NEO Philanthropy Launches Economic Mobility and Opportunity Fund 

$8.6 Million Investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Advance Economic Mobility and Opportunity in the U.S.

NEO Philanthropy is proud to announce the creation of an Economic Mobility and Opportunity Fund (EMO Fund) with an $8.6 million investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The EMO Fund will work to expand grant reach and engagement across the economic mobility field by piloting and learning from new grantmaking strategies and governance processes that focus on increasing the upward mobility for the 47 million people in the U.S. ages 16-64 whose annual incomes are below 200% of the federal poverty line.

In order to address the critical issue of economic mobility, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $460 million, four-year commitment in 2022 to help remove systemic barriers for millions trying to climb the economic ladder.  NEO Philanthropy has been chosen by the foundation as a grantmaking intermediary partner as part of this initiative. 

Drawing on its strength and experience as a philanthropic intermediary, NEO Philanthropy’s EMO Fund will pilot grantmaking strategies and governance processes to incorporate lived experience and reach smaller organizations. The Strategic Partnerships team at NEO is well-versed in co-designing new and alternate strategies with funders, as well as co-creating new and innovative ways of grantmaking.


“We are excited to be working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help expand the reach and engagement across the economic mobility field and we look forward to the learnings that will come from this pilot partnership,” said Margarita Rubalcava, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at NEO Philanthropy.


The EMO Fund has three grantmaking programs with the following goals: 

  • Make and oversee smaller strategy-aligned grants that increase reach and accessibility to historically underrepresented networks and are a better fit for intermediary structures that can lessen burden on smaller organizations.
  • Support the economic mobility and opportunity ecosystem by providing more flexible support to organizations that are influential and critical to the success of the economic mobility field. 
  • Pilot a participatory grantmaking process to bring in more diverse voices and lived experience within the research and data strategy of the economic mobility and opportunity field.

Learn more about Economic Mobility and Opportunity at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hereFor more information about working with NEO Philanthropy or to follow our latest work, contact us.

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