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The Rockefeller Foundation and Mastercard Announce Grants to Benefits Data Trust Totaling $7.5 Million

Grants Will Streamline Access to Benefits for Five Million People Living in Poverty by 2025

Washington, DC – October 21, 2019 The Rockefeller Foundation and Mastercard announced today they are awarding transformative grants to Benefits Data Trust (BDT) totaling $7.5 million to improve health and economic mobility for at least 5 million low-income people in the United States, by streamlining access to food, healthcare, housing, and other essential benefits. Over the course of the 5-year project, BDT will scale its impact using a combination of digital products, machine learning, policy, research, and new partnerships to deliver at least $2.5 billion in benefits. The Rockefeller Foundation is supporting BDT with a $5 million grant and the Mastercard Impact Fund, administered by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, is providing $2.5 million.

“More than 38 million people in the United States live in poverty and struggle to meet their most basic needs. Making it easier for them to tap essential benefits such as food assistance and healthcare is one of the most concrete and important ways to improve their economic security, health, and mobility out of challenging circumstances,” said Trooper Sanders, CEO of BDT. “We are thrilled to have the support of and be working with The Rockefeller Foundation and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth to scale our impact and improve the lives of millions of people across the country.”

“Benefits Data Trust demonstrates the power of cross sector partnerships – government, philanthropy, community organizations, the private sector, and academia – to leverage advances in data science and technology to make it easier for eligible families to access critical public services,” said Zia Khan, Senior Vice President, Innovation, The Rockefeller Foundation. “We are thrilled to partner with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth to ensure these essential benefits reach eligible populations on a much larger scale and put families on a path to economic stability.”

“At Mastercard, we believe the digital economy needs to work for everyone, everywhere. If we can increase the capacity of civic and social sector organizations to solve systemic problems, then there exists real potential to transform the lives of people and economies in need,” said Shamina Singh, President, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. “We see a world where the infinite promise of technological innovation can deliver on our goal of inclusive growth.”

BDT currently offers direct service in six states and supports systems change through policy and practice solutions to cities and states nationwide. Since inception in 2005, BDT has screened more than one million households and secured over $7 billion in benefits and services. These grants enable BDT to enhance digital products and build powerful partnerships with government, healthcare, community-based organizations, and higher education to improve the health and economic mobility of low-income families.

Earlier this year, The Rockefeller Foundation and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth announced ‘Data Science for Social Impact,’ a model for collaborative philanthropy created to accelerate the use of data science by empowering non-profit, civic and government organizations with the tools, expertise and knowledge they need to help solve the world’s most pressing challenges.  The collaborative launched with a joint $50-million commitment over five years.


About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, policy, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas and conversations. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.

About the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth
The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth focuses on promoting equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. As a subsidiary of Mastercard, the Center leverages the company’s data insights, expertise and technology, along with administering the Mastercard Impact Fund’s philanthropic investments, to empower a community of thinkers, leaders and innovators on the front lines of inclusive growth.  For more information and to receive its latest insights, follow the Center on Twitter @CNTR4growth, subscribe to its newsletter and visit

About Benefits Data Trust
Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is a national nonprofit that helps people live healthier, more independent lives by creating smarter ways to access essential benefits and services. Each year, BDT helps tens of thousands of people receive critical supports using data, technology, targeted outreach, and policy change. Since inception in 2005, BDT has screened more than one million households and secured over $7 billion in benefits and services. BDT employs more than 170 people and provides enrollment assistance to individuals in six states and policy assistance to states nationwide. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
The Rockefeller Foundation
Nick Spence

Benefits Data Trust
Jaime McClennen