Every day, organizations worldwide are engaged in a collective two steps forward, one step back march toward improved immigration services and policies. What hard-earned lessons are these nonprofits, and the foundations that support them, learning from their persistent efforts? This collection of evaluations, case studies, and lessons learned exposes and explores the nuances of effective collaboration, the value of coordinated messaging, the bedrock of ongoing advocacy efforts, and the vital importance of long-term and flexible funding.

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60 Years of Fighting for Justice: Annual Report 2021

December 13, 2021

Vera started in 1961 with Herb Sturz sitting alone in the alcove adjoining Louis Schweitzer's secretary's office. Today it has grown to 290 employees with offices in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Washington, DC.As we mourn our founder, and his successor Michael E. Smith (who died in May), we lean on the lessons they left us and work to build on their legacies.Herb's formula—using compelling data and tireless advocacy to transform unjust systems—continues to succeed. In our 60th year, we are applying that formula at the highest levels of power, as we focus intentionally on eradicating racial injustice. The criminal legal and immigration systems are fundamentally brutal, especially to people of color. Vera exists to transform these systems so that communities can thrive.On the pages that follow, read how Vera seeks to transform the role of the prosecutor to one that pursues justice, not jails; to make sure that every immigrant facing deportation has a government-funded lawyer and a fighting chance to stay with their family and in our communities; and ensure that every incarcerated student has the chance to receive a quality college education. Vera once incubated social justice organizations across New York City. Now we strive for national policy change across state capitals and in Washington, DC, alongside community partners and government leaders.Our founding charter stated that we exist "to seek and further the equal protection of the laws." We are now carrying this mission—and the legacy of our founders—forward at a larger scale, with 60 years of experience and our unwavering commitment to justice for all.

GLAHR 2021 Annual Report

December 10, 2021

The Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) educates and organizes the Latino community in Georgia to defend and promote their civil and human rights. Established in 2001, GLAHR is a community organization that develops grassroots leadership in Latino immigrants in the state of Georgia.

Working Together/Trabajando Juntos: What Can Be Learned from a Coalition of Georgia Latinx-serving Organizations in 2020

November 1, 2021

This study examines how a group of LCF Georgia member organizations fared both on their own and as a coalition to respond to the needs of vulnerable Latinx Georgians in the wake of the shutdown and economic disruption. The study documents how these organizations worked together, and it also documents how they provided assistance to each other in supporting their efforts.

From Resettlement to Belonging: Opportunities for Refugee Leadership and Civic Participation

July 1, 2021

This report summarizes various models of refugee leadership development and civic participation programs, identifies keys to success, and uplifts the stories of diverse training components with refugee leaders and their impact, both within the refugee community and in the broader society.This report is written for a variety of funders, including those who work locally in supporting resettlement services for refugees, as well as those who work at the national level in supporting organizing and civic engagement. Funders who currently support resettlement services can leverage the impact of their funding by investing in leadership and civic participation efforts. And those who fund leadership, civic participation, organizing, and advocacy can diversify their grantmaking strategy and magnify their overall impact by adding refugees to their portfolios. Funders can also examine how refugees are connected to their broader portfolios, including health, education, economic justice, racial justice, and gender equity. In tapping this funding opportunity, philanthropy can support refugee leaders across the country to project their own voices and stand in their own power. 

Investing in Black Leaders in the Immigrant and Racial Justice Movements

February 19, 2021

Four Freedoms Fund (FFF), a collaborative fund of NEO Philanthropy, is proud to honor Black History Month this year with the release of its recommendations on how philanthropy can strategically and broadly strengthen the Black immigrant, refugee and asylum seeker organizing ecosystem. The recommendations are based on interviews with Black-led immigrant, refugee and asylum seeking organizations building the movements for immigrant and racial justice.  These Black-led organizations have played an outsize role in pushing the immigrant justice movement to center racial justice, as well as being visionaries pushing the boundaries for a more just and equitable future in our country.FFF makes seven strategic recommendations for how funders can support Black immigrant, refugee, and asylum seeker-focused and led organizations in building their own power toward self-determination and equity. 

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Delivering on the Dream: Protecting Immigrant Rights and Fostering a Culture of Inclusion

July 1, 2020

California has been at the forefront of this surge with the public, private, and philanthropic community taking a firm stance against anti-immigrant policies and divisive rhetoric. The James Irvine Foundation is one of several California foundations that has stepped up its support to protect immigrant rights, joining forces with other partners across the state to bolster collective and mutually reinforcing efforts. As part of its grantmaking to a range of nonprofit partners, The Foundation seeks to ensure that everyone of California's low-income workers – many of whom are immigrants – have the power to advance economically.To better understand the effect of rapid response grantmaking and the current landscape for immigrant integration in California, The Irvine Foundation partnered with Engage R+D on this practice brief to explore the various ways California foundations are contributing to a pro-immigrant movement. It is based on a developmental evaluation of The Irvine Foundation's Protecting Immigrant Rights (PIR) efforts and interviews with 12 foundations and immigrant rights organizations. It seeks to provide actionable insights for funders and immigrant-serving organizations as they pivot from crisis-response to more proactive and longer-term strategy for immigrant integration.

Philanthropic Strategies to Support Refugees and Asylum Seekers

June 1, 2018

This report profiles 10 donors' diverse approaches and strategies to supporting refugees and asylum seekers, and offers key lessons gleaned from their experience. These profiles are designed to provide a roadmap for supporting refugees, asylum seekers, and unaccompanied children seeking protection in the United States and abroad.The grantmakers profiled in this report differ in their structure, size, and geographic priorities. Some are responding to global crises (like the Syrian civil war and the arrival of asylum seekers across Europe), while others are addressing the needs of refugees and asylum seekers in the United States (including unaccompanied children and families from Central America). Still others are advancing national strategies, ongoing work in specific states, or very local interventions. As a group, they support a range of approaches – from systems and narrative change to advocacy and organizing, from capacity building to legal and direct service delivery.These case studies feature donors with programs dedicated exclusively to refugees, asylum seekers, and/or unaccompanied children, and that address newcomer populations more generally. They also highlight donors who assist these populations through the prism of education, workforce, economic development, capacity development, or legal services.

Program Update: New York City, Conclusion of the Civic and Political Participation of Immigrant Communities Portfolio

January 5, 2015

From 2010 to 2014, the Fund made 44 grants totaling $3.4 million in the New York City democratic practice portfolio. Over the last five years, the Fund has supported immigration forums, new partnerships and collaborations, academic research, new tools for dissemination of best practices, innovative citizenship outreach models, and new leadership that have helped establish a positive perspective on the many contributions New York's immigrant communities make to its economy and civic dynamism.

Capacity Building; Civic Engagement; Coalition Building & Collaboration

Mentoring Practices in Europe and North America: Strategies for Improving Immigrants' Employment Outcomes

January 1, 2015

This study presents a number of promising mentoring and job coaching initiatives from Europe and North America, with a case study of the Belgian context. Mentoring -- an experienced individual coaching or advising a more junior partner or peer -- is increasingly recognised in Europe as a tool for advancing the labour market integration of disadvantaged individuals. However, the scope, methods, and sustainability of mentoring efforts vary widely by national and local context, and depend on a variety of actors and conditions.The mapping inspired the King Baudouin Foundation to launch a call for projects on mentoring to work in Belgium.

Coalition Building & Collaboration; Field Building

The Role of Philanthropy in the U.S. Immigrant Rights Movement

December 1, 2014

As the Ford Foundation marks 25 years of involvement on U.S. immigration issues, it is a good time to take stock of what has occurred and to examine more closely philanthropy's role in supporting the growth of a national immigrant rights movement. There are many reasons for the field's rapid growth, including extraordinary leadership by those who have headed the movement. But the support of numerous foundations and other donors has played a vital part in fueling the field's expansion. Contributions have come from all parts of the philanthropic community. Smaller foundations, for example, have played a significant role in strengthening the capacity of regional and local immigrant-serving organizations that are backbone of the movement.To help tell the story of philanthropy's contribution to the development of an immigrant rights field in United States, the Ford Foundation commissioned journalist Louis Freedberg, with assistance from Ted Wang, to write this report. It describes how Ford initially entered the field, the challenges the Foundation and its grantees faced in the early years, how funders have worked together to support an emerging but vibrant movement, and the lessons learned to help inform future efforts to support the field. The authors' observations are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Ford Foundation. They point out that the power of philanthropic grantmaking in this area has come from a combination of factors: committed long-term funders who have supported this field for many years; a willingness to fund a wide range of organizations that provide complementary activities; flexibility to adjust grantmaking to changing conditions; and an openness among funders to collaborate with each other and as well as with grantees to achieve a shared vision.

Advocacy; Field Building

2004-2013 Impact Report

October 1, 2014

This first and final report of the ONE Foundation sets out the story of ONE over it's ten-year lifespan. Section 2 describes the key decisions that shaped ONE and how these unfolded over time. Section 3 outlines the goals, strategies and outcomes of the four programmes we chose to invest in, and highlights what we believe was achieved through our funds and efforts. Section 4 gives examples of initiatives we undertook that didn't seem to fit in, and yet played an important role in the end. Section 5 describes what we did to plan for and support exit from long-term grantees during difficult economic times. Perhaps most importantly, section 6 outlines the lessons we learned. We are happy to share what we believe were the key drivers of our successes (and failures) so that the next generation of philanthropists and social changemakers can benefit from our experience. Section 7 sums up ONE's legacy, if there is one. We can hardly ever agree on that at ONE.

Children; Civic Engagement; Field Building

Using Volunteers in Naturalization Workshops

September 6, 2014

Volunteers are a critical component of efficient naturalization service delivery, especially in group processing workshops, which the New Americans Campaign (NAC) promotes. This toolkit provides recommendations for organizations on how to recruit, train, retain, and effectively use volunteers at group processing workshops.

Civic Engagement; Community-Based Outreach & Activity; Litigation/Legal Services