What are Opportunity Zones?
Opportunity Zones (OZs) are a new national community investment tool that connects private capital with low-income communities across America. It was created by The Investing in Opportunity Act, part of the American Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. OZs allow investors to reduce their tax burden by putting their capital gains into projects in low-income areas. OZs may help struggling communities find private sources of funding they would not have had access to otherwise. Due to the recent enactment of the Investing in Opportunity Act some of its rules are still solidifying but the primary private advocate of OZs, the Economic Innovation Group, stresses the necessity of strategizing between sectors, including philanthropy.
This Philanthropy Northwest page is specifically tailored for a philanthropy audience in the Northwest. Visit the Economic Incentive Group website and FAQ page for a detailed overview of Opportunity Zones across the U.S.
Is my community in an Opportunity Zone?
There are over 350 Opportunity Zones in Philanthropy Northwest's six-state region.
- Alaska: 25
- Hawai’i: 25
- Idaho: 28
- Montana: 25
- Oregon: 86
- Washington: 139
- Wyoming: 25
Visit this map* created by the Economic Innovation Group to determine if your community is an Opportunity Zone.
*The map loads a bit slowly.
Another useful mapping tool is the Opportunity Zone Eligibility Tool by Opportunity360* developed by Enterprise Community Partners. This map (created with support from the Kresge Foundation) can filter OZs by a variety of factors such as rural or urban status, tribal lands, location, economic indicators, as well as multiple indicators at once.
*The map loads a bit slowly.
Where can I find more information about Opportunity Zones and philanthropy?
- The Mission Investors Exchange website is a wonderful resource for exploring the intersection of impact investing and OZs. Check out these MIE resources:
- This 2018 white paper from the Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative explains how community foundations can navigate the rules of Opportunity Zones.
- The Urban Institute wrote this short article about the prevalence of tribes in designated Opportunity Zones.
- An article about how foundations can be involved in Opportunity Zones, co-authored by a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation (which has been heavily involved in foundation work around Opportunity Zones). How Foundations Can Help Opportunity Zone Communities Succeed,” Stanford Social Innovation Review, February 7, 2019.
Contact our OZs point people for more information.
- Lyn Hunter | Director of Regional Strategies and Networks | firstname.lastname@example.org | 206-443-8461
- Rosalie Sheehy Cates | Executive in Residence at Philanthropy Northwest | Senior Advisor with The Giving Practice | email@example.com | Rosalie works with foundation trustees and executive staff to solve investing issues and set up impact investing programs.