Rockefeller Family Fund is a U.S.-based, family-led public charity that initiates, cultivates, and funds strategic efforts to promote a sustainable, just, free, and participatory society.           

Martha, John, Laurance, Nelson, and David Rockefeller created the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF) in 1967. Since then, RFF has worked at the cutting edge of advocacy in such areas as environmental protection, advancing the economic rights of women, and helping citizens hold public and private institutions accountable for their actions. RFF is known for its creative grantmaking, its role as a catalyst in the nonprofit as well as the funding communities, and its record of public policy innovation.  

While our operations and approach remain true to the Rockefeller vision of strategic, innovative philanthropy, we have evolved from our roots as a family foundation.

To many observers, RFF appears to be a typical grant-making organization.  In fact, RFF is a hybrid of two very distinct models:

The traditional foundation that gives grants to nonprofit organizations.  RFF was founded with this intent, and this is the institutional form that is most recognizable to the nonprofit community.

The nimble advocacy organization that develops and runs initiatives and projects to help address key societal issues.  RFF seeks to find the leverage points of a given issue.  Based on this research, we assemble teams and build staffs, keeping an eye on the big picture while focused on the pivotal components that may provide the breakthrough.

This blend of approaches has significant benefits.  We work with the foundation community as partners, allowing us to maximize our resources and learn from a wide range of people with a breadth of knowledge and experience.

At the same time, we retain flexibility that is unavailable to many foundations. RFF works closely with nonprofit organizations to design and carry out initiatives, and can provide grant support and programmatic assistance.  When there is a gap in advocacy or policy capacity, RFF will create a project team to tackle the issue.  Over the years, many of the project teams have spun off to form their own independent nonprofit organizations. Through a combination of convening skills, consulting help and staff expertise, we tailor solutions and implement a plan. Often it is a mix of grantmaking and strategic help that creates a successful outcome.

The Rockefeller Family Fund is a tax-exempt not-for-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS tax code.