The Community Foundation CO-OP Fund

The CO-OP Fund supported local outreach and enrollment efforts for the Advanced CTC made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act.

Community Outreach & Opportunity Fund Overview

During a virtual convening on August 12, the White House issued a call to action for community foundations to accelerate efforts to identify and fund “last-mile” outreach efforts that can assist non-filer families in enrolling to receive the CTC.  EITC Funders Network, in partnership with CFON and CFLeads, rapidly responded to this call to action to quickly stand up the Community Outreach and Opportunity Fund (CO-OP Fund). The purpose of the CO-OP Fund was to engage community foundations between September 2021 and April 2022 to help ensure that as many families as possible receive the full Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) benefits they were eligible for, as quickly and as easily as possible.

The CO-OP Fund was generously supported by a number of charitable foundations including Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, the Rockefeller Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The CO-OP Fund was staffed by the EITC Funders Network and guided in partnership with Community Foundation Opportunity Network (CFON) and CFLeads.


The expansions of the federal CTC and EITC presented a critical opportunity to dramatically improve financial stability for families with low income.  However, these expansions could only achieve their goals if families knew about the credits, were able to enroll, and get their taxes done in free and non-predatory settings.

A key implementation challenge was that families who earn the least do not typically file income tax returns because they are not required to (sometimes called, non-filers). Therefore, the IRS had no record of them, and they would not get the CTC payments automatically via direct deposit like many middle- and higher-income families. We facilitated a big push to reach an estimated 5 million non-filers and also assist them with three interrelated touchpoints: outreach and navigating enrollment, sharing stories of success and shaping the local narrative on families in need, and helping families to file or reconcile tax returns in early 2022.


Each successful community foundation applicant received $50,000 intended to be matched by local cash (for example, grants made to nonprofits) or in-kind support (for example, dedicating community foundation staff time to support the effort) to create a project of at least $100,000. Applicants allocated at least 80% of CO-OP funds to support local partners through re-granting.

CO-OP Awardees

The CO-OP Fund supported 24 community foundation awardees across the United States:

Read the final report or, click here for the Final Report Highlights

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