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Upwork Awards $500,000 in Grants Through The Upwork Foundation Initiative

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Funding will support ten non-profit organizations dedicated to the economic empowerment of marginalized communities

Upwork (NASDAQ:UPWK), the world's work marketplace, today announced it has awarded ten $50,000 grants to high-impact organizations focused on the economic empowerment of marginalized populations worldwide. Grant winners were selected from Upwork's Fall 2020 call for grant applications through The Upwork Foundation, an initiative designed to open up new prospects for those at risk of being left behind by the changing nature of work.

The global pandemic has exacerbated economic inequalities rooted in systemic injustice, and solutions advanced by each of the selected nonprofits seek to unlock opportunities for those who are most impacted. These efforts include connecting low-income entrepreneurs with job readiness skills and training, providing education and support to children affected by HIV/AIDS, and offering legal, advocacy, and employment services to those who otherwise would not have access.

"Against the backdrop of the impacts of the global pandemic and racial disparities that were brought sharply into focus, we ultimately chose these organizations for their efforts to challenge inequality and their commitment to diversity and inclusion," says Anna Ninan, Senior Director leading The Upwork Foundation. "We are thankful for the work these organizations are doing to uplift and empower our most vulnerable communities and are proud to support their efforts."

Select organizations among the ten Fall 2020 Economic Empowerment grant recipients include:

Digital NEST

Digital NEST is a high-tech career development center that prepares young people for tech-involved jobs by providing technical and essential soft skills classes, as well as paid on-the-job training. Their centers serve predominantly Latinx youth in the overlooked agricultural and rural communities of Watsonville and Salinas, California.

EarthEnable

EarthEnable trains and employs Rwandans and Ugandans as masons to create and install custom-developed earthen floors in local homes. Their programs target the significant health challenges posed by dirt flooring, as well as create long-term solutions for jobs in Rwanda.

East Bay Community Law Center

East Bay Community Law (EBCLC) was originally founded by a small group of Berkeley law students in 1988 and is rooted in the Bay Area of California. Their mission is to promote justice and build more healthy, secure, productive, and hopeful communities. Their work in policy advocacy is responsive to the needs of low-income communities, including housing, healthcare, immigration matters, legal education, and defense programs.

Friends of Ngong Road

Friends of Ngong Road (FoNR) provides education and support to impoverished children in Nairobi whose families have been affected by HIV/AIDS. They focus on engaging children through early education and retaining them through higher education and into job skills training and employment. FoNR provides basic needs like food and additional resources like laptops and software that children don't have access to otherwise.

LaunchCode

LaunchCode is a national nonprofit creating economic opportunity by adding new talent to tech ecosystems across the nation. While careers in technology have traditionally been reserved for those who can afford a four-year degree, LaunchCode's programs are free and accessible to motivated individuals who are assessed for passion, drive, and aptitude rather than traditional career credentials. On average, LaunchCoders placed into paid apprenticeships and jobs earn more than double their previous salary.

For the full list of grant recipients, please visit here.

About The Upwork Foundation

The Upwork Foundation furthers the company's mission to create economic opportunities so people have better lives. It aims to build a future of inclusive learning and opportunity by serving those at risk of being left behind by the Fourth Industrial Revolution as well as supporting other nonprofits and its own employees in volunteering. The program supports four key areas: giving, partnerships, product, and volunteering. The Upwork Foundation initiative includes a donor-advised fund created through the Tides Foundation. For more information, visit https://www.upwork.com/ppc/foundation/.

About Upwork

Upwork is the world's work marketplace, connecting millions of businesses with independent talent around the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to 30% of the Fortune 100 with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and freelancers to work together in new ways that unlock their potential. Our talent community earned more than $2 billion on Upwork in 2019 across more than 8,000 skills, including website & app development, creative & design, customer support, finance & accounting, consulting, and operations. Learn more at www.upwork.com and join us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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