Investing in People Has Huge Returns
Families Are Unique
Each individual and family is unique. They have their own challenges, strengths and goals. That’s why they appreciate our strength-based approach. It allows them to use their UpTogether cash investments in whatever way is best for them and their circumstances.
The Impact of Systems Change
In 2023, we renewed our focus on our bold goal of changing systems and policies so everyone can thrive. It was inspired, in part, by some of the successes we’ve seen recently in collaboration with our members, community organizations, philanthropy and government.
Here are some examples.
UpTogether and Immigrant Advocacy Organizations Launch Guaranteed Income Pilot in New Mexico
In February 2022, UpTogether partnered with a coalition of local immigrant advocacy organizations called the Economic Relief Working Group* to launch a statewide Guaranteed Income pilot and study in New Mexico. The pilot is the largest in the country to invest in immigrant families, who are largely excluded from economically beneficial policies. The goal of the pilot is to produce evidence to drive state and local policy changes aligned to UpTogether’s strength-based approach.
The pilot, funded by Con Alma Health Foundation and the Thornburg Foundation and anonymous donors, ended in January 2023 and findings from the evaluation conducted by New Mexico Voices for Children is expected in Spring or Summer 2023.
*Somos Un Pueblo Unido, NM CAFé, NM Voices for Children, Partnership for Community Action and El CENTRO de Igualdad y de Derechos
UpTogether Members and Community Make History in Texas
In May 2022, UpTogether members, together with community organizations and others, successfully influenced the city of Austin, Texas to bring a $1.1 million cash transfer pilot to the city, making them the first in the state to do so using public, general fund dollars. Read the case study.
UpTogether and Members Shift Mindsets in Philanthropy
In 2022, UpTogether launched the MOMentum fund with the Marin Community Foundation to invest in 125 moms of color with children under the age of 18 living in Marin County, California. Our strong partnership with the Marin Community Foundation has, in part, driven their shift from a mindset of charity to one of solidarity.
Here are some ways we are working on systems change with our members and partners in 2023.
Rallying for Systems Change in Detroit
In 2022, we partnered with the Kresge Foundation to invest in — and learn from — employees of Black and/or Brown-owned businesses based in Detroit. We randomly selected 13 local UpTogether members who worked at Black and/or Brown-owned businesses and asked them to identify and recommend solutions that would help them, their community and employees of local businesses.
After three months of collaborating, that member-led design team created three policy proposals. After hearing the proposals, the broader UpTogether Detroit membership voted on the proposal they supported most and would rally around. Collectively, they decided on Guaranteed Income (GI) as the best solution. Now (2023) they are working on a plan to influence city officials to provide unrestricted cash to individuals and families.
Organizing and Changing the Narrative in San Antonio
In collaboration with the H.E. Butt Foundation, in 2023, we will be working with 25 members in San Antonio on a combined organizing and narrative change effort to drive systems change.
UpTogether members are leading the way and will meet to discuss and decide which local policies they want to rally around this year to drive change that will impact the entire community. They will tell their personal stories to demonstrate the need for change and to counter harmful stereotypes about people with financial hardship.
Impact we saw in 2021
To learn more about our work in 2021, check our our latest Impact Report.
We invested more than $120 million in families at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. To find out more about that work, read our COVID-19 Impact Report. (We were still known as Family Independence Initiative at the time the report was published.)
Each pink circle represents an area of the country where an UpTogether member lives. The darker the pink circle, the more UpTogether members live there.