Funders for a Just Economy

NFG's Funders for a Just Economy (formerly known as the Working Group on Labor and Community Partnerships - WGLCP) is a national network of funders committed to advancing the philanthropic conversation about economic and social justice, and the centrality of unions in those efforts.

Nearly a quarter of the American workforce – 33 million workers – earn poverty wages of less than $10 an hour. Working families are increasingly likely to lack health care coverage, an affordable place to live, an opportunity for career advancement and a decent education for their children. The current economic crisis is hitting working families the hardest. We are deeply concerned about America's widening gap in wealth, income, and political influence, as well as the deteriorating conditions for immigrant workers vulnerable to the most extreme forms of exploitation.

The Working Group was formed in the mid-1990s. The Neighborhood Funders Group has sponsored Funders for a Just Economy since its inception as the WGLCP, a natural outgrowth of its efforts to expand support for organizations that help low-income people improve their lives and communities.

Funders for a Just Economy raises awareness in philanthropy about the most advanced and effective efforts by community groups and labor unions to bring low-wage workers out of poverty, including:

  • increasing wages through campaigns for a living wage, increases to the minimum wage, paid sick days and family leave, and other basic rights;
  • supporting connections between and among community organizations, workers centers, and unions as well as other movements for racial, social and economic justice;
  • making sure that public subsidies for economic development produce living wages and other benefits for the impacted communities;
  • supporting worker centers, which bring workers together to recover unpaid wages, improve dangerous working conditions, and otherwise protect workers' rights;
  • protecting the democratic right of workers to form unions, including opposing legislation to recall collective bargaining rights, and level the playing field so workers can more easily form unions; and
  • raising wages and improving working conditions for all workers.

In 2010, the WGLCP published a special report, entitled Realigning Labor: Toward a Framework for Collaboration between Labor Unions and Day Labor Worker Centers. Download the report here.

"There has never been a greater opportunity, nor a greater need, for unions and foundations to understand and build upon their common interests in supporting the needs of low-income and working families."
-Richard Magat, author of "Unlikely Partners: Philanthropic Foundations and the Labor Movement."

 To get involved with Funders for a Just Economy, contact us at nfg@nfg.org.