Programs Department

The National Urban League operates 25 national programs through our affiliate network and re-grants approximately 25 million dollars a year to local Urban League affiliates. The Program Department is the primary vehicle through which the re-granting of funds, training and technical assistance are provided to Urban League affiliates. More than that, the Program Department’s role is to assess and understand the economic and social factors that negatively impact Urban League constituents and to design, test and implement innovative solutions to address these problems through our affiliate network.


It is in this capacity of an intermediary that allows the Urban League to offer a service-delivery model that can achieve scale and depth in neighborhoods across the country, combining the strength of localized services with accountable, centralized management. The Program Department is ideally positioned between a funding entity, which may be an individual, government agency, a foundation, and/or a corporation, and our local affiliates who are providing direct services to clients.


The Program Department is divided into five divisions:


Signature Programs

The National Urban League takes great pride in being recognized by our “signature programs.” These are the programs by which we seek to attach our name (“signature,” if you will) because for the national organization, the affiliates, the funders, and, most importantly, the constituents everyone comes out with success. That’s because these are scalable, evidence-based programs that enhance our constituents’ economic or educational status.


The Urban League looks to build powerful partnerships and has a strong track record and culture of collaboration and partnership. As both public and private funders seek to build the capacity of the local service delivery sector, the Program Department works as a strategic partner in achieving these goals and in the process provide numerous benefits to our funders including:

National branding and marketing opportunities

  •  Our Signature Programs represent the packaging of our best practices for replication.

Extend the reach of the funder into under-served and disinvested communities

  •  The Urban League, both at the national and local levels, is culturally competent and reflects the values of the community we serve.

 Bridge the credibility gap 

  • The Urban League has a strong track record of starting and maintaining new initiatives.
  • We have a rigorous and fair process for soliciting applications, selecting sub-grantees, distributing and monitoring awards, and reporting on sub-grant activities.

Build local capacity 

  • The Urban League is widely viewed by the community as the trusted “place to go” for assistance.

Increase efficiency and effectiveness

  •  We focus on outcomes by collecting, analyzing and reporting outcome data, and then using this data to improve services.
  • Each Urban League affiliate is assessed based on a rigorous set of fiscal, governance and program delivery standards to ensure effective performance.

Leverage experience and expertise

  •  We attract high-quality staff with substantial subject matter expertise and with experience in their fields.