Work

BUILDING WORKER POWER

People often ask what we do and our typical answer doesn't always do justice to the variety of projects and partners across our portfolio.  We invite you to explore some of the projects we have encountered over the last two years, what we're learning, and how they fall into our four programmatic priorities.

INFLUENCING CAPITAL

The Working World (TWW)

The Working World builds cooperative businesses in low- income communities. TWW tested out the viability of a fund to provide capital for cooperative businesses, which are becoming larger and more popular.

Work It

At UC Santa Cruz we funded a hackathon to create a digital organizing network.  The resulting prototype raised additional funding and launched as WorkIt, a mobile app that helps to organize and educate Wal-Mart workers.

Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC)

Restaurant Opportunity Center United (ROC) improves wages and work at restaurants.  We like tools that scale. So we helped ROC develop a mobile game to upskill low-wage restaurant workers.

Amalgamated Bank

Amalgamated Bank provided secure capital to support scale.  We could not have grown our partnership with The Workers Defense Project without the secure loan guarantee from Amalgamated. 

MIT

We participated in the MIT Inclusive Innovation Award. By providing funding we opened a prize category for new models of worker power and attracted incredible applicants. 

Work America

WorkAmerica connects jobseekers with blue collar jobs in high-growth industries.  WorkAmerica began with a focus on high-road employers in their model, but were pushed away as seasoned investors joined. 

PARTNERSHIPS & LEARNING

Arizmendi

Arizmendi Cooperatives are a network of bakery cooperatives. We explored how to transform supply chains via cooperatives, in this case with maintenance workers. 

Centro De Los Derechos (CDM)

Centro De Los Derechos Del Migrante (CDM) defends migrant workers in the US.*CDM tested revenue models for their platform, Contratados.

CLEAN

CLEAN Carwash Campaign improves safety for carwash workers and the environment.CLEAN wanted to establish a cooperative business to set standards across the carwash industry.

Take Action Minnesota

Take Action Minnesota fights for racial and economic equity across Minnesota.  They explored ways that tech and an independent revenue stream could help organize low-wage workers.

HourVoice

Hour Voice is an app that educates and empowers hourly workers. We learned that monetizing plans for startups are longer-term than most non-profits and need di erent timelines from funders.

Fair Work Week (FWW)

Fair Work Week (FWW) fights for better working conditions.  *FWW, a part of The Center for Popular Democracy, explored the creation of a new business that certifies employers compliant with labor law. 

KIWA

Korean Immigrant Worker Alliance empowers low-wage immigrant workers in LA. KIWA tested out independent revenue generation of its worker empowerment clinic. 

New Virgina Majority

New Virginia Majority organizes a progressive movement in Virginia.  Initially focused on developing a local alternative to Uber, they ultimately focused on changing regulation to shift market practices. 

Provide

PROVIDE connects low-wage workers to a ordable child care.  PROVIDE tested revenue generation strategies for their platform.

Working Families Party

Working Families Party (WFP) organizes to elect the next generation of progressive leaders.  They are leveraging tech to build a membership base of 100,000 members to generate a source of independent revenue. 

DEMONSTRATING IMPACT

SpendRise

Spendrise is aggregating consumer power to shift corporate labor policies.  Grown from an Enterprise Institute, Spendrise advocates for worker rights by incentivising companies with consumer spending.

SeeClickFix

We launched an app to fight workplace violations in non-unionized workplaces, WorkerReport.  Our friends at the National Employment Law Project, Ford Foundation and See Click Fix made it all happen.

Workers Defense Project

The Workers Defense Project is changing the Texas construction industry.  We learned that independent revenue streams can propel organizations to shift entire industries.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is expanding its support of farmworkers.  The farmworker-led human rights organization is exploring a certification model to drive scale and revenue.

Coworker.Org

Workers use Coworker. Org to run online campaigns to change their workplace.  We supported Coworker’s experiments with independent revenue generation, which it ultimately discontinued.

BLab

B Lab supports people using business as a force for good. We helped them launch their Best for NYC campaign to support high-road employers.

NARRATIVE

Together We Work

Together We Work is an online platform for young people to learn how to organize.  We developed the project through a diverse set of partners.

Datable

Datable is a data science startup helping to grow movements.  Good organizing today must leverage good data and Datable helps with making that data useful.

Medium Contributor

We contribute regularly to Medium to share lessons learned in depth.  We're committed to a practice of transparency with what's working and what's not.