Uplift America Fund


The Uplift America Fund was a partnership that leveraged federal resources, bank financing, and private grants to target much-needed capital to persistently low-wealth areas. It made low-interest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans and private grant support available to community lenders, particularly community development financial institutions (CDFIs), that fund in economically distressed areas of Appalachia, the Texas-Mexico border, the rural South and Native American reservations.

These funds were used for community facilities projects like health clinics, schools, libraries, food banks, municipal buildings, and child care centers. Uplift provided an unprecedented opportunity for experienced community lenders to deploy large amounts of capital to areas of greatest need while building their own capacity and scale of operations so they can remain enduring resources for rural communities. This model leveraged existing infrastructure and expertise to tailor place-based solutions, and it served as a template for other federal partners to structure investment in underserved areas.

How It Worked

Why Uplift?

Unlocking Investment in Rural America

Key Partners

The Uplift America Fund was made possible by contributions of the following partners.

USDA Rural Development

Bank of America

Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN)

Progress Reports

View annual reports providing insight on the Uplift America program.

2019 Progress Report

2018 Progress Report

2017 Progress Report

Projects Overview

Lenders participating in the Uplift America Partnership developed a pipeline of dozens of community facilities projects in economically distressed rural counties across the country. These projects included a wildlife center, YMCA, health care clinics, hospitals, assisted living facilities, public safety facilities, schools, libraries, community centers, grocery stores, and more.

Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

Craft3 and Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

Dakota Resources / Rural Electric Economic Development

Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation


Rural Community Assistance Corporation

South Carolina Community Loan Fund