Catalytic Capital | May 22, 2019

Rockefeller Foundation seeds city-level support for Opportunity Zones

Dennis Price
ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

ImpactAlpha, May 22 – The goal of the $5.5 million in funding from New York foundation is to help cities attract and deploy impact-oriented investment to communities in economically distressed Opportunity Zones.

Rockefeller will provide funding and human resources to six cities, beginning with Newark, over two years to support city-level Chief Opportunity Zone Officers, as well as community engagement specialists. Prudential Financial added $950,000 to support the Newark effort.

“Philanthropy has an important role to play in ensuring opportunity zones improve the lives of the residents in distressed communities,” said Rockefeller’s Raj Shah.

Funding from Rockefeller is part of a broader effort by U.S. foundations to ensure Opportunity Zone investments benefit community members. Earlier this year, Kresge Foundation put $22 million into the Opportunity Funds of two impact fund managers, Arctaris Impact and Community Capital Management. Kresge also backed a Calvert Impact Capital Opportunity Fund incubator.

Rockefeller will pick five more cities to receive funds in the coming months.