Implementing Staff-Centric Strategies with UpTogether

UpTogether invests in historically undervalued communities and amplifies their true lived experiences, working together to influence policies and advocate for systems change. 

UpTogether recognizes that poverty is created by systems, rooted in racism, and perpetuated by false views of people experiencing poverty. The national nonprofit seeks to change policies, systems, and underlying beliefs so that all people in the United States are seen and invested in for their strengths and are able to build power, reinforce their autonomy, and drive their own economic and social mobility.

Challenge: UpTogether wanted to translate their commitment to equity into their own internal operations and improve their team’s compensation system. 

UpTogether was successfully partnering with and investing in families across the country as they worked to make their lives and communities better, and they wanted to pour more effort into making their internal operations more equitable. They wanted to find and implement more cutting-edge equity practices to improve their established compensation structure. They faced a unique challenge stemming from the organization’s specialized technical roles that are traditionally paid more competitively in the private sector. How would they attract and retain top technical talent while ensuring pay equity for all positions across the organization?

Solution: Edgility guided UpTogether to achieve the best of both worlds, helping them implement specific strategies to prioritize internal equity without sacrificing their ability to compete in the market. 

Edgility supported UpTogether in making several key equity-anchored and values-aligned pay practices core components of their operations. These included staff-centric strategies like: 

  • Setting a wage floor or line below which wages are not allowed to fall
  • Narrowing the ratio between their lowest and highest-paid employees
  • Leaning into pay transparency by making sure compensation policies are written, accessible and unwavering

We know that a healthy and equitable business starts from a strong foundation. That’s why we also instructed management at UpTogether on how to identify ways to think strategically about compensating their technical staff. Together, we developed a salary structure that would allow UpTogether to remain market competitive for high-demand roles, like technical staff, in the public AND private sectors while staying true to their desired compensation philosophy of internal equity. 

Result: UpTogether ensures internal equity and remains market competitive in a high-demand industry. 

Our strategies were a success. UpTogether was able to integrate these tactics and their entire team was fully engaged and excited about the process, making our job a true delight. At all levels of UpTogether’s operations, people embraced the “three legs of the stool” to attract and retain top-tier talent: internal equity, market competitiveness, and financial sustainability. 

UpTogether has decided to carry on their partnership with Edgility this year to continue to close opportunity gaps at their organization and implement equitable career pathways and performance management practices. We look forward to partnering with them as they invest in people and communities working to accomplish goals and achieve long-term socioeconomic mobility.

Ila Shah

Meet the expert:

Ila Shah

Associate Partner
  • Compensation Program Design
  • Compensation Benchmarking
  • Wage Gap Assessment
  • Implementation Support

“Leading with empathy and listening to the diversity of perspectives of staff is a gift and only makes us better and stronger.”


Put your values to work. Act on equity.

We believe equity isn’t a box to check. It’s a daily action. Someone’s unique identity isn’t something to overcome–when paired with the right opportunity, it becomes one of their greatest professional assets. We exist to empower social impact organizations to recognize and overcome unconscious bias, racism and sexism so they can build a workforce that reflects and strengthens the communities they serve.