A coalition of philanthropic funders led by the Ford Foundation has announced the launch of a fund aimed at building the power of workers and communities, strengthening accountability, and accelerating progress toward an equitable and sustainable global economy.
An initiative of Funders Organized for Rights in the Global Economy (FORGE), partners in the Response and Vision Fund include Fundación Avina, Humanity United, Omidyar Network, the SAGE Fund, True Costs Initiative, Wallace Global Fund, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, and the Ford, Laudes, and Open Society foundations. The fund has three short-term goals: bolstering power-building organizations led by and serving those most impacted by the economic fallout from COVID-19, including migrant workers, women, Indigenous communities, peasant farmers, and the urban poor; holding financial and corporate actors accountable for the impacts of their actions; and shaping bailout, recovery, and stimulus initiatives to prioritize economic, climate, and gender justice. To that end, the fund will support community-led and civil society organizations, workers' rights groups, and social movements working with vulnerable populations, while advancing systemic efforts aimed at shifting the economy in a more just and sustainable direction.
The fund's first round of grants will support promising strategies that can achieve impact today, have the potential to scale, and build toward a second systems-change round of grants aimed at advancing innovative strategies for a more just global economy. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that the fund has attracted $5 million to date.
"Philanthropies have a role to play in determining how we build back from COVID-19," said Open Society Foundation president Patrick Gaspard. "Far too often, philanthropies work in their silos, and for this I am heartened to see so many of us come together through the FORGE collaborative to work together across our various sectors to ensure that the voices of those most impacted by both the economic disparities in our world and the ecological destruction in the name of profit are at the center of the policies and reforms put in place to ensure a more inclusive, and responsible recovery."
"As governments shape stimulus and recovery packages, people — not corporations — must be at the center of policymaking," said Wallace Global Fund executive director Ellen Dorsey. "Decisions made now will determine whether we set the global economy on a path of continued inequality or universal human rights. As we face crises ranging from climate destruction to deepening economic and social divides, the necessary choice is clear."