UpTogether Fund

FII invests directly in families, celebrating their strengths and innovative solutions.

75% of families living below the federal poverty line today will succeed in moving over the poverty line within four years despite a system that penalizes such progress. It is hard to keep that momentum going once a financial emergency arises.

According to The Pew Charitable Trusts, the average cost of financial shock is $2,000 (job layoff, health crisis, etc). Families that have worked hard to escape poverty and build their assets are forced to dissolve those assets before qualifying for safety net benefits when faced with a financial shock, returning them to poverty and a position of need.

Modeling Investment on Initiative

The UpTogether Fund is a pool of flexible capital created to match families self- directed initiatives and strategies. FII-Family Partners have access to a maximum of $2,400 over 2 years to accelerate their economic and social mobility. Access to the UpTogether Fund is determined by the data reported through monthly journals and family activity on UpTogether.org. Each family is provided an Initiative Score which models their reliability and initiative.

Partnerships are in place for families to access additional resources and financial products such as Kiva, who offers crowdfunding; Mission Asset Fund for credit-building lending circles and additional products specific to sites.

Families access dollars and third party products to support their efforts on their own timeline, the same way that middle and upper-income families purchase services and products in the open market. FII is creating a new way to invest in low-income families.

UpTogether Fund Usage

Number of Overall Draws: 100013
Total Fund Disbursement: 100014
Category % Total Disbursed % Total Draws Average Draws

A small investment has huge returns

What’s particularly impressive, however, is the acceleration we see in families’ economic mobility as a result of the availability of these small, yet critically important, direct investments.

From the 12 months before to the 12 months after drawing capital from the UpTogether Fund, we see that families leverage these minimal investments to great advantage. Total income increases by 19% on average, or by more than $5,500/yr while, at the same time, reliance on government entitlements and subsidies decreases by 42% or nearly $1,500.

Average monthly income for families 12 months before and after resource access

Before Resources

After Resources

  • Business Income
  • Employment Income
  • Entitlements
  • Other Income
  • Subsidies

Growth in total assets is equally impressive for this group. With an average increase per family of 108% or $2,658, positive growth is seen in all asset categories tracked – checking, retirement, and savings.

Average monthly assets for families 12 months before and after resource access

Before Resources

After Resources

  • Checking
  • Other
  • Retirement
  • Savings

Of course, FII families are thriving whether they access UpTogether Fund dollars or not. Community building, monthly journaling, leadership opportunities, event planning and participation, expanding networks, and family cohort meetings, along with personal accountability and support from other family partners all contribute to their success in achieving mobility, however they define it.

FII Newsletter

Sign up to read inspiring family stories, thought leadership articles and FII updates across the U.S.