CFLeads receives $4.8M for continued economic mobility work

CFLeads receives $4.8M for continued economic mobility work
Participants of the pilot Economic Mobility Action Network at the 2022 Capstone Meeting in Chicago, IL.

CFLeads is pleased to receive funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its continued economic mobility work. Building on the remarkable success of the pilot Economic Mobility Action Network, CFLeads will continue supporting community foundations that serve as local coalition builders through their economic mobility work. The new round of $4.8M funding by the foundation was announced in late November 2023.

CFLeads’ core purpose is to help community foundations build strong communities by advancing effective practices, sharing knowledge, and galvanizing action on critical issues of our time. We see economic mobility as a main tenant of our mission.

This renewed investment will allow the CFLeads Economic Mobility team to assist more community foundations around the country in improving long-term economic mobility for residents. CFLeads will support local decision makers by exploring community foundations as users of targeted economic mobility resources and tools and build their capacity as influencers of local public sector leadership.

We know from our Going All In research project that 98% of community foundations want to do more community leadership in the coming years. By employing the five competencies of community leadership – engaging residents, commissioning and sharing data, working across sectors, marshalling resources, and shaping public policy – we know community foundations can be effective changemakers and critical partners in their communities.”
Mary L. ThomasCFLeads President and CEO

“This was demonstrated in our pilot Economic Mobility Action Network facilitated by Dr. Leonard Brock,” said Thomas. “Each community foundation participant designed and implemented an economic mobility agenda that included the voice of residents, was informed by local data, and was supported by a cross-sector collaboration of partners that led to additional resources. At CFLeads, we are thrilled to continue this work and support more community foundations thanks to the renewed funding.”

CFLeads believes that by strengthening community foundations’ community leadership competencies, they will be able to meet the nine readiness conditions identified in Urban Institute’s Upward Mobility Planning Guide, positioning them to serve as “first movers” in getting local public sector leaders to use tools and resources that will help them implement an economic mobility agenda for the communities they serve.

“As outlined in the CFLeads 2.0 strategic business plan, accelerating the impact of the community foundation field is a priority for our organization,” said Thomas. “Thanks to the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we will be able to reach 170 community foundations and empower them with tools and strategies necessary to deepen their knowledge, strengthen their leadership skills and form effective local partnerships.”

For more information about CFLeads visit our website at or email If you are interested in learning more about CFLeads’ future Economic Mobility programming, follow the link below to complete a short interest form.