Rise offers human and financial resources and training support to local community development corporations (CDCs) and the St. Louis community development sector as a whole. Through these initiatives we facilitate partnerships to undertake comprehensive approaches to community development.

CDC Capacity Building Program

With the support of local banks and foundations, and local and federal government agencies, Rise provides capacity building technical assistance to St. Louis area community development corporations (CDCs). Our capacity building programs help CDCs successfully undertake the revitalization of neighborhoods.

We undertake in-depth organizational assessments of all program participants, design capacity building plans based on these assessments and annually reassess programs to determine success.

What all this really means

Many organizations have big goals such as neighborhood revitalization, organizational restructuring, acquiring neglected properties, and others. Despite ambitious undertakings, community development non-profits are often understaffed and lack the work hours needed to accomplish what they set out to do.

That’s where Rise comes in. We work with these organizations to find out how their current capacity is functioning and where the gaps are between what they are able to do and what they want to be able to do. Rise provides staff resources to put together plans and fill in gaps in expertise, time and resources to help expand the capacity of an organization so they can do more.

Rise’s capacity building includes individualized technical assistance as well as group training classes for area CDCs. Our individualized technical assistance focuses on six categories of organizational capacity development:

  • Leadership and Community Engagement

  • Small business modeled operations

  • Organizational financial management

  • Organizational development

  • Planning, implementation and evaluation

  • Community support

Collaborative Grant Program

Each year, the Rise Collaborative Grant Program accepts Letters of Intent (LOIs) for the next year’s grant cycle. Local community development corporations (CDCs) serving St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis, Madison County, IL and St. Clair County, IL are welcome to apply when applications are available for submission in the fourth quarter of the calendar year.

Our Collaborative Grant Program focuses on providing financial resources coupled with technical assistance to build the capacity and sustainability of the best CDCs in the area. Participation in the program is by invitation only. If your organization is awarded a collaborative grant through Rise, we work with you to help finalize a budget for your awarded program as well as define roles of Rise staff for assistance throughout the duration of the grant. This means if your grant is approved, you get not just the financial award but Rise’s expertise to help implement your program and measure outcomes.

If you want to view the 2017 grantee frequently asked questions and application materials to decide if your organization should consider submitting an application, should you be invited, click here.

For information about the 2017 Collaborative Grant training click here.

Since 1998, the program has made over $2.9 million in operating support grants to 22 local organizations. In turn, these organizations have successfully developed over 1,200 homes and apartments, representing $288 million of new capital investments in St. Louis area neighborhoods.

Banks and financial institutions often want to establish partnerships that will meet all three Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) tests.  Participating in Rise’s CDC Capacity Building and Collaborative Grant Program provides a Qualified Investment under the Investment Test, and serving on the Oversight Committee of Rise’s CDC Capacity Building and Collaborative Grant Program counts under the Service Test.  Opportunities also may exist under the Lending Test.

Other CRA related benefits Include

  • Potential opportunities to participate in financing development projects.
  • Potential opportunities to offer new bank loans and services.
  • Build relationships with current or new community partners.
  • Stay informed of Rise-assisted development initiatives.
  • Opportunities to leverage investment with other partners to have more sustainable impact on a community.

Oversight Committee Members come from the following organizations

  • BMO Harris Bank

  • Citigroup Foundations

  • Central Bank of St. Louis

  • Commerce Bank

  • First Bank

  • PNC Bank


Banks and financial institutions are not requirements for membership on the Oversight Committee. Foundations, businesses and other institutions are eligible to participate.

For more information, please contact:

Rick Bonasch, Director of Technical Assistance
314-333-7007 or rick@risestl.org

Partnerships and Network Support

Our neighborhood-based partners benefit from the greater financial capacity and expertise we bring to development projects. The partners participate in the project ownership, have the opportunity to gain more hands-on experience in the development process and gain long-term financial sustainability.

Group Training Sessions

Our group training classes cover a broad range of organizational development and neighborhood revitalization topics and are taught by in-house Rise staff and outside experts in a variety of specialty areas.

The topic and scope of the training may vary greatly depending on a number of factors but regardless of what topic is covered, the goals of informing and facilitating discussion remain. Typically held quarterly, these trainings give us the ability to brainstorm, collaborate, and devise solutions to local issues in the community. Below is information on our upcoming training:

Here are some example summaries of recent training sessions from 2015, so you can get a better idea of what actually happens at these events.

Check back here or over at our events page for updated information. To access materials from archived trainings, go to the events page, put in the date of the workshop you are looking for in the search box, and when the training announcement comes up, look for the links to materials.

For more information on Rise’s group training schedule, please contact Brian Hurd, Technical Assistance Program Manager, at brian@risestl.org or by phone at (314) 333-7012.