December 14, 2021

Irene Baldwin, Executive Director of Ariva

Ariva Selected by the Citi Foundation’s Community Progress Makers Initiative to Advance Social and Economic Opportunity in The Bronx, New York

Unrestricted grant of $500,000 will enable Ariva to expand their mission of financial inclusion in The Bronx and across New York City

December 14, 2021 – Ariva was selected by Citi Foundation as a recipient of the Community Progress Makers initiative, which supports visionary organizations across the U.S. that are working to connect low-income communities and Communities of Color to greater social and economic opportunity. As a Community Progress Maker, Ariva will receive a multi-year, unrestricted grant of $500,000 and access to technical assistance and a supportive learning community from 2022 – 2023.

As one of New York City’s Financial Empowerment Centers, Ariva helps residents of New York City navigate New York City’s economic systems and partners with many community-based organizations to support their clients’ financial journeys. Through Citi Foundation’s support, Ariva will expand its free tax preparation and financial counseling programs and impact. In 2020, Ariva provided comprehensive financial counseling to 2,800 clients and filed 7,822 tax returns, bringing $15,242,831.00 in refunds back to The Bronx. Their goal in 2022 is to expand to additional neighborhoods in The Bronx and deliver counseling or tax assistance to at least 14,000 people.

“We are very proud to be named one of 50 Community Progress Makers and to receive this generous grant from Citi Foundation. With this funding, we will expand and deepen our core services and launch a new community credit building initiative. Together with our clients and core partners, we will develop a grassroots response to the financial needs of our neighborhoods. Needs that have become more critical as the pandemic drags on here,” says Irene Baldwin, Executive Director of Ariva.

The newest cohort of Community Progress Makers includes 50 leading nonprofit organizations selected through a competitive Request for Proposals process, with a strong track record of supporting underserved communities across six U.S. cities: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C. The Citi Foundation will provide a supportive learning community through which grantees can connect to share best practices and strengthen their work as social change agents. The Urban Institute will also provide technical assistance to help measure the cohort’s impact and progress.

“Six years ago, the Citi Foundation launched Community Progress Makers with a vision of empowering community leaders to grow their transformative impact through unrestricted, trust-based funding,” says Brandee McHale, Head of Community Investing and Development and President of the Citi Foundation. “This kind of approach and support is more important than ever as the U.S. continues to address the root causes and impacts of income and wealth inequality. Through the Community Progress Makers initiative, these social innovators and advocates can continue to look for new ways of addressing long-standing societal challenges at scale.”

From 2015 to 2019, the Citi Foundation has provided $40 million in multi-year, unrestricted funding to 72 Community Progress Makers, helping to place over 45,000 people in affordable housing, train over 33,000 people for employment, save over $10 million in energy costs, and expand over 12,000 small businesses.


About Ariva

Since 2003, Ariva has led an economic and systemic shift to change the narrative of The Bronx, working to create financial and economic equity in typically underserved communities. Ariva provides free financial counseling to New Yorkers both as a standalone effort and integrated within their free tax program—which reaches more than 10,000 people every year. They also offer comprehensive financial counseling, asset-building & public benefits services at several nonprofit partner organizations in low-income neighborhoods around New York City. For more information, visit

About the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. 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. For more information, visit

Below is a full list of 2021 Community Progress Makers.

New York City

America on Tech

Ariva, Inc

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Bridge Street Development Corporation

Community League of the Heights

El Puente

Fifth Avenue Committee


Habitat for Humanity of New York City and Westchester County

Harlem Stage

Korean-American Community Foundation

Solar One

South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBro)

The Knowledge House

YMCA of Greater New York



Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago

Proviso Leyden Council For Community Action, Inc.

Urban Growers Collective

Working Credit

Los Angeles

A Place Called Home

Central City Neighborhood Partners


Clifford Beers Housing

Enterprise Community Partners

Little Tokyo Service Center

PARS Equality Center Los Angeles

Puente Learning Center

Vermont Slauson Local Development Corporation


aire ventures

Community Justice Project

Health Foundation of South Florida

Miami Workers Center

Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida

Solar and Energy Loan Fund, Inc. (SELF)

YWCA of Greater Miami Dade

San Francisco Bay Area

Centro Community Partners (Centro)

Chinatown Community Development Center

Community Housing Development Corporation

Homeless Children’s Network

Juma Ventures

Old Skool Café

Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services

Rising Sun Center for Opportunity

Washington, D.C.

ACT for Alexandria, A Community Foundation

Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development

Homefree USA

La Cocina VA

Tzedek DC

United Way of National Capital Area

For more information about Community Progress Makers, please visit: