Mobilizing Private Capital for Impact

Promoting partnerships to spur greater investment in low-income communities across the country.

Crowding In Community Investment

The Rockefeller Foundation knows that place matters. No city or town in the U.S. has a monopoly on talent or effort, but opportunity is not equally distributed. After decades of disinvestment, low-income neighborhoods are experiencing waves of investment, but these funds do not always benefit communities’ longstanding residents.

  • 0

    cities in the U.S. where someone working fulltime at minimum wage can afford a market-rate two-bedroom apartment

  • 27.7%

    average poverty rate across Opportunity Zones compared with the national poverty rate of 14.1%

  • 90million

    Americans–families where at least one person works fulltime–have trouble paying the bills each month

Focusing on People and Places

Research shows how ZIP codes can define a person’s future and that places shape outcomes for people. Women, people of color, and immigrants are disproportionately harmed by these systemic challenges, widening existing fissures in society. 

The Foundation is now working in twelve cities and the District of Columbia to mobilize new and responsible private investment in Opportunity Zones, part of a new tax policy intended to bring capital investment into distressed communities nationwide. Efforts are underway to support municipal capacity and provide technical assistance to Atlanta, Ga., Boston, Ma., Dallas, Texas, Louisville, Ky., Miami, Fla., Newark, N.J., New Orleans, La., Norfolk, Va., Pittsburgh, Pa., Oakland, Calif., Seattle, Wa., and St. Louis, Mo., along with D.C.

Our Approach

At The Rockefeller Foundation, we believe that the people closest to those experiencing the problem are best suited to find the solution, so we are investing in the capacity of cities and organizations to spur equitable economic development in their own communities.

We’re investing in people-place creates opportunities for economically disadvantaged communities by:

Supporting municipal capacity and provide technical assistance to improve on cities’ ability to market their Opportunity Zones and achieve the highest ROI for their community

Working alongside investors to help seed 1-3 new investment funds that can showcase both impact and scale through the deployment of PRIs and strategic grants.


Expanding on the adoption of the first and only impact reporting framework for Opportunity Zones

Partnering with 16 other foundations and financial institutions to improve access to capital for African American and Latinx entrepreneurs.


Strengthening the capacity of cities to take better advantage of Opportunity Zones will incentivize responsible investment that supports community engagement and mitigates the risk of displacement.


Opportunity Zones

These zones are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities throughout the country and U.S. possessions by providing tax benefits to investors who invest eligible capital into these communities.

Learn More
As mayors, we understand the importance of using every tool available to make our cities more vibrant, livable, and sustainable places. The Opportunity Zones program is one tool that promises us a chance to direct untapped sources of capital towards the places that need it most.
Mayor Greg Fischer
Louisville, KY
Milestone Tracking

Our Goals

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  • ROI

    building community and municipal capacity that more effectively directs investment in Opportunity Zones and other historically disinvested areas

  • 8,000

    jobs in 12 cities and the District of Columbia

  • $1billion

    in private investment, while generating measurable impact

Recent Updates

May 21 2019
The Rockefeller Foundation Launches $5.5 Million Opportunity Zone Community Capacity Building Initiative for Select U.S. Cities; Newark, N.J. is First City Selected, with Co-Funding from Prudential Financial
Sep 14 2018
Nearly 150 letters of inquiry on Opportunity Zones pour into Kresge, Rockefeller foundations
Sep 06 2019
Greg Johnson on Opportunity Zones
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