The Law & Social Policy Legacy Award was launched in 2021 to recognize organizations defending and advocating for low-wage workers’ rights and to increase knowledge of this work in the philanthropic community. The Public Welfare Foundation spent more than a decade supporting public policy and system reforms to improve the lives of low-wage working people in the United States. This prize commemorates and builds on the Public Welfare Foundation’s support to the field and honors the critical role law and social policy organizations play in building an economy that works for all.

A $10,000 award will be given by EOF with support from the Public Welfare Foundation annually until 2030 as a part of their legacy investment into the Workers’ Rights field. There are no restrictions or limitations on the use of the $10,000 award. Awardees are recognized at EOF’s Annual Budget and Tax Briefing, in front of more than three dozen funders. A short video about the winner’s work is also prodcued to share during the recognition event and with EOF members and partners.

The award is open to any 501c3 organization (or fiscally sponsored project) 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. Individuals are not eligible. Previous Law & Social Policy Legacy Award nominees are eligible to be nominated again in subsequent years. Previous winners cannot be nominated again. 

Nominations will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • The nominee’s work has made a significant difference in the lives of low-wage workers and advances structural, and systems change.
  • The nominee employs a strong worker-engagement model and centers the voices of low-wage workers in their work.
  • The nominee’s work stands out among their peers.

Preference will be given to nominations where recognition from the award will help the nominee capitalize on a specific challenge or opportunity. For example, 1) for a less well known and under resourced organization, recognition from this award will help increase visibility to new partners and funders; or 2) for a well known and well resourced organization, the recognition from this award will help amplify a new body of work focused on workers’ rights or leadership transition.

Visit our FAQs to learn more.

The 2025 Call for Nominations will open in September 2024.

Make the Road New Jersey Named 2024 Law & Social Policy Legacy Award Winner

MRNJ logo

Make the Road New Jersey (MRNJ) is being recognized for its strong record of advancing systemic change for immigrants and low-wage workers in New Jersey through community organizing, the provision of legal and support services, policy innovation, and transformative education. MRNJ builds the power of immigrant and working-class communities to achieve dignity and respect. Each year, the organization mobilizes tens of thousands of people to take action in support of immigrant and workers’ rights policies in New Jersey and beyond. Founded in 2014, the membership-based organization has won more than 18 campaigns that have helped more than one million New Jerseyans out of poverty.

Headshot of Sara Cullinane

We are incredibly honored to be the 2024 recipient of the Law & Social Policy Legacy Award. On behalf of the members of Make the Road New Jersey who fight day in and day out to win respect and dignity in the workplace and in their communities, we thank the Economic Opportunity Funders for this important recognition.

— Sara Cullinane Director, Make the Road New Jersey

MRNJ was one of eleven strong nominations for the $10,000 award, which was established to increase awareness within the philanthropic community of organizations working to advance law and social policy for low-wage workers’ rights. Nominees were evaluated on three criteria: significance, collaborative approach, and systemic impact.

A $10,000 award will be given by EOF with support from Public Welfare Foundation annually until 2030 as a part of their legacy investment into the Workers’ Rights field.

See what some of MRNJ’s members have to say about the power of their work.

Many thanks to The Hatcher Group for their partnership in producing this video.

Learn More

To learn more about MRNJ Contact:

Sara Cullinane
Make the Road New Jersey
42 Broad Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
[email protected]

2024 Law & Social Policy Legacy Award Nominees

9to5 National Association of Working Women is one of the largest, most respected national membership organizations of working women in the US, dedicated to putting working women’s issues on the public agenda.

A Better Balance is the leading national nonprofit legal advocacy organization dedicated to work-family justice. We use the power of the law to ensure all workers can care for themselves and their loved ones, without sacrificing their economic security.

Centro Legal de la Raza is a legal services agency protecting and advancing the rights of low-income, immigrant, Black, and Latinx communities through bilingual legal representation, education, and advocacy.

Equal Rights Advocates: Equal Rights Advocates fights for gender justice in workplaces and schools across the country. Since 1974, we’ve been fighting on the front lines of social justice to protect and advance rights and opportunities for women, girls, and people of all gender identities through groundbreaking legal cases and bold legislation that sets the stage for the rest of the nation.

Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health: MassCOSH unites workers, unions and community groups with environmental and health activists, to end dangerous work conditions, to organize for safe, secure jobs, and to advocate for healthy communities.

National Day Laborer Organizing Network: NDLON improves the lives of day laborers, migrants and low-wage workers. We build leadership and power among those facing injustice so they can challenge inequality and expand labor, civil and political rights for all.

Grassroots Law & Organizing for Workers: GLOW, Grassroots Law & Organizing for Workers (formerly National Legal Advocacy Network) is a racial and economic justice organization dedicated to shifting the balance of power towards greater equity in our economy and society by leveraging legal strategies and resources to build worker power.

North Carolina Justice Center is one of the state’s preeminent voices for economic and social justice. As a leading progressive research and advocacy organization, our mission is to eliminate poverty in North Carolina by ensuring that every household in the state has access to the resources, services, and fair treatment it needs to achieve economic security.

Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justiceis a national non-profit, public-interest law center. Since 1991, we have been at the forefront of efforts to ensure fair and decent work for low income workers, dignity for their families, and accountability in communities facing economic upheaval.