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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10 Years of Delivering for Immigrants: Evaluation of the Delivering on the Dream Project

January 17, 2023

Launched in 2012 in response to the opportunity presented under the Obama administration for hundreds of thousands of young people to qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), GCIR's Delivering on the Dream (DOTD) network has proven to be a powerful example of philanthropic collaboration in pursuit of immigrant justice. Through a unique partnership model that leverages national matching funds, state and local funders engage in coordinated grantmaking to strengthen the immigrant rights and service infrastructure in diverse locales. Since its inception, the DOTD network has included 27 collaboratives in 21 states, with more than 160 local, state, and national funders supporting over 700 grantees working in multiple areas, including immigration legal services, education and outreach, and crisis response.Though DOTD in its current form will be sunsetting in 2023, many of the regional collaboratives will continue to convene, providing opportunities for local grantmakers to collaborate and respond to the needs of immigrants in their communities. This brand-new report synthesizes lessons learned from the DOTD network over the past ten years and provides recommendations for future philanthropic collaboration.

Evaluation of the Immigrant Rights Portfolio Strategy (2015–2020): Summary Report

April 1, 2022

Since the late 1980s, many policymakers and members of the American public have viewed enforcement as the principal tool of the United States immigration system, either to deter migrants from coming to the country without papers or to punish immigrants who (intentionally or unintentionally) fail to comply with immigration law. As a result, hundreds of thousands of immigrants are arrested and placed in deportation proceedings, or otherwise removed from the U.S., with a disproportionate impact on Black immigrants.Before we launched our strategy in 2015, we listened closely to our grantees whose constituents were directly affected by detentions and deportations that persisted despite policymakers' avowed support for immigrants. Recognizing that immigrants' needs for family unity and an end to harsh enforcement were unlikely to be met through comprehensive immigration reform in Congress, the Immigrant Rights portfolio focused on supporting advocates working on enforcement reform and their goals. In making this commitment, Ford was the first major U.S. philanthropy to establish ending harsh enforcement as a principal focus of its immigrant rights strategy.Over a matter of five years, we invested nearly $118 million in organizations working to achieve changes in advocacy and policy, build the field, and shift the narrative around immigrants. This included approximately $43 million invested through our BUILD initiative and approximately $23 million distributed through our 2020 Social Justice Bond. We provided general support to organizations representing immigrants directly impacted by harsh enforcement, as well as to longstanding grantees who were using litigation, mobilization, advocacy, and communications as tactics that reinforced one another. Other funding helped the movement confront strategic gaps and challenges, draw on expert advice, bring organizations together for collaborative learning, and strengthen philanthropic partnerships.In the fall of 2020, we partnered with consultants Kathleen Sullivan and David Shorr to evaluate this strategy, deepen our learning, and make informed decisions on where to focus moving forward. The evaluation concluded in spring 2021.

Evaluation of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project: Assessing the Impact of Legal Representation on Family and Community Unity

November 1, 2017

This study evaluates the impact of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP). NYIFUP is the nation's first public defender system for immigrants facing deportation—defined as those in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. Funded by the New York City Council since July 2014, the program provides a free attorney to almost all detained indigent immigrants facing deportation at Varick Street Immigration Court who are unrepresented at their first court appearances.This evaluation offers quantitative and qualitative analyses about the impact of government-funded counsel in New York City deportation proceedings on clients, their families, and the local economy.

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

Opening Doors to Citizenship (Summary)

August 12, 2014

The New Americans Campaign (the Campaign) was formed in 2011 by a group of funders and national partners, including the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), to increase the number of eligible lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who apply to become United States citizens. The Campaign, led by the ILRC, draws together a national network of legal service providers, communityand faith-based organizations, foundations and other allies in the public and private sectors. In 2012, the Campaign commissioned Harder+Company Community Research to evaluate whether and how the original eight Campaign sites had increased naturalization rates. The evaluation found that the campaign efforts at these sites had produced increased numbers of completed applications, in large part because of beneficial collaboration, use of innovative approaches, and dynamic learning and support between national and local work.

Coalition Building & Collaboration; Litigation/Legal Services; Research & Evaluation

Evaluation of a Pilot Project to Advance Pro-Immigrant Advocacy for Center for New Community, National Immigration Law Center, Progressive States Action

March 31, 2014

Since the four pillars were articulated in 2007, the immigrant rights movement has expanded in a number of significant ways. It has built stronger partnerships, both with other progressive groups, and with moderate and conservative allies. It has taken on a more state-level focus, as the continued failure to achieve comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level has led to a proliferation of state-level laws and initiatives. And new voices and leaders have emerged within the movement, most notably the "DREAMers," young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who would benefit from the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship and other benefits for those in their specific situation.The net result of these changes has been a movement that is more adaptable, more localized, and more diverse -- but not necessarily more effective, when judged by the national-level metric of achieving comprehensive immigration reform. And it is debatable to what extent advances at the state level have been the result of state-level, ground-up organizing vs. coordinated action from national organizations.The pilot project that is the subject of this evaluation gets at these very issues. It addresses the possibility of pro-immigrant advocacy at the state level, and tests a model of national-local collaboration to advance this goal.

Advocacy; Coalition Building & Collaboration; Research & Evaluation

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

Daring Voices

October 22, 2013

This evaluation analyses the outcomes and impact of The One Foundation's investments in NGOs working in the Irish policy context to advance the following advocacy goals: i) make children's rights real; ii) make immigrant rights real; iii) build political will on mental health in Ireland. In a ten-year timeframe, 2004-13, The One Foundation (OF) invested €75 million, of which approximately €15 million (20%) supported direct advocacy work. The report draws on meetings with OF Team and Advisory Board members, interviews with grantees and 'bellwethers' (key informants with insights into the policy change process), and desk research (OF and grantee records). The evaluation uses a case study approach and a common framework of analysis to assess effectiveness in the three policy areas with a focus on how the work contributed to incremental wins towards achievement of ultimate advocacy goals.

Advocacy; Children; Research & Evaluation

Making Immigrant Rights Real

June 17, 2013

This is an overview of Ireland's changed migration landscape, followed by a description of The One Foundation's (OF) thinking on measures to effect change in response to a growing immigrant population, and the investments made to achieve its goal -- to make immigrant rights real in Ireland. A case study of an investment in the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) follows to provide a deeper understanding of some advocacy approaches taken, their impact, and lessons learned.

Advocacy; Research & Evaluation

Study of the Outcomes and Impacts of the Global Forum on Migration and Development and Civil Society Days

October 26, 2012

In November 2011, the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and accompanying Civil Society Days (CSD) completed their fifth year of operation, with the aim of improving migration policy coherence and enhancing the benefits of migration to sending and receiving countries, and to migrants themselves. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the largest non-governmental donor to this process, commissioned this study to retrospectively assess the outcomes and impact of the CSD and GFMD on policies, practices, issue framing, and government-civil society cooperation; and to prospectively draw lessons learned for the future of the GFMD and CSD. The evaluation took place from November 2011 through September 2012, allowing the team to observe the CSD and GFMD in Geneva, conduct an in-depth case study in Mexico, distribute online surveys to participants, conduct interviews at the UN offices in New York, and conduct key informant interviews by phone. Using a mixed method approach, combining quantitative survey data with qualitative key informant interviews and an extensive document review, the team has worked to triangulate data and strengthen the validity of findings. This study is geared towards the main stakeholders of the GFMD and CSD, including governments, civil society representatives, and donors. It is hoped that the aforementioned stakeholders will be able to utilize the findings, conclusions, and recommendations within this report to better inform their work in migration and development moving forward -- both within and outside of the GFMD and CSD processes.

Civic Engagement; Field Building; Research & Evaluation

Evaluation of the Immigrant Citizens Survey (ICS)

May 1, 2012

This evaluation undertakes a critical appraisal of the "Immigrant Citizens Survey (ICS)". The survey was funded under the European Integration Fund and jointly coordinated by the King Baudouin Foundation (KBF) and the Migration Policy Group (MPG). The survey was implemented in cooperation with research, polling and launch partners in the 7 countries covered by the survey. The survey was implemented in 2011 and 2012 and launched in May 2012.

Advocacy; Research & Evaluation

The Neighborhood Fund: 20 Years of Connecting People, Changing Communities

August 8, 2011

Outlines the premise and strategy behind the initiative, as well as the history, key components, and lessons of the fund for driving positive community change through grants, leadership development, coaching, and partnerships.

Community-Based Outreach & Activity; Refugees & Asylum Seekers