Learn more about how Mardell is addressing economic equity and opportunity, the work she is most proud of, and questions…
Welcome to Economic Opportunity Funders (EOF)
Know an organization that works tirelessly to defend and advocate for low-wage workers’ rights? Nominate them to receive $10,000.
This award is open to any organization working in the field of law and social policy to advance low-wage workers’ rights in the United States. Nominated organizations may be of any size or budget and work may have just started or occurred over years.
Anyone can make a nomination, and self-nominations are allowed. All nominations must be submitted using EOF’s online application.
Established in 1992, Economic Opportunity Funders (formerly known as GIST), is a network of national, regional and local level funders working to advance economic equity and opportunity in the United States. We believe in building an economy that works for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, education, income, religion, gender identity, disability or age. We support a strong public sector and policies that create a healthy, fair and just economy where opportunity and prosperity are broadly shared.
EOF focuses its work in three key and intersecting areas: poverty and opportunity, protecting and supporting workers, and tax and budget policies. We provide a platform for funders to share information, exchange ideas and best practice, and collaborate around identified areas of interest.
“Whenever I participate, I always come away with new insights on how to approach my work. Everything EOF does is well thought out and intentional about helping philanthropic professionals think about issues in new, different, and practical ways, through the lens of experience and other experts. It always feels productive.”
“There’s so much learning that happens by engaging in EOF. Hearing about exciting innovations in states and communities, opportunities to leverage impact, how it might relate to our work, and having surprising conversations with people sparks unexpected ideas. They are meetings I always look forward to.”
“EOF gives an opportunity to see where you might be re-inventing the wheel. A place for exploring how people are working in different and aligned ways that you didn’t know about. It gives access to learning and sharing, to community, and empathy for the challenges we all face.”
“EOF connects us to each other and to the broader national conversation. It helps us understand what’s happening in federal policy. It’s a source of learning, awareness-building, and opportunities to collaborate. Being part of networks like these helps us add our voice and connect to broader efforts and bring the lessons and experiences in Chicago into those conversations.”
“The EOF network has been invaluable to me as someone new to philanthropy. EOF is a great place to learn from other funders and get a sense of the philanthropic landscape. It’s been a source of inspiration and connection for me.”
“EOF is a tool for addressing challenges across philanthropy. It’s a force multiplier. It provides a space for collaborating and aligning with other funders. It leverages impact.”
“We’re a health funder. At EOF, we benefit from the exposure to, and understanding of, economic issues, and ways of moving forward on an economic front. Being a member helps us push forward on our thinking and understanding and helps us to figure out how we can be additive to this work. The thought partnership makes us all better. It helps us advance our shared strategies in really positive ways.”
“EOF helps us stay abreast of economic issues, so it’s the value of all the information shared—from state, local and federal policies, to finding out what peers working at different levels are doing, to the national trends and ideas we can adapt for our region. It’s all integral to the daily lives of communities of color and to the vision and mission of the foundation.”
“Being part of a broad network like EOF allows our team to learn as funders and collaborate with other partners. It gives us opportunities to be thought partners in advancing this important work to create an economy that works for all.”
“I am grateful to have the EOF community. It’s where I get a sense of what other funders are doing and who operates in my world.”