Founded in 1940, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund advances social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. The RBF’s grantmaking is organized around three themes: Democratic Practice, Peacebuilding, Sustainable Development, and three pivotal places: New York City, Southern China, and the Western Balkans.
The Democratic Practice program seeks to strengthen the vitality of democracy in the United States and in global governance. The program’s core ideas—that for democracy to flourish and deliver on its promises its citizens must be engaged, empowered, and assertive, and institutions of governance must be inclusive, transparent, accountable, and responsive—provide a frame for the Fund’s Democratic Practice work in the United States and in global governance.
The Fund’s Peacebuilding program aims to advance just and durable peace by supporting innovative and collaborative approaches and policies for conflict prevention, management, and transformation; strengthening constituencies and political will for conflict transformation and durable peace; and exploring solutions to emerging transnational threats and drivers of conflict.
The Sustainable Development program advances global stewardship that is ecologically based, economically sound, socially just, culturally appropriate, and consistent with intergenerational equity. Human activity is causing global warming, rapid loss of biodiversity, and accelerating degradation of Earth’s life support systems. With the recognition that the impact of unchecked climate change threatens all other conservation efforts, the program focuses its grantmaking on advancing solutions to climate change.
New York City has the potential to be a model 21st century sustainable urban community that nourishes neighborhoods and civic life, supports individual achievement and artistic expression, generates widely shared prosperity, and preserves and enhances its built and natural environments.
Southern China’s rapid development has been accompanied by profound challenges including environmental degradation and growing disparities between rich and poor, urban and rural which, if not addressed, threaten the sustainability of development in the region, the country, and the world. The Chinese government and people have been responding vigorously to these complex challenges. The RBF’s grantmaking seeks to assist these efforts.
The countries of the Western Balkans are working to realize their European integration aspirations, as accession brings with it the promise of stability and rule of law—necessary prerequisites for long-term peace, prosperity, and democracy. The Fund’s work in the Balkans, and especially in Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo, gives special attention to democratic practice and sustainable development requirements.