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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Bridging the Cultural Gap

February 10, 2015

As part of a proactive effort to address the cross-cultural barriers that arise in culturally and ethnically diverse communities, in 2009 Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) developed a grant program called Bridging the Cultural Gap. With a focus on using cultural tactics to move hearts and minds in support of immigrant integration, the program was focused expressly on supporting projects that allowed for Silicon Valley residents to come together to discuss shared values and concerns related to immigration. Between 2009 and 2014, SVCF invested $2.4 million in 12 projects that used cultural tactics such as dialogue, film, photography and storytelling to deepen relationships and cross-cultural understanding throughout San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Over the course of five years, these grantees, with support from SVCF, focused their activities on identifying and cementing shared values between immigrants and receiving communities, as well as building relationships within and across various communities in the region.

Capacity Building; Communications & Media; Community-Based Outreach & Activity

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

CONEC Volunteer Matching with Legal Service Providers

January 1, 2013

In early 2013, with Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) looming on the horizon, Silicon Valley Community Foundation launched a technology innovation project to support the technology needs and aspirations of immigration legal services providers in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties in California. The effort was envisioned as an opportunity to engage a cohort of agencies in a unique co-creation process exploring the use of technology to enhance citizenship and naturalization services for immigrants in Silicon Valley.

Capacity Building; Coalition Building & Collaboration; Litigation/Legal Services

The Civic Engagement Fund 2006-2009 Program Assessment Summary

September 1, 2010

The Civic Engagement Fund (CEF), founded in 2006, aims to increase the capacity of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian nonprofit organizations, it's community partners, in order that they may better serve their respective communities in a post 9/11 environment. The CEF provides AMEMSA organizations in the Bay Area ofCalifornia with small organizational support grants, technical assistance, and peer learning opportunities. This brief is based on an external evaluation of the CEF's four-year (2006-2009) program, which comprised two cycles of grant-making, capacity building convenings, and technical assistance support. The methodology consisted of a literature review, focus group discussions with community partners/grantees, and conversations with advisory committee members and AAPIP staff. The 2010 Program was designed in part based on feedback from this evaluation report.

Capacity Building; Civic Engagement; Research & Evaluation

Benchmarks of Immigration Civic Engagement

July 1, 2010

Immigrant civic engagement is an increasingly critical issue for the United States. Immigrant civic engagement may take various forms, but naturalization, voting registration and voter turnout are key measures or benchmarks. This report examines immigrant civic participation in terms of immigrants' current engagement, the capacity of states to provide naturalization and voting registration, and the impact that immigrants are having on the adult citizen population in the U.S.

Capacity Building; Civic Engagement

Building Capacity for ESL, Legal Services, and Citizenship

June 1, 2008

Provides a funders' guide to opportunities, strategies, and resources for promoting immigrants' civic integration by investing in a local infrastructure of services, including English instruction, legal services, and assistance with naturalization.

Capacity Building; Civic Engagement; Litigation/Legal Services

Investing in Change: Why Supporting Advocacy Makes Sense for Foundations

May 16, 2008

Given the growing interest in funding advocacy, this brief report, which focuses in large part but not exclusively on U.S. grantmaking, provides:An overview of why funders should consider investing in advocacyExamples of successful, foundation-funded advocacy effortsKey questions for individual philanthropists and foundation staff to consider before committing to funding advocacy.

Advocacy; Capacity Building; Civic Engagement; Communications & Media; Litigation/Legal Services; Research & Evaluation

Philanthropic Case Study: The Civic Engagement Fund for Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian Communities - Bay Area Demonstration Project

March 5, 2008

In September 2006, the Civic Engagement Fund for Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (Fund) approved its first cycle of seventeen capacity building grants totaling $129,000 to support Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Civic Engagement Fund for AMEMSA Communities is a capacity building initiative designed to support AMEMSA nonprofit organizations through a mix of small grants and the provision of technical assistance. The Fund was developed through a strategic partnership between Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), an affinity group of the Council of Foundations, and The San Francisco Foundation, a regional community foundation. The collaborative now includes seven additional San Francisco Bay Area philanthropic institutions.This paper explores this unique partnership between an affinity group and a community foundation developed with an explicit goal of developing new strategies to amplify the issues and challenges facing disadvantaged communities and identify innovative funding solutions.

Capacity Building; Community-Based Outreach & Activity; Research & Evaluation

Migration and Integration: The Impact of NGOs on Future Policy Development In Ireland Summary Report

July 1, 2006

The purpose of this study was to investigate the capacity of non governmental organisations (NGOs) to inform the development of national policies on migration in Ireland, here taken to include policies on immigration, asylum, integration and citizenship. In the context of current policies and likely future developments, and the opportunities and constraints in the Irish political system, the report assesses the strengths and limitations of existing NGO strategies. It identifies initiatives that NGOs and the government could take to enhance the capacity of NGOs to inform future policy development. It does not explore their capacity needs as advice and service providers, nor relationships with policy makers or service providers at the local level. The research was completed in the Autumn of 2005.

Advocacy; Capacity Building

Migration and Integration: The Impact of NGOs on Future Policy Development In Ireland (Full Report)

July 1, 2006

The purpose of this study was to investigate the capacity of non governmental organisations (NGOs) to inform the development of national policies on migration in Ireland, here taken to include policies on immigration, asylum, integration and citizenship. In the context of current policies and likely future developments, and the opportunities and constraints in the Irish political system, the report assesses the strengths and limitations of existing NGO strategies. It identifi es initiatives that NGOs and the government could take to enhance the capacity of NGOs to inform future policy development. It does not explore their capacity needs as advice and service providers, nor relationships with policy makers or service providers at the local level. The research was completed in the Autumn of 2005.

Advocacy; Capacity Building