Ford Foundation, JPB Foundation, Amalgamated Foundation and Leading Philanthropies Launch Fund to Support Low-Wage Workers Hardest Hit by COVID-19
NEW YORK — The Ford Foundation, Schmidt Futures, Open Society Foundations, the JPB Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Amalgamated Foundation announced today the launch of the Families and Workers Fund, dedicated to serving the workers, families, and communities most devastated by the economic and health crises resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
With an aim to raise $20 million, and initial commitment of $7.1 million, the fund will provide flexible funding to organizations working to prevent workers and families from sinking more deeply into poverty during the initial months of the pandemic, and to support policy and advocacy efforts that center workers and families in long-term economic recovery. The fund works to ensure responses to the pandemic are fast acting, long lasting, and informed by the people most affected.
“Low-wage workers stand at the forefront of this pandemic, reeling from the profound health and economic implications,” said Ai-Jen Poo, co-founder and executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. “As we dedicate our resources to supporting vulnerable working families across the United States, flexible and fast funding is critical. The creation of this fund is an important act of leadership, toward resilience for workers facing unprecedented hardship.”
The Families and Workers Fund will employ a two-tiered approach. The fund will facilitate direct cash grants and loans to individuals, with a focus on those who are most likely to be left out of the government’s emergency policy response—especially workers and families who are reeling from layoffs, temporary business and school shutdowns, and caretaking duties. The fund will also advance economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, designed with and for vulnerable workers, families, and communities, by providing grants to policy and advocacy organizations, worker groups, community nonprofits, and others advancing and implementing policies and business practices that stabilize working people during the acute phase of this crisis (e.g., paid sick days and unemployment insurance) and ultimately help to center them in the long-term economic recovery...