The Families and Workers Fund, a philanthropic collaborative focused on supporting and empowering low-wage workers, families, and communities impacted by the health and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, has announced a significant increase in new funding and the addition of new funding partners.
Launched in April by Schmidt Futures and the Ford, Open Society, JPB, W.K. Kellogg, Annie E. Casey, and Amalgamated foundations, the fund provides cash assistance designed to prevent low-wage workers and families from falling further into poverty as well as grants in support of the kinds of long-term, structural changes needed to realize an equitable post-pandemic recovery. New funding partners who have joined the effort since April include MacKenzie Scott — who recently announced COVID-19 relief grants totaling more than $4.1 billion to nearly four hundred organizations — the Skoll Foundation, Morgan Stanley, Luminate, the MacFarlane Foundation, Omidyar Network, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies.
To date, the fund has focused its funding on rapid-response efforts, with the majority of grants awarded to women- and/or BIPOC-led organizations; they include the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the Mission Asset Fund, which has used the funds to provide cash relief to fifteen thousand individuals and families who have fallen through the social safety net. Grants provided by the fund also have helped unlock an additional $115 million to help two hundred thousand vulnerable families and have supported Caring Across the Generations and the Center for Law and Social Policy, which are advocating for expanded and inclusive unemployment insurance benefits and an equitable rollout of the country's first-ever paid sick-day policy at the state and local levels.
"The Families and Workers Fund has created a platform to support and elevate proven solutions that address the dangerous inequality of economic opportunity in the U.S.," said Skoll Foundation managing director Liz Diebold. "The pandemic shined a light on the human toll of our systemic failures, and we are honored to join a community of funders committed to working together and social innovators doing the hard work to generate lasting change and economic dignity for vulnerable workers. This is only the beginning, and we hope that many others will join the fund and the larger effort to tackle the big challenges of building a stronger and more equitable economy that truly works for everyone."
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