Mobility Learning and Action Bets (Mobility LABs)

Economic and racial barriers make it difficult for people to access pathways out of poverty—and too often, impacted communities aren’t empowered to create solutions. Mobility Learning and Action Bets (Mobility LABs) is a pioneering initiative focused on empowering and enabling communities to develop solutions that holistically address economic success, power, autonomy, and belonging.

In 2019, Mobility LABs granted nine anchor community partner organizations $125,000 in planning grants to develop a community-designed pilot project addressing impediments to local economic mobility, while also focusing on how to shift the narrative about poverty. Each partner then received $1.58 million dollars over 3 years to implement the project. Mobility LABs is now entering the final year of its four-year initiative. Mobility LABs is a partnership of major donors, including The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Tipping Point Community, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Our Impact



In funds disbursed by Mobility LABs to date



In additional funds influenced and funneled into anchor partners' communities



Of funding granted for hyper-local community-driven narrative change solutions

Our Strategy

Mobility LABs supports sustainable poverty-fighting solutions by:

Supporting diverse demonstration communities: Mobility LABs anchor partners work in nine geographically diverse communities, including urban, suburban, and rural settings, where Robin Hood and its philanthropic partners have commitments. This multi-faceted diversity allows for us to incubate truly impactful solutions for economic mobility while providing space to incubate and scale solutions in New York City and beyond.

Promoting shared-learning: Establishing, building, and maintaining trust is a foundational precept of Mobility LABs’ approach to working with the communities our anchor partners serve. Periodic convenings create a community of practice amongst the nine anchor partners as a learning cohort, and continuous feedback loops between anchor partners and the Mobility LABs’ team facilitate and sustain trust, allowing the space for collaborative, community-centered priorities, and solutions to be discussed, framed, designed, and executed.

Implementation Reports