FHLBank San Francisco More than Doubles AHEAD Grant Fund to $4 million for Economic Vitality Initiatives in Arizona, California, and Nevada

Increased Funding an Important Part of Board Decision to Substantially Increase Annual Commitment to Much Needed Community Programs

Grants of up to $100,000 will support local nonprofits, government agencies, and tribal organizations

SAN FRANCISCO, May 2, 2023 – Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) announced today that it will allocate $4 million to its annual AHEAD economic development grant program, representing an increase of over 160% compared to the program’s funding in 2022. Initiated in 2004, AHEAD grants are made to organizations that are creating economic opportunity through innovative and targeted initiatives that benefit underserved communities. This substantial increase is an important component of an initiative to voluntarily increase the Bank’s annual commitment to community programs. In 2023, as part of FHLBank San Francisco’s mission, the board of directors voted to voluntarily allocate up to an additional 5%* of the Bank’s annual net income to funding economic development and homeownership grant programs and special purpose credit programs that enrich people’s lives and revitalize communities.

Critically, in addition to the increased overall amount in 2023 total program funding, this year’s individual maximum grant amount of up to $100,000 is nearly four times larger than 2022 AHEAD grants, which is designed to afford nonprofits and other community organizations struggling with rising costs more support to meet the urgent needs of the people they serve. The grants are awarded through the Bank’s member financial institutions. The deadline for FHLBank San Francisco members partnering with nonprofits to submit applications for grants of up to $100,000 is June 1, 2023.

“For more than 90 years, our mission has been to enrich the lives of the millions of people who live in Arizona, California, and Nevada by providing vital funding that drives new job opportunities, delivers invaluable training and education, and addresses the countless economic development needs in our region,” said Teresa Bryce Bazemore, president and CEO of FHLBank San Francisco. “We are thrilled to substantially increase our AHEAD grant program allocation to $4 million this year, as part of our broader decision to voluntarily deliver significantly greater support and empower and uplift the communities that we serve with our members.”

Delivering on their mission and commitment to support affordable housing, each year, FHLBanks dedicate a minimum of 10% of the previous year’s net income to their Affordable Housing Program (AHP) to provide grants that help build or preserve affordable housing and expand access to homeownership. FHLBank San Francisco committed in 2004 to creating additional economic opportunity in its three-state district of Arizona, California, and Nevada through the voluntary AHEAD Program that has awarded more than $20 million in grants to over 700 economic development projects.

AHEAD grants are awarded through a competitive application process and delivered through FHLBank San Francisco's member financial institutions to bring greater economic opportunities to underserved populations across the three states. With a $2.5 million increase in funding for the 2023 program, FHLBank San Francisco will be able to award a total of $4 million in grants of up to $100,000 per grant recipient.

The AHEAD Program supports the Bank’s members in forging strong and productive relationships with nonprofit organizations that have specific economic and community development expertise. The Bank invites its members to partner with local nonprofits, government agencies, and tribal organizations to submit grant applications for projects that give a boost to low- to moderate-income communities by: 

  • Creating or preserving jobs
  • Delivering job training or education programs
  • Supporting small business, microlending, and microenterprise incubation for low-income entrepreneurs
  • Addressing the special economic development needs of at-risk youth, veterans, persons with disabilities, the formerly incarcerated, and tribal communities, among others

“The AHEAD grant program provides essential funding for groups who are working tirelessly to strengthen and improve their communities, whether that’s through promoting workforce development or providing support for those navigating a difficult time,” said Eric Cicourel, senior vice president and community investment officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “We look forward to seeing this year’s applications and to supporting the work being done to promote economic vitality throughout our region.”

The AHEAD Program application process is now open to members, and grant recipients will be announced in early September. 
In 2022, FHLBank San Francisco and its members delivered $1.5 million in AHEAD Program grants to 55 recipients including:

  • Arizona Central Credit Union delivered a $27,500 grant to Junior Achievement of Arizona, Inc., which educates primarily low-income K-12 students about how to manage the economics of life through workforce readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship programs. The AHEAD grant helped fund staff costs, volunteer recruitment and training, and curriculum costs for the Financial Education for Low-Income K-12 Students project. 
  • Excite Credit Union secured $27,500 in AHEAD funding for the Latino Business Foundation of Silicon Valley, which provides business skills training and services to a diverse community of women and immigrant entrepreneurs. These services include a small business incubator that provides one-on-one technical and strategic coaching, business training courses, and programs to support women who are single mothers and domestic violence survivors. 
  • Clark County Credit Union won a $27,500 grant for Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, one of the most comprehensive service providers for young people experiencing homelessness in Southern Nevada, providing wraparound programs, a safe and supportive environment, and a path to self-sufficiency. AHEAD funds supported the Drop-In Center, where youth ages 12 to 20 can access a kitchen and food pantry, showers, and a computer lab while receiving individualized case management support, counseling, job readiness services, healthcare, and educational workshops. 

To learn more about the AHEAD Program and the application process, please visit fhlbsf.com.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco

The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco is a member-driven cooperative helping local lenders in Arizona, California, and Nevada build strong communities, create opportunity, and change lives for the better. The tools and resources we provide to our member financial institutions—commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, savings institutions, insurance companies, and community development financial institutions—help finance affordable housing projects, propel homeownership, drive economic growth, and revitalize whole neighborhoods. Together with our members and other partners, we are making the communities we serve more vibrant, equitable, and resilient and changing lives for the better.

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* News release updated on 5/09/2023 to correct and clarify the amount of the Bank's voluntary allocation.