Eligible Use of Funds
Not Eligible for Funding 

 CCHD has developed criteria and guidelines to ensure that the goals and priorities of its Economic Development Program will be respected and fulfilled through its funding efforts. The criteria are used on a required basis to evaluate whether an applicant is committed to both of the EDP goals and therefore can be considered for CCHD funding. The guidelines are used on a recommended basis to assess the strength of an Economic Development Institution presented by an applicant organization.

The program has two main goals:

  1. to support low-income people as they empower themselves through the creation and operation of economic development institutions
  1. to develop alternative economic structures that effect equitable access to income and a just balance of individual- and community-held assets.

To be considered for funding by CCHD, an applicant organization must demonstrate that it is committed to both goals. Priority will be given to eligible applicants that address one or more of the following four priorities:

  1. to advance economic development models that enhance the scale of impact through replication or the transformation of an established model
  2. to encourage collaboration that generates cooperation and solidarity among diverse groups in the interest of a more integrated and mutually understanding society
  3. to link economic development with community organizing so that beneficiaries work together and with others on additional efforts to effect institutional change
  4. to facilitate the development of information systems in organizations that enhance planning, accountability and mutual learning by organizations and by CCHD.


1.  Applicant organizations must not participate in or promote activities that contradict the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church and must in no way work against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' priorities to defend human life and dignity, strengthen family life and the institution of marriage, and foster diversity. For example, applicant organizations that support or promote same-sex marriage, discrimination, capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia, or punitive measures towards immigrants are not eligible for CCHD funding.

2.  The application must focus on creating or expanding a stand-alone Economic Development Institution that will create income and/or assets for low-income people and communities.

3.  Members of the poverty group must have a strong voice in the leadership of the applicant organization. At least one-third of those who plan, implement, and make policy for the applicant organization (usually the board of directors) are low-income.

4.  At least one-half of the intended beneficiaries from the EDI must be low-income.

5.  The applicant has a complete plan for the EDI that documents all three of the components listed below:

      A.  An assessment and analysis of pertinent community needs, resources and regional     economic conditions that establish the EDI's strategic direction

      B.  A clear, comprehensive, and detailed strategic plan that establishes how the EDI will develop and operate over the next three to five years. This component must include:

            a.  Program description with goals, objectives, and the anticipated outcomes for job creation and/or asset development (see Guidelines, below).

            b.  An EDI ownership structure that results in asset ownership within the low income community.
            c.  A multi-year financial strategy for the start-up and ongoing viability of the EDI.

      C.  A commitment and strategy for ongoing leadership development on the EDI Board of Directors, at least one-third of whose membership is composed of low-income people.

6.  Matching funds—in addition to any in-kind contributions—are committed to the EDI at a level at least equal to the request for CCHD funds.


CCHD has established the following threshold outcomes to ensure its funding will be directed to EDIs that have the potential for substantial job creation and/or asset development within their communities.

EDIs in underserved or distressed areas of the country (e.g., some rural and reservation communities) may receive special consideration, determined by regional standards.

EDIs must create ten or more new jobs that pay a living wage as determined by regional standards, or must develop asset ownership for more than ten individuals or families while also benefiting the larger community.

The EDI plan needs to relate the anticipated outcomes for asset development to the specific economic conditions of the EDI's community.

An application should establish that its EDI team—staff, consultants, institutional partners, and board—has the organizational capacity needed to ensure implementation.

An applicant organization should demonstrate a growing base of support (both financial and/or in-kind resources) that reflects valuable relationships in the community.


Priority to encourage collaboration

An applicant organization should describe how it collaborates or plans to collaborate with other organizations in the course of implementation.

An applicant organization should demonstrate a willingness to participate in CCHD's education and promotion efforts. 

Priority to link economic development with community organizing

An applicant organization should describe how it will use or promote community organizing among the EDI's beneficiaries so they could work together and with others on additional efforts to effect institutional change.

Priority to facilitate the development of information systems in organizations

An applicant organization should develop and regularly use a monitoring and evaluation system that relies on the active participation of beneficiaries and leads to increased EDI capacity and performance.

An applicant organization should establish an interest in sharing data with other organizations (including CCHD) for the purposes of peer support and mutual learning.

Eligible Use of Funds

CCHD funds may be used for general operating expenses, including staff salaries/training, procurement of technical assistance, board development costs and other overhead costs.

For business development, CCHD funds may be used as part of a financing package for start-up or expansion, including start-up costs or working capital.

For real estate development, CCHD funds may be used for pre-development or continuing operating expenses.

Funds may not be used for capital expenditures (e.g., real estate, vehicles, equipment).

Not Eligible for Funding

Economic Development Institutions structured without opportunities for participatory control and ownership by low income people

EDIs structured without opportunities to develop community-held assets (e.g., sole proprietorships, simple partnerships, or fee-simple housing projects are not eligible)

EDIs owned or controlled by governmental agencies (federal, state, or local), educational, or ecclesiastical bodies

EDIs whose primary focus is direct service (e.g. job training, business consulting, financial literacy, savings programs, or homeownership education programs by themselves are not eligible). Such services may complement an eligible EDI, but they cannot be the EDI's primary focus.

EDIs not structured to stand on their own as sustainable institutions

EDIs that intend to re-grant CCHD monies to other organizations.