Our advocacy work is focused on our guiding principles and is shaped by nonprofit voices. Within the framework of these principles, we encourage City of Cambridge officials and departments to invite collaboration and inclusion and prioritize problem solving to achieve social equity and poverty alleviation.
Through the advocacy of the CNC, the Community Benefits Ordinance, passed in December 2015, and enabled the City to both administer mitigation funds generated through property development to nonprofits, and create the Community Benefits Stabilization Fund to hold those dollars. These Community Benefit Funds will be used to support non profit programs and services that directly benefit Cambridge residents and better address residents' unmet needs. The City has appropriated over $7 million to this fund to date through zoning amendments and agreements with developers.
The first step in the planning process for how these resources will be distributed was conducting a comprehensive Needs Assessment. The final report from the assessment was released on January 26, 2017.
The City Manager appointed a 13 member Community Benefit Advisory Committee charged with creating a plan for investing the community benefit funds. The group held its first meeting on June 26, 2017, with each member being appointed for a 3 year term. The committee is responsible for establishing a transparent, inclusive and collaborative application process, a framework and guidelines for making investment decisions and a means to support to nonprofits during the application process. For more information on the committee's activities visit the City of Cambridge meeting portal here.