For years in the US, we have focused on improving the quality of work by strengthening labor standards, like the minimum wage, and modernizing benefits and expanding who they cover—including universal access to paid sick days and family medical leave, health insurance, and other “portable benefits” to cover all workers. We have also worked to strengthen the voice and power of workers, by, for example, supporting new forms of worker organizing in a changing job economy. And we have supported stronger consumer financial protections, so that all workers have a chance to save part of what they earn, respond to emergencies, and build some wealth to help their families get ahead.
Now, under this emerging program, we are deepening our collaboration with policy makers, private employers, economists and other analysts, technologists, investors, worker-led organizations, and other funders. We are working to engage this unusually diverse set of stakeholders to develop innovative, flexible, and scalable solutions that work for all—and ensure fundamental fairness.
As societies adapt to rapid change, we seek to ensure that there is a meaningful future of work that places workers and their well-being at the center. We believe the time is now to actively shape the future of work, not just cope with a changing marketplace and growing economic risk for millions of workers.
Among the questions we’re exploring are:
What kinds of work will the future demand? How can we ensure that the jobs of the future are high quality, and build in protections and benefits for workers? How will automation change the way we work? What does the rise of artificial intelligence mean for our economy? How can we shape emerging industries and standards to put job quality and human capital at the center of new products, services, and business and investment models? What kinds of technology will be most helpful to new ways of working, and how might technology contribute to job quality and protections for workers? How can leaders and workers from around the world, including from emerging markets in the global South, work together to face these challenges? In all of this, how can we build an economic future that includes everyone?
What we don’t fund
We know nonprofit staff’s time is valuable, so we discourage using it to submit proposals that don’t fall within funding guidelines. In this spirit, we aim to be transparent about what our grant making does not support.
We do not make grants to support efforts to strengthen economic and financial security outside the context of work. We do not fund scientific or technological research that is disconnected from work and workers. And we do not fund workforce development and skill-building, or entrepreneurship training and financing.