RBF commits $48 million for racial and climate equity, U.S. democracy

RBF commits $48 million for racial and climate equity, U.S. democracy

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has announced that it will boost its grantmaking by $48 million over the next five years in support of efforts to advance racial justice, strengthen U.S. democracy, and generate new economic thinking to address global climate change.

The commitment includes $10 million over three years to launch a racial justice initiative that builds on the fund's work with justice, governance, and civic culture organizations to identify solutions for dismantling structural racism in America. Another $18 million will augment the fund's grantmaking in the area of Democratic Practice, with a focus on election protection, voter participation initiatives, and other RBF priorities, as well as action over the next four years to advance recommendations included in Our Common Purpose, a report published by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship, which RBF president Stephen Heintz co-chairs.

The fund also will invest $10 million to advance solutions for climate change — a strategic priority for RBF for the past fifteen years — with a focus on new economic thinking, experimentation, and advocacy around a reimagined practice of capitalism that reduces both the global economy's reliance on fossil fuels and inequality. The remaining $10 million will be used to maintain current levels of grant funding for partners and grantees and boost the fund's annual payout rate over the next five years to address entrenched and pervasive inequities in society. The additional commitments will boost the fund's 2020 grants budget from a projected $39.3 million to more than $46 million. 

"This is a moment of global pandemic and civic tension that also contains extraordinary activism, authenticity, learning, and hope," said RBF board chair Valerie Rockefeller. "It's a time for deeper commitment to the ideas, leaders, organizations, and networks that can disrupt racial and economic inequity for meaningful progress on our long-term efforts for social change. There has never been a better time to invest in our mission to make the world more just, sustainable, and peaceful. Despite the uncertainty of the markets, we are certain about the decision to increase our spending."

"Rockefeller Brothers Fund increases spending to seize 'hinge moment in history'." Rockefeller Brothers Fund press release 06/29/2020.