Important Information: The Human Rights and Economic Justice program has two program officers, Mary Estrin and Holly Bartling. Mary Estrin is the contact for groups located in the United States and Holly Bartling is the contact for those groups based in Mexico. All applicants regardless of prior history with General Service Foundation start by submitting an online Letter of Inquiry, unless otherwise directed by foundation staff. If you need to contact either program officer, please do so by email, their email links are provided below for your convenience.


Human Rights and Economic Justice

For a list of upcoming Application Deadlines, click here

Please review the program information to the right, then click the link at the bottom of the page to apply online!



The overarching goal of the Foundation's Human Rights and Economic Justice program support efforts that protect, promote and create good jobs with living wages for workers, including low-wage workers, in the United States and Mexico so that workers on both sides of the border can live and work in dignity.


Strengthen Worker Voices
In order to achieve this goal, GSF seeks to empower workers to speak on their own behalf as effective advocates for low-wage workers. GSF supports organizations involved in capacity building, advocacy, organizing, and leadership development in order to empower low-wage workers within the United States and Mexico. We also support diverse coalitions of worker's rights groups and grassroots community-based groups working at the national level to increase the voice and scope of economic justice work.

Promote Public Policies that Protect Labor Rights
A more worker-friendly policy environment is also essential to improving workplace conditions that would enable workers to participate more equitably in the benefits of economic prosperity. GSF supports organizations that improve trade policies that directly affect the U.S. and Mexico, and organizations that promote worker organizing and worker rights protections, particularly for low-income and immigrant workers. GSF also supports organizations using federal, state, and local leverage points to expand worker rights where such work can demonstrate national level impact.

Democratize Corporate Power and Promote Corporate Accountability
Strong citizen campaigns and coalitions are necessary counterbalances to the power of corporations. Holding corporations accountable is crucial to promote true sustainability and economic fairness for a broad base of community members. GSF supports efforts that encourage corporations to be more democratic and responsive to the communities they serve by supporting shareholder activism, socially responsible investing, and community empowerment to shape development in their own communities.


In assessing potential grantees, the Foundation will apply the following criteria:

Engaging Constituencies

  • Organizations that work to address needs identified by the underrepresented and low-income communities that are directly impacted.
  • Organizations that connect local and national-level work.
  • Organizations that build communities' power so they are able to be a force for greater economic justice.
  • Organizations that reach out to engage new and diverse constituencies.

Reflecting Leadership and Diversity

  • Organizations that are considered leaders in the field, and that take risks and try new ideas and strategies.
  • Organizations that are dedicated to enhancing the skills, knowledge and responsibilities of its staff and members, and that build leadership from within its membership, staff or constituents.
  • Organizations that have leaders who reflect the diversity of its constituency and membership.


  • Organizations based outside the United States or Mexico.
  • Projects without significant promise of impact beyond a local or state level.
  • Research and publications not directly linked to policy outcomes.
  • Direct service delivery.
  • Development or relief projects

Program Contacts:

US based organizations:
Mary L. Estrin

Mexico based organizations:
Holly Bartling