bring together a cohort of community leaders from across many different neighborhoods.

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. That said, those whose jobs involve working on revitalization issues may be part of a cohort if they are a resident of the community applying. However, this program’s primary aim is to serve people who are engaged with vacant property projects, neighborhood revitalization, and creative placemaking in a volunteer capacity.

Do the fellows need to have an established history of working together?

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.

Can youth be part of the community cohort?

No. Fellows must be 18 years of age or older. If youth are involved in a local project that a participating community would like to highlight as part of their 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 in the Fellowship

How and when will stipends for fellows be paid?

Fellows will receive a $250 stipend for each learning exchange they attend, up to $750 total. Stipends will be delivered via direct deposit or check by mail after each of the learning exchanges.

When will institutional partners receive their funding?

The institutional partner will receive $14,000 in total funding as part of their participation in CRF.

The $4,000 reserved for institutional partner support will be provided in three equal installments, following the completion of each learning exchange.

The remaining $10,000 will be provided at the conclusion of the program.

Are there any restrictions for the use of the $14,000 in funds for the institution partners?

Yes. $4,000 can be used by institutional partners to reimburse for time spent on providing guidance, mentorship, and logistical support to the cohort. The remaining $10,000 should be used to support arts, culture, and creative placemaking on problem properties. We have intentionally left the description of the use of these funds flexible because we recognize each community has specific needs. However, we ask that institutional partners share in their application ideas for how these funds will be used to.

Additional Questions

How can I learn more about what you’re looking for in application?

The full Request for Applications has more information about what we're looking for in a successful application. In addition, all organizations and individuals who are considering applying for the fellowship are encouraged to watch the informational webinar.

Who do I contact with questions?

Any additional questions can be sent to [email protected].

Thank you so much for your interest in the 2024-25 Community Revitalization Fellowship. We look forward to seeing your application!