UpTogether is not a traditional nonprofit.
UpTogether is a community, a movement and a platform to highlight, invest in and accelerate the initiatives people in historically undervalued and financially under-resourced communities are taking to improve their lives.
What We Believe
At UpTogether, we believe every person is worth investing in, and that one’s income level should not dictate one’s ability to choose what is best or right for their own family.
With nearly 20 years of data — sourced directly from families — we have proven that cycling in & out of poverty is not due to a lack of individual initiative, but instead:
A misplaced focus on individual achievement (that one person can break the cycle of poverty alone) that overlooks the power of communities to lift people into the middle class, just as communities have done for hundreds of years
A lack of understanding on society’s part for how families with limited incomes achieve economic and social mobility
Limited options for people to access affordable, flexible capital — without strings attached — that would fuel their efforts to achieve goals and dreams
The “cliff effect,” which disincentivizes mobility by punishing many lower-wage workers when they get a raise by making them ineligible to continue receiving all or some of their public benefits. Most of the time, the increase in pay is not enough to cover the cost of what the benefits provided, leaving many workers in a worse financial situation than they were before.
Our community-centered, data-driven, strength-based approach is as revolutionary as it is simple.
It is inspired by the historical successes of financially under-resourced communities in America and based on the principles of respect, dignity, self-determination, equity and social connections for every individual.
In 2020 alone, in partnership with philanthropists, government agencies, community organizations and individual donors, UpTogether distributed nearly $130 million to over 200,000 households across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. (Our COVID-19 Impact Report highlights the ways families used their investment. We were still known as Family Independence Initiative when the report was published.)
2021 was remarkable for us as an organization, but more importantly for our members. They accomplished their own successes, from paying off debt and buying homes, to saving for their children’s education and lending support to others in their communities. To learn more about our work over the past year, take a look at our 2021 Impact Report.
What People Are Saying
At first I was not sure how the UpTogether groups worked, but the site made it so simple and easy to set up my goals page and connect with others. Thanks to the UpTogether Community platform, I was able to reach out to connect with others who shared the same interest as me, quickly connecting with a local community member who shared some of the goals as me, we shared helpful resources and information with one another while providing a support system to achieve and reach set goals. Being able to provide help to a community member is very rewarding and uplifting. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be connected with others who shared the same interest as me. This has been a wonderful experience and I recommend others to give it a try. Together we can assist one another and make a difference.
– T. Jackson, UpTogether Member
For so long, anti-poverty efforts have relied on case management, ‘Go to this government agency to get financial literacy or job training. [UpTogether] is different. You’re accountable to yourself and your social network. There’s no case manager telling you how to use those dollars. The goal of [UpTogether] is, trust families, because they know what they need and the data bares that out.
Stephanie Bray, CEO of United Way California Capital Region