U.S. Economic Opportunity

Working towards an equitable and inclusive economy

The State of Affairs

Every working person in the United States should be able to meet their family’s financial needs and have a path to a better future. We act to fight against economic disparities that impact marginalized communities.

For over a century, The Rockefeller Foundation has been a force for expanding opportunities for America’s working families.

Our strategic investments aim to dismantle structural economic barriers to equal opportunity.

We unlock clean energy and climate funding in underserved communities, support fair and equitable tax policies, and increase access to capital and procurement opportunities for underserved businesses.

Why it Matters


    people moved out of poverty in 2021, and the child poverty rate decreased by almost 40% because of two tax measures, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit


    of American households are unbanked or underbanked, often obligating them to use costly financial services that can impact their financial health


    people in disadvantaged communities, suffering from a combination of environmental, economic, and health burdens, are eligible for equity-focused federal climate funding


When faced with a hypothetical expense of $400, 68 percent of all adults in 2021 said they would cover it exclusively using cash, savings, or a credit card paid off at the next statement. The rest said they would pay by borrowing or selling something, or would not be able to cover the expense.

But Black and Hispanic adults were much more likely than White or Asian adults to face difficulty paying bills, and these differences were present at all income levels. Forty percent of Black adults and 35 percent of Hispanic adults had, or were close to having, difficulty paying bills, compared with 19 percent of White adults and 11 percent of Asian adults.

Our Strategy

  • 1Equitable Climate Solutions: We advance programs at the nexus of climate and economic opportunity, establishing a foundation for sustainable, scalable progress in underserved communities. Our objective is to ​implement ​high-potential, locally​ ​​​led initiatives and ensure all communities can ​access climate funding.
  • 2A Just Tax System: We are creating collaborations to create a just tax system and advance pro-worker tax and revenue policies. Our goal is to advance solutions that will help at least 25 million American workers achieve economic stability.
  • 3Inclusive Economic Growth: We are a founding member of the Economic Opportunity Coalition (EOC), a historic effort to catalyze and align public and private investments to accelerate inclusive economic growth, particularly for underserved communities.

Related Grants

From climate, to taxes, to small businesses, we are working with grantees to build a more equitable America.

View U.S. Economic Opportunity Focused Grants

Implementing Climate Action in America’s Cities

The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act is a massive economic and climate package and includes a $60 billion commitment to environmental justice. National leaders pledge that economically disadvantaged communities grappling with pollution and health disparities will have access to these funds, but what does implementation look like on the ground? What’s next for cities on the green and just transition? Join us for a conversation with local experts on climate justice and how the Inflation Reduction Act might transform front-line communities.

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