GMA’s 17/25 Fund Seeds Guaranteed Income Programs for Young Adults


The 17/25 Fund for Young Adults, a three-month pooled giving and learning experience facilitated by GMA Foundations, has concluded with grants to two exceptional organizations dedicated to empowering young adults during their transitions to self-sufficiency. The grants will seed guaranteed income programs – an increasingly deployed tool for promoting economic justice and breaking free of poverty.

After several learning sessions with experts and advocates for unconditional direct cash payments, participants in the 17/25 Fund agreed on grants to The Haven Project and The Wily Network. Each organization will receive $80,600 to implement direct cash transfer programs that will initially provide 28 young adults with a $150 monthly for 18 months with no strings attached.

While philanthropy often focuses on childhood and youth development, the 17/25 Fund recognizes the critical need to support young adults who lack adequate support systems. Many find themselves navigating economic uncertainties despite educational attainment. Recent research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago underscores the weak link between education and economic mobility, highlighting the insufficiency of education alone in addressing poverty.

“If poverty is the problem, why do we keep telling people to cling to the uncertainty of educational attainment?” asks Rahn Dorsey, a civic leader in Boston and prominent advocate of guaranteed income. Citing data from significant pilot projects and the well-known 2015 Color of Wealth Study, Dorsey argues that greater economic stability is essential to escaping the gravitational pull of poverty.

Pilot projects across the country point to the success of guaranteed income programs, once seen as a radical approach.

For more details about the 17/25 Fund for Young Adults and the GMA Funder Community, please reach out to GMA advisor Heidi Heinlein via email.