Overview

The EITC Policy Development Fund (EITC PDF) was established in 2015 to provide multi-year support to state-based policy groups laying the groundwork to develop or improve state EITCs. Proposals are requested by invitation and awards are made in the early Fall at $75,000 a year for two years. Awardees may be eligible to apply for additional support at the end of their two-year contracts if funds are available.

The PDF is intended to support the development and execution of EITC state policy work. While generous, these funds are not intended to comprise the entirety of a campaign or effort. It is anticipated that these funds will be part of a larger effort. Awardees have technical assistance available to them from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Hatcher Group and are required to work with these firms to discuss campaign strategy, coalition building, and communications. 

Initial Geographic Focus on the South
To help maximize learning and shared experiences, the PDF decided to begin with a focus on supporting state EITC policy development in the South. The South was chosen because of the tremendous need to raise awareness of the value of state EITCs in this deep-poverty region, to encourage peer learning through shared experiences, and to work collaboratively with the vibrant community of local and regional southern funders. Policy development funds have been awarded to five state policy and advocacy groups in the South (AR, GA, MS, VA, WV).  In 2019, The Fund decided to expand its geographic focus beyond South and consider opportunities (in the South and beyond) for bolstering community engagement in state EITC policy development.

Bolstering Community Engagement
One key learning from the evaluation of our first cohort of policy development awardees was that some investment in community mobilization via a grassroots partner could bolster EITC efforts. Grassroots organizing is often under-utilized in policy work, in part because grassroots organizations and policy shops do not share the same skill sets, incentives, or often even worldviews. PDF awardees described community mobilization as being critical to their efforts, especially in deeply conservative states. As a result, in 2019, The Fund decided to bolster the community engagement aspects of its work and provide support for policy and community engagement groups to plan state EITC policy development work collaboratively. Three planning grants have been awarded to policy, advocacy and grassroots organizations in Florida, Idaho and Pennsylvania to explore the opportunity for deeper alignment and develop a joint proposal to build capacity to undertake EITC policy development work in their state. Awardees have six months to develop and submit a Framework for Action and be considered for EITC Policy Development Fund contracts of $125,000 per year for an initial two-year period. Awardees may be eligible to apply for a third year of support at the end of their two-year contracts if funds are available.

Policy Development Fund Awards

To date, $2,110,000 has been awarded to eight states in policy development funds.

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) was awarded $225,000 over the course of three years to support efforts to raise awareness of the potential impact of a refundable state EITC. With this award, AACF improved the understanding of a state EITC among policymakers and influencers, cultivated legislative champions, and engaged strategic partners and supporters in the work, including non-traditional allies in the health care and business communities.

The Florida Policy Institute received a planning grant in 2019 to work with the Common Ground Project and State Voices’ Florida C3 Civic Engagement Table to explore the opportunity for deeper alignment and develop a joint proposal for building capacity to establish a state EITC in Florida.

A two-year policy development grant was awarded in August 2020 to the Florida Policy Institute, Common Ground Project and Catalyst Miami to develop impactful policy research, improve public and legislator awareness of a state EITC’s potential positive impact, and build the foundation for a plausible path to establish an inclusive state EITC. This award helped build capacity through creating deep partnerships with Common Ground Project and Catalyst Miami, encouraged other key local partners to adopt the Working Floridians Tax Credit as a central pillar of their advocacy, and educated lawmakers on the need for a Working Floridians Tax Credit (WFTC) which came to fruition in the introduction of a bill.

A one-year renewal policy development grant was awarded in September 2022 to continue efforts to build support for a state Earned Income Tax Credit as a viable policy solution to Florida’s regressive tax code.

The Georgia Budget & Policy Institute (GBPI) was awarded $225,000 over the course of three years to support efforts to raise awareness of the value of developing a refundable state EITC. GBPI used this award to develop outreach and communications materials, build new partnerships, organize meetings to coordinate partner organizations, publish EITC research, develop a campaign website to engage the broader public, and identify allies to write letters, tell stories, and energize the public.

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute was awarded a Campaign Fund allocation in 2019 after their PDF award ended. Because their organization built enough internal and external capacity over the three years of PDF support, they were ready to apply for Campaign Fund support. This award helped build support for three bills to be introduced in the 2020 legislative session.

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute was awarded a $30,000 Rapid Response Fund allocation in 2021 to support efforts to find new legislative and organizational champions. Lawmakers passed a bill to increase the standard deduction, rather than a state EITC, using GBPI’s messaging around targeting support to a tax benefit that directly impacts low-income Georgians.

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute was awarded a $35,000 Rapid Response Fund allocation in 2022 to continue efforts and capitalize on the progress made to date.

Idaho Voices for Children and Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy received a planning grant in 2019 to explore the opportunity for deeper alignment and develop a joint proposal for building capacity to establish a state EITC in Idaho.

Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy and PODER of Idaho received a two-year policy development fund award in November 2020 to work together to establish an inclusive state EITC. Priorities include cultivating legislative champions, building a robust statewide Idaho EITC coalition, developing new research and analysis, and conducting media and messaging campaigns.

Hope Policy Institute (formerly know as The Mississippi Economic Policy Center) was awarded $150,000 over the course of two years to grow their strategic communications around establishing a state EITC. The Hope Policy Institute used this award to develop a website devoted to information on a state EITC, produce factsheets for legislators about the benefit of a state EITC to their district, partner with nonprofits and advocacy organizations to develop a message that reaches multiple stakeholder groups, and launch a social media campaign highlighting EITC benefits. Unfortunately, the state’s terrible fiscal crisis has meant that significant policymaker attention has gone to finding ways to reduce the budget and not increase it (as would an EITC).

Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center and We The People PA received a planning grant in 2019 to explore the opportunity for deeper alignment and develop a joint proposal for building capacity to establish a state EITC in Pennsylvania.

A two-year policy development award in August 2020 to establish a state EITC in Pennsylvania as part of the broader We The People campaign. This award helped build capacity by expanding support for their We The People agenda which includes establishing a state EITC, educating lawmakers about the importance of tax credits, and informing the development and passage of a new state Child Tax Credit.

Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center and We The People PA received a one year renewal award to continue efforts and capitalize on the progress made to date.

The Commonwealth Institute was awarded $225,000 over the course of three years to support efforts to make Virginia’s state Earned Income Tax Credit refundable. The Commonwealth Institute used this award to understanding of the state EITC among policymakers, bring people together who would be directly impacted by a refundable EITC into the policy debates, and capitalize on the momentum from the prior session to build stronger champions and advocacy partners for the campaign.

The Commonwealth Institute received a $125,000 Campaign Fund award in 2021 after their PDF award ended to establish a refundable and inclusive state child tax credit in Virginia. Because their organization built enough internal and external capacity over the three years of PDF support, they were ready to apply for Campaign Fund support.

The West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy (CBP), West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, and West Virginia Alliance for Sustainable Families worked together to raise awareness of a state EITC. This award helped CBP convene a state-wide tax coalition to articulate a vision for tax reform ahead of the legislative season and hold policy workshops, a policy symposium, and in-district community meetings. CBP also led a public information campaign with the assistance of potential EITC beneficiaries, religious organizations, the banking and finance industry, local businesses, and West Virginia Head Start. Despite promising developments, activity around the teacher strikes in the state stalled some momentum in 2018.

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy received a $50,000 Campaign Fund award in 2019 after their PDF award ended to continue efforts to build support for a state refundable EITC. Because their organization built enough internal and external capacity over the three years of PDF support, they were ready to apply for Campaign Fund support. While a bipartisan bill was introduced in the legislature in 2019, it did not make it out of committee.

What’s New

EITC Pooled Fund 2021 Year-in-Review

This year-end report provides an overview of the EITC Pooled Fund awards and lessons learned in 2021.

Idaho Receives State EITC Policy Development Fund Award

Idaho receives two-year State EITC Policy Development Fund award.

EITC Policy Development Fund – Second Cohort Impact Summary

Established in 2015, the EITC Policy Development Fund was developed to provide multi-year support to state-based policy groups laying the groundwork to develop or improve state EITCs. This second cohort…

EITC Policy Development Fund – First Cohort Impact Summary

Established in 2015, the EITC Policy Development Fund was developed to provide multi-year support to state-based policy groups laying the groundwork to develop or improve state EITCs. This first cohort impact summary provides an overview of awards in Georgia, Mississippi and West Virginia and offers lessons learned.

Creating Impact in the South: The EITC Policy Development Fund

This webinar provided an opportunity to learn about the EITC Policy Development Fund, hear lessons learned from funders and awardees about how their efforts to expand access to state EITCs has transformed their ability to engage new allies in the effort to reduce poverty, and talk together about ways to apply these learnings to other topical areas or efforts in additional Southern states.

Evaluation

EITC Policy Development Fund Evaluation

The EITC Policy Development Fund (EITC PDF) is one of three funds administered by EOF and the EITC Funders Network in partnership with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities…