Member Voice Compensation Policy: A Commitment to Equity

Last year, LIFT published our Equity Statement, Accountability With Love, pledging to ensure that our actions, policies, and decisions fully align with LIFT values of equity, diversity, relationships, excellence, and hope. We are committed to holding ourselves accountable and examining the places where we were missing the mark. In that examination, LIFT’s Member Voice Compensation Policy emerged.  

LIFT values elevating members’ voices in areas in which they have experience and expertise in order to raise awareness of issues impacting them or contribute to research, program improvement, or changing policy. LIFT encourages our parent-members to participate in research projects, advocacy campaigns, and media appearances, typically by providing an interview, participating in a focus group, or completing a survey.  

Under the new Member Voice Compensation Policy, LIFT compensates members for sharing their voice and asks partners to do the same when requesting input and insights from LIFT members. While LIFT regions and LIFT partners often offered compensation to those sharing their stories, time, and expertise in the past, our formal policy ensures we hold ourselves and our partners accountable to this practice in the fight for economic justice. 

Our Member Voice compensation rates are grounded in LIFT’s Pay Equity structure for staff and adjusted to account for specific expertise and experience related to the project. Payments assume time of the request itself, plus a window of time for preparation, making schedule and childcare arrangements, and potential lost time at work. 

Additionally, LIFT issues all member payments via prepaid card in order to ensure the unrestricted nature of the funds, allowing LIFT members to use them in whatever way they see fit – and strongly encourages our partners to do the same.  

As affirmed in our Equity Statement, LIFT is committed to: 

  • elevating LIFT members’ voices and experiences to dismantle economic systems rooted in racist practices and ideologies that perpetuate poverty; 
  • sharing the stories of our member families with dignity and integrity; and  
  • ensuring the people and organizations we collaborate with are representative of and invested in supporting our members. 

LIFT’s new Member Voice Compensation Policy is our tangible effort to these commitments. As we continue to work and learn in this space, we will continue to refine the policy to ensure it aligns with our values and we look forward to other in the space implementing similar policies.