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

Evaluation of EPIM III: Emerging Insights From the Evaluation So Far

January 1, 2014

This report sets out some emerging insights from the ongoing evaluation of the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM) 2012-2015 programme. The activities of EPIM and this evaluation lie at the very heart of EPIM's efforts to strengthen the capacity of NGOs active in migration and integration issues, to engage with and influence decision-making at EU and Member state levels, and to do so by drawing on a rigorous evidence base, and through a pragmatic approach. Founded in 2005 as an activity of the Network of European Foundations (NEF) in a unique effort to fund European migration and integration organisations, EPIM's activities include strategic grant-making as well as networking, capacity-building, supporting advocacy and policy work. The Programme has now disbursed over €3m to more than 24 grantee organisations. Drawing on experience and learning from previous phases, EPIM's current three core areas of focus are asylum seekers, undocumented migrants, and equality, integration and social inclusion of vulnerable migrants. Recognising the importance of the role played by civil society, one of EPIM's key goals is to strengthen the advocacy capacities of NGOs at the European level. This goal reflects the fact that over the past decade the EU has become an important actor in the field of immigration and asylum, as well as that the majority of countries face some challenges in this area.

Advocacy; Coalition Building & Collaboration; Communications & Media; Litigation/Legal Services

Engaging the Media to Foster Integration: Good Practices from NGOs and Regional Authorities

March 2, 2011

Summary report from convening of experts on the European perspectives on promoting integration through the media.

Communications & Media

Media, Public Storytelling and Social Justice: An Introduction to FOMACS, Forum on Migration and Communications

February 1, 2010

This case study, commissioned by Atlantic Philanthropies, presents snapshots of projects demonstrating how The Forum on Migration and Communications (FOMACS) strengthens the voices of migrants and NGOs who work in the migrant sector by using collaboration, creative arts, digital media and storytelling as catalysts for social change, advocacy and educational transformation.

Advocacy; Coalition Building & Collaboration; Communications & Media

Eliminating Language Barriers for LEP Individuals: Promising Practices from the Public Sector

January 1, 2010

While the focus of this report is on eliminating language barriers for limited English proficient (LEP) individuals, any strategy to improve communications with this population must also include English learning and address the shortage of high-quality English as a Second Language (ESL) courses for adults. State-administered ESL programs currently serve only about a million of the estimated 12.4 million LEP adults in the United States who need language instruction. The underfunding of ESL programs means that large numbers of immigrant adults who wish to learn English are unable to enroll in classes or face overcrowded classrooms. For instance, a 2006 national survey of ESL providers found that 57 percent of these programs maintained waiting lists -- ranging from a few weeks to more than three years -- and could not accommodate the high numbers of immigrants interested in learning English. Policy experts and organizations that work with adult English learners have proposed various strategies to increase the availability of high-quality ESL courses, but lack of political support at the national level -- coupled with the current fiscal crisis -- has weakened efforts to help immigrants improve their English skills.

Coalition Building & Collaboration; Communications & Media

How Ten Stories About Immigrant Leaders Can Move a Community

October 6, 2008

This article discusses the Partnership between GCIR, the Endowment for Health, and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. These three agencies worked together to compile profiles of immigrant and refugee leaders. These profiles were mailed to 3,500 board members, donors, and perspective donors. The results of the distribution of this information are examined.

Communications & Media; Refugees & Asylum Seekers; Staff & Leadership Development

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

Reframing the Immigration Debate: How the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition Retooled its Communications Strategy

September 10, 2007

This case study chronicles the story of MIRA, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, and their energetic communications operation. With more than 100 organizational members, MIRA is a dynamic, multi-ethnic, multi-racial coalition that actively involves grassroots immigrant organizations, human services agencies, legal service providers, religious groups and human rights groups in cooperative efforts to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees.

Advocacy; Communications & Media