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Democratizing Development Program

Democratizing Development Program 

NFG's Democratizing Development Program (DDP) builds the capacity of philanthropic institutions to support low-income and communities of color who have been oppressed and disadvantaged by historical profit-based and exclusionary development practices. DDP leverages NFG’s network and field leaders to harness innovative solutions that increase and strategically leverage philanthropic resources for more inclusive, community-led and equitable approaches to development.

Across the country, we are witnessing community residents and institutions organizing deeper together to create a people-powered alternative vision for local development. This vision is not driven by profit, speculation and the influx of new corporate capital, but centered on community needs. At the heart of this shift is local development powered by the leadership and vision of residents who typically are at the margins of the social and political process. This approach to development centralizes decision-making on people and specifically empowers low-income people to have actual decision-making ability to say what development looks like in their neighborhoods and define where and how they want to live.

When philanthropy invests in democratizing development for people, the results will be more accountability for elected officials, more equitable policies and programs, increased engagement of more marginalized people in the civic life of their communities, and improvements in the overall well-being of all people and the places in which they live.


As the DDP Program advances priority strategies, the work of NFG members and field partners aligns with the following priorities and principles:

  • Building community power by leveraging solutions that increase the political power that creates transformative and sustained change in our planning, policies, and community development practices.
  • Expand resource equity, community control and racial justice as the grounding principles in community development. 
  • Clearly articulate appropriate philanthropic roles as a community-centered philanthropic partner. Advance collaborative strategies with other national and local funders, practitioners, and cross-sector leadership.
  • Addressing policies, actions, and protections at different stages of community development for the benefit of local low-income residents and residents of color. 
  • Scaling the investment and partnerships needed to transform and democratize community development. 
  • Strengthening and integrating built infrastructure investments within a region. 
  • Expanding and leveraging existing successful campaigns and build upon emergent work. 

Click here for DDP Brochure

To learn more about the Democratizing Development Program, contact Nile K. Malloy, Senior Program Manager, nile@nfg.org.