The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) last month came out on top of the heap in a contest for $200,000 in unrestricted funds from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
“Obviously, we were delighted to hear we were chosen for the award,” said JPNDC Executive Director Richard Thal.
The Neighborhood Excellence Initiative (NEI) award, which will come in two $100,000 installments over the next two years, is particularly welcome because unrestricted funds are hard to come by, Thal said.
“Community organizing work and working with business people is important work, but it’s harder to sustain” than affordable housing development, he said.
In addition to large-scale development projects like the Jackson Square project currently in the planning stages [see related article], the JPNDC runs extensive workforce development and small business owner support programs. It is also involved in the local Coalition to Mobilize, Educate and Vote and regularly lends support to tenant organizing and affordable housing campaigns.
“It’s fair to say [the funds] will enable us to keep doing what we are doing in harder-to-fund things like that,” Thal said.
One other Boston-area organization, Jumpstart for Young Children, which pairs college students with at-risk children, was also awarded an NEI grant.