Western Union Foundation’s Year in Giving

Giving By Emily Larson December 22, 2020

During an unprecedented year, the Western Union Foundation stayed true to its mission of empowering forcibly displaced and marginalized youth to succeed in the global economy, while supporting our partners through the pandemic in ways that were most impactful for them.

Our giving has provided:

  • Funding for our education partners to go virtual, so they can still provide workforce skills training to the people we support;
  • Networking opportunities for youth to find employment even during the pandemic;
  • Direct relief to communities suffering from natural and man-made disasters;
  • PPE to those on the ground combatting COVID-19.

In 2021, the Western Union Foundation’s giving will continue our commitment to providing Opportunity Beyond Borders—equipping people on the move with the technology and entrepreneurship skills needed to thrive in the jobs of the future. We thank our partners and donors for believing in this mission and driving it forward by continuing to support these youths and advocating for them, no matter what challenges we face.

The Foundation is investing $1.7M in the fourth quarter, bringing total 2020 investment to $5.7M. Below are two examples highlighting how the Foundation’s Opportunity Beyond Borders grant dollars are working to meet the needs of our beneficiaries, especially during this unprecedented moment in history:

Watson Institute

In 2019, the Watson Institute led its first Basecamp Mexico City, in collaboration with the Western Union Foundation and the Techstars Foundation. After the success of the program, Watson Institute is building upon the impact by running a second Basecamp in Mexico City in partnership with the Western Union Foundation and Technologico de Monterrey and a pilot Basecamp in Guatemala in partnership with the Techstars Foundation. This partnership and program accelerates careers and increases economic opportunity for next-generation entrepreneurial leaders across Mexico.

Pursuit Transformation Company

Millions of low-income adults face significant barriers breaking into the tech industry, including lack of access to higher education and training programs. The Pursuit Transformation Company’s Fellowship Program serves these individuals with comprehensive training as professional software developers. Their training has produced 100% job placement within the first year of completion with higher-than-previous starting salaries. The Western Union Foundation’s funding will support 72 individuals’ participation in this life-changing opportunity.


Additionally, the Western Union Foundation is supporting the following projects and programs. Read about the Foundation’s third-quarter investment here.

Organization Program Focus Location
Denver Public Schools Foundation Denver Public Schools’ Launch Internship Program enables students to work in local businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to not only develop critical workplace readiness skills but apply the industry-specific technical skills learned in their classes. Denver, Colorado, USA
HIAS HIAS will provide cleaning supplies and safety items to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among frontline staff and associated personnel who are providing life-giving protection and assistance to refugees and vulnerable communities caught in the ongoing conflict and displacement in Venezuela. Venezuela
Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain Junior Achievement Personal Success teaches low-income high school students how to get a part-time job. Working while in school not only helps students earn money in the near term but allows teens to develop “real-world” experience while helping support their families. Denver, Colorado, USA
Mi Casa Resource Center Pathways to Economic Success links participants to community resources and partner agencies to transcend economic barriers and ensure ongoing progress towards economic goals. Denver, Colorado USA
Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative The Youth Peacekeeper Network initiative designs, facilitates, and distributes a curriculum based on the theory that, in conflict-and-violence-affected areas, empowered young people can play a catalytic role to promote peace and development in their communities. Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, Uganda