(UPDATED 12/23/20) Money may be in short supply for you right now, like it is…
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Have you ever heard of Freelancers Union? It’s the United States’ largest and fast-growing organization representing the country’s millions of independent workers. Based in New York City, Freelancers Union was founded in 1995 by lawyer Sara Horowitz and today has a membership of approximately 400,000. Freelancers Union promotes the interests of self-employed Americans through their advocacy, education and services.
While it began as a New York thing, the organization has expanded across the U.S. through dozens of local networking communities. I joined Freelancers Union recently and like what I’ve seen, so I want to share it with you. Here are 8 ways Freelancers Union helps freelancers.
8 Ways Freelancers Union Helps Freelancers
1. Free Membership – Membership in Freelancers Union is free. If you’re an independent worker – freelancer, consultant, independent contractor, temp, part-timer, contingent employee or self-employed – you can join.
2. SPARK Communities – Built on the premise that “we’re stronger together than we are on our own,” SPARK holds local monthly meetups across the U.S. In over 20 different cities freelancers can network, workshop and build your local freelance community. You can find a list of SPARK cities here.
3. Insurance and Retirement Plans – You can get insurance and save for retirement with the organization’s Freelancers Insurance Company, which offers a wide variety of members-only insurance plans as well as retirement plans for freelancers.
4. Resources – The organization also offers members-only resources such as health insurance information, tax information and networking advice.
Want to learn more about freelance work and life? Click here to sign up!
5. Discounts – Freelancers Union offers members-only discounts on gym memberships, phone plans, car insurance, car rentals and lots more.
6. Freelance Isn’t Free Law – The organization advocated for and succeeding in getting passed the Freelance Isn’t Free law in New York City in 2017. This law protects freelancers in New York City from deadbeat clients and helps them get paid.
7. Freelance Isn’t Free Across the Country – Although Freelance Isn’t Free is a law only in New York City, self-employed people in other parts of the country have been able to use the principles of this law to help them get paid. Freelancers Union would like to see other parts of the country enact their own Freelance Isn’t Free laws. You can sign a petition to bring the Freelance Isn’t Free law to your city right here.
8. Freelancing in America Annual Reports – The organization in conjunction with Upwork conducts annual surveys from which it produces reports called Freelancing in America. Each year’s report gives detailed, accurate and up-to-date looks into the world of freelancing.
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Cover image by: Shridhar Gupta
Sabina Lohr is a lifelong freelancer turned entrepreneur who created World of Freelancers to help others discover how to work for themselves online and live the freelance lifestyle. She’s always really enjoyed the freedom that freelancing brings, including several years on and off of working online while traveling and living abroad.