Did you know that the U.S. Department of the Treasury expects Opportunity Zones to unlock well over $100 billion in private investment in low-wealth communities across the United States? The tax incentive, which became law as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, seeks to encourage long term capital investments in more than eighty-seven hundred designated census tracts across the country by permitting investors to reinvest capital gains in exchange for tax benefits.
Opportunity Zones are state-nominated, economically depressed communities that are in need of new investment and, done right, have the potential to support an asset building and an equity agenda. Foundations can and should play a role in supporting the ecosystem that will ensure the success of opportunity zones.
On June 12, 2019, AFN hosted a special briefing and discussion with funders and experts to explore how your foundation can leverage Opportunity Zones for real impact, how and where funders can engage on this issue at the state and local levels, the power the funders’ voices can bring to shaping how investments are made, and where to learn more about the regulations and implementation strategies cities and communities are undertaking.
Investments are already happening – watch the recording now, and contact us with any questions!
Otis Rolley, Managing Director, Economic Resilience and Operations, U.S. Jobs and Economic Opportunity Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation
Tammy Halevy, Public Private Strategies
Taryn MacFarlane, Asset Funders Network
- LISC http://www.lisc.org/opportunity-zones/
- Mission Investors Exchange https://missioninvestors.org/search?keys=opportunity%20zones
- Accelerator for America- 30 cities across the US are part of their network https://www.acceleratorforamerica.com/OZGuide
- SSIR— Standford Social Innovation Review (some content is free) https://ssir.org/
- How exactly do opportunity zones work? (Generic investor perspective) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzdJSoEF2H4
- What roles funders play (Thought starter from our speakers at Public Private Strategies): https://www.publicprivatestrategies.com/how-philanthropy-can-catalyze-private-investment-in-opportunity-zones
- Rockefeller’s recent investment capacity building for Opportunity Zones: https://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/about-us/news-media/rockefeller-foundation-launches-opportunity-zone-community-capacity-building-initiative-newark-first-city-selected/
- Who’s Making Grants to Help Opportunity Zones Realize Their Promise? Article describing work by capacity building centers to support communities building out opportunity zone investments