Omidyar Network Announces Initial Grants from COVID-19 Economic Response Advocacy Fund


May 27, 2020

CONTACT: [email protected] 

Omidyar Network Announces Initial Grants from COVID-19 Economic Response Advocacy Fund

Fund created to support economic advocacy efforts in response to pandemic


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Omidyar Network selected eight organizations in its initial round of funding from its to COVID-19 Economic Response Advocacy Fund. The Fund will infuse 501(c)(4) funding into national, state, and local advocacy and organizing efforts to address the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on working families.

Recipients include:

  • Maine People’s Alliance
  • Free Press Action Fund
  • Make the Road New York & Make the Road Action in NY, NJ, PA, CT & NV
  • Roosevelt Institute
  • Jobs With Justice
  • Groundwork Action

Organizations received between $75,000 - $150,000. Omidyar Network plans to award $1.5 million to groups working to realign the US’s policies and systems so they work better for everyone. 

“Omidyar Network started this fund because we believe the US economy needs structural changes to improve livelihoods for working families and small businesses. Moments of crisis can make or break the prospects for change,” said Omidyar Network’s Joelle Gamble, principal of the Reimagining Capitalism team. “By turbo-charging the advocacy capabilities of organizations on the frontlines, fighting for families, we aim to ensure that American communities are able to stay safe, recover economically, and build power for future legislative fights."

The Fund will support campaigns that are already in motion and can leverage 501(c)(4) dollars to propel their ideas forward as policymakers continue to respond to the severe economic downturn.

“As our communities face an unprecedented crisis, we are fighting hard to ensure that the states step into the void left by the federal government, which has catastrophically excluded millions of immigrants, and support the hardest-hit communities,” said Deborah Axt, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York. “In New York, we’re organizing our 24,000 members and our allies for a $3.5 billion Excluded Workers Fund, which can and should be financed by a tax on the state’s billionaires.”

Technology – or lack thereof – has further exacerbated the divide between families that are struggling and those of greater privilege. Part of Omidyar Network’s mission is to promote responsible technology to sustain equity.

“The pandemic has laid bare that access to the internet is an absolute necessity: people need it to work, learn, access healthcare, and connect with loved one,” said Free Press Action Fund co-CEO, Jessica J. Gonzalez. “This grant has allowed us to mobilize our team of lawyers, researchers, lobbyists and campaigners to work to pass the most progressive broadband policy in history through the House of Representatives – with policies that will put money in the hands of low-income families and people out of work, connect schools and prevent utility shut-offs.”

Organizations seeking 501(c)(4) funding can access the application here. The deadline to send in applications is June 5th. Accessing the application requires the passcode “advocacy”. If you’re having difficulty with the PDF version, download the word version here using the same passcode. Additional information about the Fund can be found here



Omidyar Network (ON) seeks to create a more equitable economy, promote responsible technology that improves lives, and discover the emergent issues that will shape our future. Established in 2004 by philanthropists Pam and Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, Omidyar Network has committed more than $1 billion to innovative for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations to catalyze economic and social change.

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