The Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF) was incorporated in 1967 by Martha, John, Laurance, Nelson, and David Rockefeller. Its principal beneficiaries are leftwing environmentalist organizations. Several RFF Board members formerly worked for the now-defunct San Francisco-based TechRocks company, which provided information-technology support and development for a number of anti-corporate, non-profit organizations. One RFF representative sits on the steering committee of the Peace and Security Funders Group.
Recipients of RFF philanthropy include: Alliance For Justice; the American Civil Liberties Union‘s Women’s Rights Project; the Brennan Center for Justice; Campaign for America’s Future; the Center for American Progress; the Center for Community Change; Defenders of Wildlife; the Earth Day Network; Earthjustice; Environmental Media Services; the Environmental Working Group; the Friends of the Earth Foundation; the Greenpeace Fund; the Institute for Policy Studies; the Institute for Women’s Policy Research; the Izaak Walton League of America; the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund; the League of Women Voters Education Fund; Mothers and Others for a Livable Planet; MoveOn.org; the Ms. Foundation for Women; the NARAL Pro-Choice America, the NAACP National Voter Fund; the National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund; the National Wildlife Federation; the National Women’s Law Center; the New World Foundation; the People for the American Way Action Fund; Planned Parenthood; Project Vote; the Proteus Fund; the Public Citizen Foundation; the Sierra Club; TechRocks; the Tides Foundation and the Tides Center; the Union of Concerned Scientists; the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund; the Waterkeeper Alliance; and the Wilderness Society.
RFF’s grant-making, which is designed to “suppor[t] advocacy programs of national significance that are likely to yield tangible public policy results,” is divided into four separate program areas:
(a) The Environment Program “emphasizes public education [about] the risk of global warming, conservation of natural resources, protection of health as affected by the environment, meaningful implementation and enforcement of the nation’s environmental laws, and public participation in national environmental policy debates.” In practice, this program supports numerous organizations committed to the anti-capitalist agendas of radical environmentalism, whose ultimate goal, as writer Michael Berliner has explained, is “not clean air and clean water, [but] rather … the demolition of technological/industrial civilization.”
(b) The Institutional Responsiveness Program seeks “to help provide organizations with the means to affect the policies and actions of public and private institutions.” Examples of past grants in this area include “a campaign to make tobacco companies accountable for the health effects of smoking”; “support for efforts to ensure that government records are open to the public”; “funding to aid groups to gain access to workplace-giving programs”; and “grants to promote greater accountability of financial institutions to small investors.”
(c) The Citizen Participation Program “encourages the organized participation of citizens in government, and seeks to make government more accountable and responsive.” According to RFF, grants in this program area “support the efforts of nonpartisan organizations to help citizens exercise the right to vote, advocate for structural improvement to systems of government, and otherwise increase opportunities to participate in public policy formation.” But in reality, the beneficiaries of this program’s philanthropy are highly partisan. Among them are Alliance for Justice; the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center; the Brennan Center for Justice; the Center for American Progress; the Center for Community Change; the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; the People for the American Way Fund; and the Public Citizen Foundation.
(d) The Economic Justice for Women program “seeks to provide women with equitable employment opportunities and to improve their work lives.” This program is founded on the premise that women in the United States are routinely and systematically discriminated against — socially, professionally, and economically. RFF has initiated “a national advocacy, research, and public education effort aimed at achieving pay equity” — a campaign based upon the axiom that women are paid less than men for doing equal work.
To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Rockefeller Family Fund, click here.