Millions of people are working hard and still struggle to make ends meet. Working families living in poverty need immediate relief and ongoing support. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) put money back into the pockets of families with low income, which helps them buy groceries, pay utility bills, and buy school supplies today—and helps them create opportunity for the next generation by accessing additional education and training, securing reliable transportation, and saving for their children’s education.
With the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), significant funding could be coming to families in communities across this country. These funds—which have the potential to reduce child poverty by 50%–dwarf the amount that charitable foundations can give out in grants to address poverty. The opportunity for funders is to identify our value-add. How can we build on the work of grantee partners and fill gaps to leverage federal funds to impact millions of families, particularly people who have been marginalized, excluded or disadvantaged? Helping families access the CTC and EITC provides a meaningful opportunity for philanthropy to capitalize on their role as a community leader to share information, bring trusted community partners together, and to leverage modest investments for significantly greater good.