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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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. 

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

Characteristics of a Successful Site Leader

September 6, 2014

The New Americans Campaign is proud to announce a new toolkit on Characteristics of Successful Site Leaders. The NAC's unique structure uses site leaders to lead the campaign in each community. This toolkit illuminates the characteristics of a successful site leader, so that collaborations can appropriately choose which organization, and which person within that organization, should serve as the local site leader.

Litigation/Legal Services; Staff & Leadership Development

Prescreening and Red Flag Review: A toolkit in the Group Processing Workshop Series

September 6, 2014

The New Americans Campaign provides a significant percentage of naturalization services through group processing workshops -- events serving 10-600+ lawful permanent residents (LPRs) within a single day. This group approach is critical to the Campaign's goal of significantly increasing the number of LPRs who complete their naturalization applications. It also serves as a foundation for other immigration service delivery, including future opportunities arising out of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. This toolkit provides recommendations for organizations on how to screen LPRs before a workshop for their eligibility to naturalize, as well as how to review the suitability of their case for assistance in a workshop setting.

Civic Engagement; Litigation/Legal Services

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

Defending Activists at Risk: Protecting Human Rights Defenders from Threats and Violence

April 11, 2013

This paper seeks to identify protection and security strategies that can be utilized to support human rights defenders. With the intention of making this paper useful to both human rights practitioners and grantmakers, we discuss important legislation, highlight case studies and conclude with a series of best practices drawn from our experience and the recommendations of experts in the field. We hope this work stimulates needed dialogue, enhancing the safety of human rights defenders and making them more effective in their tireless efforts on behalf of others.

Advocacy; Field Building