HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corp., Hope Credit Union and Hope Policy Center), based in Jackson, Miss., has been chosen as the winner of the 2018 Wall Street Journal Financial Inclusion Challenge (WSJFIC). HOPE was selected because of their work to serve distressed people and bring opportunity to a cluster of small towns in the Mississippi Delta, a region that is home to more than a third of the most impoverished counties in the U.S. The WSJFIC is focused on issues that low- and moderate-income Americans face in managing their personal finances and financial health. HOPE provides affordable financial services; leverages private, public and philanthropic resources; and engages in policy analysis to fulfill its mission of strengthening communities, building assets and improving lives. Since its beginning in 1994, HOPE has generated over $2 billion in financing and related services for the unbanked and underbanked, entrepreneurs, homeowners, nonprofits, health care providers and other community development purposes. These projects have benefited more than 1 million people. Learn more about the WSJFIC and HOPE.
Local community and economic development (CED) depends on a combination of public and private funding. Grant dollars are an important source of funding for initiatives that create better-paying jobs and infrastructure to support revitalization, affordable housing or improved systems for education or health care. An analysis of foundation grants for CED from the Federal Reserve banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia found the geographic distribution of grant funding is highly uneven. On a per capita basis, grant dollars flow to some metro areas much more readily than to others.
The updated Following the Money tool allows users to explore data on grant funding for CED from a variety of sources. Check out the interactive data tool and instructional videos on the Following the Money webpage.