Raising the Floor
The Phoenix Fund was formed in 1996 as a donor collaborative dedicated to supporting a new generation of organizing recruited from the ground up.
The fund focuses on the realities of globalization by multinational corporations and regional free trade agreements which impose serious losses for workers and their communities. In both the global North and South and within American society the result is an enormous divide between rich and poor further compounded by inequities of race, gender, and national origin.
From Mexico to Malaysia and from Los Angeles to New York, the battles American workers fought in the 20th century against sweatshops, union busting and child labor will have to be fought again, this time all over the world.
The Phoenix Fund’s grantmaking budget is raised through collaborating donors and foundations, with New World providing core support, fiscal sponsorship, staffing and overhead costs. To date, almost $10 million has been funded in general support grants and a small seed grants program. Through grantmaking programs, we are investing in the frontline organizations and collaborations that are building economic justice movements from the bottom up.
We are also investing in the creation of solidarity campaigns and networks that will help activists turn the vicious circle of globalization, which pits one group of workers against another, into a virtuous circle, where working people can come together to raise the floor for all.
Current Grantmaking Initiatives
The Phoenix Fund has supported collaborative projects in metropolitan areas across the US that are revitalizing civic participation through new organizing and regional economic policy reform. In each project, progressive unions are reconnecting with community organizations and interfaith networks, and reaching new allies among immigrants and students. These collaborations are advancing broad policy agendas with a clear goal: to make decent jobs, worker rights, and public accountability the conditions of economic development, not its first casualties.
The fund supports worker centers and national networks, along with programs to develop dialogue between these centers, potential allies and funders. The centers are vital to low-paid workers, exploited workers of color, and immigrant workers and their families in challenging sweatshop conditions and creating safe vehicles for civic participation, especially in growing campaigns for labor and immigration rights. In addition, the centers have brought new voices and greater diversity to activism in the US.