What types of organizations or entities can apply?

  • Non-profit organizations or fiscally sponsored projects
  • Public sector entities 
  • Businesses and entrepreneurs

Can past applicants apply?
Yes, we encourage past applicants to apply unless they received an award in the last two cycles . (i.e. 2019 Co-op Innovation Award and 2018 Fall Innovation Award) 

Are there any geographic restrictions? 

Are there any industry/sector restrictions?

Are there any restrictions on the staff or budget size of a project or organization?

Can I/we apply with more than one project? 
Yes, but please note we will only select one project per organization. 


How will I/we be evaluated?
On the “Selection Criteria” tab, you will find more information about the criteria and questions we use to evaluate applicants in each round. Applicants will receive an average score based on reviewer responses and reviewers will decide on semi-finalists and finalists primarily based on top scores. 

Is there an expectation that the project is self-sustaining or that it becomes incorporated (as a non-profit, for-profit, etc.) by the end of the grant term?
No. That said, we are especially interested in projects that have thoughtfully considered a potential pathway to scale and/or sustainability.

Who are the reviewers? 
Reviewers in each round will include a mix of The Workers Lab staff and Board, funding partners, and previous Innovation Fund winners.


If selected as a finalist, do I/we have to attend the Innovation Fund Finalist Showcase?
Yes. One senior member of the project team must be available to participate in the entirety of the Innovation Fund Finalist Showcase from October 24-25 in NYC. No exceptions.

If selected as a finalist, will my expenses be covered?
Travel, lodging and incidentals will be covered.

If selected as a winner, will I/we receive $150,000 all at once?

If selected as a winner, what can I/we use the funds for? Are there any restrictions?
Funds should be used in support of the proposed project only. Winners will be required to provide interim and final financial reports (in addition to other reporting requirements) as part of our reporting process.

Outside of $150,000, what can winners expect from The Workers Lab?
At The Workers Lab, we are committed to evaluating progress, learning from successes and challenges, and ensuring that we are regularly leveraging our resources and network to amplify the work of our amazing partners, while minimizing administrative burden. With that in mind, winners are expected to participate in quarterly check-in calls and provide interim and final reports. When possible, we will also bring together winners at least once over the course of 12 months for a tailored cohort convening to workshop challenges, share resources, and connect with peers and advisors. 


How often does The Workers Lab run the Innovation Fund?
Generally twice a year.

Who can I contact if I have any questions or need more information?
Attend an Informational Webinar Session on July 23 or July 29 at 11am PST // 2pm EST. Register here to RSVP


Our 2019 finalists, selected from hundreds of applications, reflect some of the most powerful ideas we’ve seen to date.