The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. The company invests in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation.
In 2013, the Citi Foundation invested $78 million in 87 countries and enabled 1.3 million people to work toward specific financial inclusion and economic empowerment goals. In addition, more than half of the Foundation’s grant investments included a thought leadership and innovation component, critical to testing new ideas, shaping industry dialogue and influencing public policy.
Philanthropic Focus Areas
Youth Economic Opportunities: The Citi Foundation is focused on programs that help young people to link education goals with leadership skills training, professional networks, and onramps to employment to increase the number of low-income youth, ages 16-25, who are able to get a job or start an income-generating business. Program examples:
Education For Employment - The Citi Foundation is investing in EFE's innovative market-driven approach that enables EFE to work with companies in the region to identify their recruitment needs, create tailor-made courses, and place youth in jobs or link them to entrepreneurship support. The Citi Foundation is also supporting efforts to expand EFE's technological and strategic planning capacity, enabling EFE to tap into additional employment resources and professional and personal development courses to increase job placements and opportunities for ongoing learning for graduates. To date EFE has served more than 14,400 youth with an overall goal of reaching 75,000 youth by 2020.
Junior Achievement - For nearly three decades, Citi and the Citi Foundation have been among JA's strongest supporters globally, contributing financially to its mission and operations around the world. In 2013, the Citi Foundation provided $3.9 million of funding to support JA initiatives in 49 countries. In addition to the more than 2,000 Citi volunteers mobilized in 2013, more than 50 JA local and regional boards, as well as the Global Board of Governors, benefit from the participation, support and leadership of Citi executives. The Citi Foundation has worked with JA on the design of innovative programs, including "Mujeres Emprendedoras" (Women for Development) with JA Americas that links entrepreneurship education and access to capital through local microfinance institutions for low-income women in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Citi Foundation also worked with JA USA to co-develop and pilot a new digital volunteer program as a way to widen and deepen its impact through the use of technology and provide greater opportunity for volunteer engagement.
Urban Transformation: The Citi Foundation supports urban transformation initiatives that build vibrant cities and offer economic opportunities for low-income residents. The foundation supports partnerships among local governments, community-based organizations, the private sector, and research institutions that are tackling the challenges faced by cities to improve municipal effectiveness and infrastructure, create affordable housing, promote environmental sustainability, and offer more economic opportunities and better services to low-income residents. They also encourage the use of data and technology to understand challenges and gaps, identify opportunities for improvements in cities, and direct the use of limited resources to maximize impact. Program examples:
Partners in Progress - Launched by the Citi Foundation and the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), Partners In Progress builds on the concept of the "Community Quarterback" to increase economic progress in low-income communities.
Living Cities – The program harnesses the collective power of philanthropy and financial institutions to improve the lives of low-income people and the cities where they live. The Citi Foundation has been investing in the work of Living Cities since 2008.
Financial Inclusion: The Citi Foundation supports efforts to develop a more inclusive financial system that provides greater access to financial products, services and capital to low-income communities and individuals. Access to capital and financial products empowers adults and young people to build financial assets, enables entrepreneurs to grow or launch businesses that create jobs, and helps community-based organizations to strengthen and transform communities. Unique about our efforts is recognition that access to capital and products alone is not enough. Financial capability, the ability to establish financial plans and develop strategies for preserving a strong financial position during times of both economic prosperity and instability, is critical to the economic success of individuals and communities. Program Examples:
Financial Diaries - The U.S. Financial Diaries project provides an unprecedented look at how more than 200 low- and moderate-income American families manage their financial lives during the course of a year. Led by the Financial Access Initiative at New York University and the Center for Financial Services Innovation – with leadership support from the Citi Foundation – the project is uncovering new insights on how American families make ends meet and how financial services and policies sometimes help and sometimes hinder them.
SCALA - With support from the Citi Foundation, the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank, launched SCALA, a program that connects low-income microentrepreneurs with business opportunities and access to high-quality products and services that integrate them into distribution channels of larger companies. Through SCALA, anchor companies, microfinance institutions (MFIs), and NGOs work together on projects that scale innovative distribution networks based on microfranchising models to expand economic opportunities for low-income microentrepreneurs.