The Workers Fund was profiled by Fast Company and Mashable on May 1 - which was International Workers Day. Both of these publications reach over 25 million viewers.
What the articles help illustrate is that we were one of the first emergency relief funds for workers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, as a direct result of our previous Design Sprint for Social Change experiment.
As Kristin Toussaint explains in Fast Company:
Gig workers’ incomes vary every month, and the recurring expense of rent can quickly become an emergency. That’s even truer during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Workers Lab, an organization that funds experiments and innovations to build power for low-wage working people, already learned this, though, from its Workers Strength Fund, which offered emergency cash transfers of up to $1,000 to gig workers over the course of 2019.
What had been a recent Design Sprint experiment - The Workers Strength Fund - has now evolved into The Workers Fund COVID-19 Rapid Response, a national emergency cash fund for gig workers and low-earning contractors impacted by the coronavirus-fueled financial crisis.
Although our Design Sprint experiment has become very real now, the seed of the idea came much earlier. Before the mass layoffs and business closures from COVID-19, workers were experiencing severe financial insecurity.
And after the pandemic, the needs will continue. In the Mashable article, our Interim CEO Adrian Haro closes with this consideration:
"We are in an emergency moment right now,” Haro said. “We hope that there is a national recognition about what's actually going on here amongst people in power, and that they recognize there's a value not only in an emergency for things like emergency cash.”
About The Workers Lab Design Sprints
The Workers Lab has adapted Google’s Design Sprint methodology to explore new ways to solve big problems for workers. Using the intensive, time-bound approach in 2019, we designed, tested, and evaluated an emergency cash delivery tool to meet workers' urgent, unexpected financial needs. That same tool has now been deployed to disperse emergency cash to workers through The Workers Fund COVID-19 Rapid Response. For more information, visit our Design Sprint page.