Mission & Purpose

The Labor Innovations for the 21st Century (LIFT) Fund is a unique collaborative that supports new forms of worker organizing. Since 2011, LIFT has been building and supporting strong partnerships between labor federations, community organizations, and philanthropic institutions.

How? By investing in transformative collaborations that inspire and advocate for workers’ rights and elevating groundbreaking alliances that prioritize racial, gender, and economic justice.

Southern Workers Opportunity Fund

As one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States, the South presents a newfound opportunity to upend how workers are treated, valued, and recognized within our economy. To achieve this vision, however, it is critical to address the current conditions that have delayed progress for workers for far too long, especially for women, people of color, and low-income households.
These opportunities inspired the launch of the Southern Workers Opportunity (SWO) Fund, marking a significant development to strengthen workers’ rights across the U.S. South. The Fund, backed by the nation’s leading labor federations and philanthropic institutions, and with a goal of raising $20 million, is part of a broader movement to build a democratic economy centered around worker power, dignified workplace conditions, and that fully values workers as people first.
The time is ripe to seize the moment and launch a bold, democratic, intersectional, and inclusive Southern strategy of worker empowerment.
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In 2021, the LIFT Fund invested in 10 diverse collaborations across the country that are making significant progress helping workers achieve greater levels of power by providing two-year grants. Through the newly-formed Racial and Economic Justice program and Southern Workers Opportunity Fund, the LIFT Fund will continue supporting organizations that are actively shaping the 21st-century’s worker movement.

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The LIFT Fund is graciously supported by a broad coalition of leading foundations, labor federations and donors who are integral to the workers’ rights movement. These funders bring diverse perspectives and strategies that allow us to effect intersectional change and provide guidance to ensure that equity is at the center of all that we do; from strategy setting to grantmaking to learning.

Meet Our Funders



Since 2011, the LIFT Fund has served as a resource hub for people and organizations interested in learning more about innovative strategies and tactics that move the workers’ rights movement forward.

We are thrilled to provide access to insightful case studies and reports, as well as host events — such as our Learning Days and funder briefings — that offer instructive insights on the progress and challenges of the movement for a diverse audience, including philanthropic institutions, labor unions, worker centers and more.

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