Building a pipeline of community-driven projects.
To encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide, Opportunity Zones provide a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into dedicated Opportunity Funds. For more information about how Opportunity Zones work, see the links at the bottom of the page.
After an extensive listening session across Washington, state officials learned that many already have a list of catalytic community-driven projects, but that they need:
- Technical assistance to get these projects from idea to investment-ready
- Help getting projects in front of the right investors
- Assistance in building capacity and expertise in their communities
In response, Washington State works with federal, state and philanthropic partners to pilot the development of an ecosystem that creates a pipeline of catalytic, community-driven projects and builds community wealth. While the Opportunity Zone program works with partners in urban areas, the primary focus is on tribal and rural communities, with a special emphasis on collaborations.
It’s no coincidence that this infographic looks like an infinity symbol – that’s because our goal is to create a Sustainable Ecosystem & Deal Pipeline that helps communities — for years to come — build catalytic community-driven projects.
Key elements of our Sustainable Ecosystem & Deal Pipeline include:
- Create a Learning Community: This will be open to all Opportunity Zones in our state, based on Philanthropy Northwest’s Giving Practice work.
- Provide Technical Assistance: National Development Council has a two-year contract with Commerce to provide assistance to communities, but we are also leaning heavily on key federal, state and philanthropic partners.
- Facilitate relationships between communities & funders.
- Find funding for building community capacity and getting projects investment-ready.
- Measure impact: We’re working with Sorenson Impact Center, Mission Investors Exchange and others.
- And…we will continue to listen & learn from communities!
A little more on the technical assistance that is available: