Democratizing Development Program


Interested in finding out more about DDP and signing up for email updates?

Nile K. Malloy
Director, Democratizing Development Program
nile [at]
(510) 444-6063, ext. 17
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The Democratizing Development Program (DDP) brings together place-based and national funders to provide learning, analysis, and mutual support around organizing the field of philanthropy and genuinely partnering with communities to support sustainable development and community power building strategies. Our funders catalyze change through collaboration with community stakeholders, addressing systems of inequity to create long-lasting benefits for low-income individuals and communities of color in neighborhoods.

DDP is a space where funders further develop their strategies and analysis to take action and partner with other equity-centered funders with the following focus areas:

  • Intersectional approaches and strategies that protect, preserve and produce affordable housing solutions that address gentrification and displacement
  • Community development and ownership models that allow residents to influence local decisions and create longer-term benefits for themselves 
  • Embedding equitable solutions for public infrastructure and other systems that can otherwise negatively impact neighborhoods
  • Implementation of peer-learning, sharing best practices, and equity-centered grantmaking approaches

Learn more about DDP.


Video courtesy of Neighborhoods First Fund.


Meet our program leaders.

Kevin Ryan
Program Officer, Just Cities and Regions
Ford Foundation

Kevin is a Co-Chair of the Democratizing Development Program. His grantmaking in Detroit focuses on housing and community development, civic engagement, and youth opportunities.

Isabel Barrios
Program Officer
Greater New Orleans Foundation

Isabel is a Co-Chair of the Democratizing Development Program. Her work has centered on asset building, economic opportunity, and affordable housing in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Karen Abrams
Program Officer, Equitable Development
The Heinz Endowments

Karen focuses on infusing equity into redevelopment funding initiatives in the Pittsburgh region. Her work involves sustainable investments in neighborhoods and cities.

Matthew Barron
Program Officer, Sustainability
The Heinz Endowments

Matt’s work addresses community and economic development as well as environmental issues, with a focus on economic and environmental justice.

Melanie Allen
Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice

Melanie is fiercely committed to supporting leadership across the South. She has over 12 years of experience in the nonprofit, philanthropic, and public sectors.

Learn about our impact.