Families and Workers Fund Announces Nearly $13 Million in Grants to Advance Good Jobs and A More Equitable Economic Recovery

Chaired by the Ford Foundation and Schmidt Futures, the Fund is a coalition of leading philanthropies working together to advance good jobs and inclusive, effective benefits systems

March 16, 2022 – Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C — The Families and Workers Fund today announced nearly $13 million in grants to US-based nonprofit organizations working to build a more equitable economy that uplifts all. Recognizing the once-in-a-generation opportunity for change created by the COVID-19 pandemic, these grants seek to leverage the trillions in public and private economic recovery capital, as well as new narratives about workers and equity, to create shared prosperity.

Chaired by Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, and Eric Braverman, CEO of Schmidt Futures, and housed at Amalgamated Foundation, the Families and Workers Fund is a collaborative of more than twenty diverse philanthropies and currently stands at more than $51 million. The recent grants are part of the Fund’s commitment to advancing one million good jobs in the US over five years and a more equitable, effective public benefits system, in partnership with workers, employers, and the public sector. 

The Fund has two main impact programs: 1) Recover Up: advance jobs that sustain and uplift people; and 2) 21st Century Benefits: invest in the continued development of a more inclusive, effective public benefits system, with a focus on unemployment insurance. Across both programs, the Fund prioritizes grants to organizations that are worker-centered and evidence-based; demonstrate commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; have high potential for scale; and leverage the unique momentum and capital available in today’s economic recovery.

Recover Up: Jobs that Sustain and Uplift – Grant Funding

  • Better Builder®  Program, an Initiative of Worker Defense Project: social responsibility program to scale good jobs, quality standards and certification to improve livelihoods for immigrant construction workers in Texas
  • Equitable Food Initiative: provides workforce development and training to scale good jobs in the agriculture industry, demonstrating the business case for investing in career pathways for farm workers 
  • Good Jobs Special Initiative: a series of events, communication strategies, and coalitions that will better define, measure, and build momentum in support of good jobs among government, employers, and the social sector, beginning with the Good Jobs Champions Group with the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program and a new working group on job quality metrics
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance: scales new employer-worker partnership models to improve job quality for home cleaners
  • Resilience Force: improves livelihoods for resilience workers in the disaster restoration industry by scaling good jobs practices; turns climate disaster restoration work into high-quality family supporting jobs that can sustain careers
  • Results for America: supports state and local governments to use their federal recovery funding to advance good jobs and workforce equity
  • Worker Financial Wellness Initiative, a partnership between JUST Capital, Good Jobs Institute, and Financial Health Network with support from PayPal: scales employer practices that improve the financial security of workers

21st Century Benefits – Grant Funding

  • New America: identifies and shares best practices for states to leverage $2 billion in federal funding to deliver unemployment insurance more effectively and equitably
  • The Workers Lab: pilots new innovations to help gig workers and those working in precarious jobs to better access eligible public benefits 
  • U.S. Digital Response: provides skilled, pro bono technologists and reusable tools to states and territories to improve effective and equitable delivery of unemployment insurance.
  • Unemployment Insurance Equity Open Call: supports up to twelve state and community-based nonprofits to help leverage $260 million in public funding for improving equity in the unemployment insurance system

“The success of the economic recovery from COVID-19 must be judged not only by how many jobs we create or roads and bridges we build, but also on whether we deliver good jobs—and equitable access to them,” said Rachel Korberg, Executive Director of the Families and Workers Fund. “Our grantee partners are  leading the way in demonstrating how we can shape an economic recovery that sustains families, uplifts communities, and helps to disrupt longstanding racial, gender, and other inequities.”

For more information and updates, contact Jen Diamond (jen@familiesandworkers.org) or visit familiesandworkers.org.

Learn more about the Families and Workers Fund, and sign up for updates.