Working together to increase public support
for the federal and state EITCs.

Economic Opportunity Funders and the EITC Funders Network administer and oversee the State EITC Rapid Response, Campaign and Policy Development Fund and the Federal EITC Campaign Fund to advance tax fairness and economic opportunity for low-income workers and families through the promotion, protection and expansion of the federal and state EITCs. The four funds – together known as the EITC Pooled Fund –  are guided by an advisory group, supported by five national funders and administered by EOF and the EITC Funders Network in partnership with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and The Hatcher Group.

To date, $5,803,000 has been awarded to 39 networks: $1,463,000 in state rapid response funds, $1,965,000 in state campaign funds, $510,000 in federal campaign funds and $1,865,000 in policy development funds.

Participating foundations in the EITC Pooled Fund include:

Why the EITC?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) was established in 1975 as the nation’s most significant policy reform to reduce poverty and incentivize work for low income Americans.

The EITC puts money back into the pockets of working families struggling to make ends meet.  It helps provide immediate relief— so that they are able to buy groceries, pay utility bills, and buy school supplies—and helps them begin to break the cycle of poverty for future generations by getting additional education and training, better transportation, and saving for their children’s education.

The EITC lifts 5.6 million Americans, including 3 million children out of poverty each year, making it one of the nation’s largest and most successful anti-poverty programs.

In additional to the federal EITC, 30 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, and some municipalities now have state or local EITCs.

See these links for more information:

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 

The Tax Policy Center

Tax Credits for Workers and Their Families (led by The Hatcher Group)

To help improve efforts to protect, expand and create new state EITCs, we oversee four funds:

State EITC Rapid Response Fund

State EITC Rapid Response Fund

This Fund was established in 2012 and focuses on quick infusions of support to help an existing effort overcome a campaign or communications challenge or opportunity. Awards are made on a rolling basis and range from $15,000-$30,000.

State EITC Campaign Fund

State EITC Campaign Fund

This Fund was established in 2017 and focuses on supporting a year-long effort where a window of opportunity to promote or defend a state EITC seems urgent. Awards range from $30,000-$125,000.

State EITC Policy Development Fund

State EITC Policy Development Fund

This Fund was established in 2015 and provides multi-year support to state-based policy groups laying the groundwork to develop or improve state EITCs. Awards are made in the early Fall and range from $75,000-$125,00 a year for two years.

Federal EITC Campaign Fund

Federal EITC Campaign Fund

This Fund was established in 2020 and focuses on supporting work on the federal EITC and CTC, including work on tax-based benefits in the context of federal stimulus and relief packages. Awards are made on a rolling basis and range from $25,000-$160,000.

Additional work of the EITC Pooled Fund:

Polling and Message Testing

The Fund has supported several messaging research efforts to support awardees and the field.

In 2012, The Fund contracted with a national polling firm (Hart Research) to support new research on EITC messaging through focus groups and national polling. Findings from this research are available upon request.

In 2015, building on the polling and focus group findings, The Fund contracted a messaging firm (Topos Partnership) to explore the set of messages that might shift how people think about the EITC. This research, using deep “talk-back” message testing in several locations across the country, explored how people think about the EITC as a mechanism to reduce poverty and their reactions to messages regarding fraud and abuse of funds and other key message points. See findings from this research here.

Technical Assistance from National Partners

The Fund also provides support to two national field partners – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and The Hatcher Group. Each year, these national partners work collaboratively to prepare a scan of the state EITC policy field and identify opportunities and challenges that The Fund could work to address. National field partners also provide direct technical assistance to awardees and share learnings with the field.

Evaluation

The Fund supported a retrospective evaluation of the Rapid Response and Policy Development Fund. Evaluation activities began in Summer 2016 and concluded in March 2018.  Evaluation activities included document reviews, awardee surveys and interviews, group data collection at convening(s), funder and leadership team interviews, awardee coaching on data collection, awardee capacity assessments, surveys of a subset of awardees’ peers/partners, funding landscape analysis, and in-depth case studies.

RRF evaluation outcomes and lessons learned.

PDF evaluation outcomes and lessons learned.

Program Participation Data Dashboard

With support by the EITC Pooled Fund, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has launched a new Program Participation Data Dashboard, providing links and interactive tables of state-by-state data on participants in a variety of programs for families and individuals living with low income including EITC, SNAP, Medicaid and CHIP and SSI.

This tool will be incredibly helpful to funders and grantees seeking to better understand the reach and impact of these programs in local communities across the US.

State EITC Campaign Case Studies

Several state EITC campaign case studies of EITC Pooled Fund Awardees and additional written products have been developed by EITC Pooled Fund national technical assistance provider, The Hatcher Group.

Advocating for the EITC in the World of COVID-19 (Dec 2020): The economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown millions of Americans into financial instability. The EITC is one policy that can help low-income families stay afloat. This guide highlights messaging advocates can use to advocate for the EITC in the world of COVID-19.

A 2020 GUIDE TO Effective EITC Advocacy (Dec 2020): A comprehensive list of strategies highlighted in all 21 TCWF case studies.

California: Strong Relationships and Targeted Messages: Enacting a Last-Minute CalEITC Expansion for ITIN Filers (Dec 2020)

Colorado: Moving Toward Equity: Lessons from Colorado’s EITC Expansion (Dec 2020)

New Mexico: The Power of Relationship Building: Lessons from New Mexico’s WFTC Expansion (Dec 2019)

Hawaii: There’s Power in Numbers: Lessons From Hawaii’s Campaign to Enact a State-Level EITC (Dec 2017)