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ARRA – Strengthening Communities Fund


Total Assistance, FY 2008 to Present
Popular Name: SCF, Recovery Act
CFDA Number

Objectives: This funding will provide economic stimulus to the nation while furthering the ACF mission to promote the economic and social well-being of children, youth, families, and communities. The objectives of the Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF) are to (1) fund entities to provide training, technical assistance, and financial assistance to local faith-based and community organizations enabling them to more fully participate in economic recovery and (2) build the capacity of State, Local, and Tribal governments to provide outreach to faith-based and community-based organizations. The funding is used to build capacity of government and nonprofit organizations to partner with local faith-based and community-based organizations, with a focus on expanding economic recovery efforts, increasing community access to public benefits (including ARRA benefits), and helping low- and moderate-income people secure and retain employment. SCF is composed of two programs: (1) SCF Nonprofit Capacity Building Program The focus of the SCF Nonprofit Capacity Building Program is to fund organizations that provide training, technical assistance, and competitive financial assistance to faith-based and community-based nonprofit organizations to help them address the broad economic recovery issues present in their communities, including helping low-income individuals secure and retain employment, earn higher wages, obtain better-quality jobs, and increase access to State and Federal benefits and tax credits. (2) SFC Government Capacity Building Program The focus of the SCF State, Local, and Tribal Government Capacity Building Program is to build the sustainability and effectiveness of the government entities that provide outreach to faith-based and community-based organizations. Ultimately, these partnerships will enable local nonprofit organizations to better serve those in need and to increase nonprofit organizations' involvement in the economic recovery.  Government entities or their designees will use program funds to develop their capacity to serve as a resource to nonprofit organizations and other government agencies regarding ARRA funding/benefits to ensure that disadvantaged and hard-to-serve populations are aware of and understand how to access the benefits and services described in the ARRA. Grantees also will use program funds to offer free capacity building services to nonprofit organizations to improve awareness of and access to ARRA efforts/benefits, improve nonprofits’ organizational capacities to be active participants in ARRA efforts, and facilitate partnerships between and among nonprofits and other government agencies.  For example, grantees could establish a beneficiary benefits clearinghouse for individuals and a funding opportunities clearinghouse for nonprofit organizations, provide outreach and education, and deliver training and technical assistance.