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.

Texas: Newcomers and Neighbors

May 6, 2022

This two-page infographic looks at the foreign-born population in Texas, including legal status, regions of birth, geographic locations in the state, workforce and economic contributions, and other factors.

Immigration Legal Services in California: A Time for Bold Action (2022 Update)

May 6, 2022

Recognizing the intensifying legal service needs of immigrant communities and legal service providers, GCIR and the California Immigrant Integration Initiative (CIII) launched a study in 2019 to understand the capacity of immigration legal services in California and generate recommendations for strategic philanthropic investment. This 2022 update is a supplement to the 2019-20 findings and recommendations and offers recommendations to strengthen immigration legal services in California for immigrants and asylum seekers. The report draws from 20 interviews with executive-level staff from legal service organizations and 80 responses to an online survey of a broad range of immigration legal service providers across the state.

Litigation/Legal Services

A Timeline of Texas Migration and BIPOC Resistance

May 6, 2022

While there has been a long history of efforts to erase and exclude immigrants, BIPOC, and other marginalized communities, this timeline shows how powerfully communities in Texas have resisted. From Indigenous nations fighting to preserve their culture to BIPOC communities organizing to end the criminalization of Black and Brown lives, people have sought to protect their freedom to move, stay, work, and thrive.

Building Forward Together: GCIR 2021 Annual Report

April 13, 2022

Founded in 1990, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) is the nation's only immigrant-focused philanthropy-supporting organization (PSO). GCIR works with our 130 member institutions, the 1,200 individual grantmakers in our network, our partners in the field, and other PSOs to mobilize funder resources on the most pressing issues facing immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

Stand Together: Cash Assistance Funds for Undocumented Immigrants in a Time of Crisis

October 1, 2021

Open Society Foundations and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees commissioned this report as part of a larger effort to make resources, knowledge, and infrastructure developed during the pandemic known to grantmakers responding to future economic disruptions. Stand Together describes Covid-19 direct relief funds for undocumented immigrants and records promising practices for crisis grantmaking in immigrant communities.

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.

Dreamer Loan Programs: The Power of Partnerships with Community Development Credit Unions

August 15, 2014

This report provides an overview of five Dreamer Loan programs, identifies their common and distinguishing features, and underscores timely financial empowerment opportunities presented by DACA. In addition to helping individuals afford the DACA application fee, the programs' loan products help largely unbanked immigrants avoid predatory lenders, gain financial knowledge, and begin to establish credit and savings. This report also considers how philanthropy can help replicate such loan programs in various regions of the country. With the prospect of expanded administrative action on the horizon, as well as possible large-scale legalization through future legislation, DACA loans provide an important test-run for the effort that would be required to help upwards of 11 million immigrants along the path to legal status and citizenship, which is likely to include thousands of dollars in fines and fees.

Asset Building; Community-Based Outreach & Activity

Immigrants in Oregon and Washington: Creating an Inclusive and Dynamic Future for All

May 1, 2014

This 20-page report considers the impacts and opportunities presented by the growing number of immigrants in Oregon and Washington. The report includes overviews of newcomers' impacts on the two states' demographics, economics, and educational systems; a review of national policy implications for immigrants in the region; and a set of funding recommendations for local, state, regional, and national funders.

Immigrants in the U.S. South: Expanding Opportunities for Integration, Inclusion, and Economic Growth

November 1, 2013

The South's demographics are changing. Immigrant newcomers are transforming the region's economy and culture. This brand-new report examines the challenges and opportunities that these recent developments pose for local, regional, and national grantmakers.

The Art of Community: Creativity at the Crossroads of Immigrant Cultures and Social Services

July 15, 2013

These are case studies that give credance to the belief that respect for one's own artistic traditions is critical to the acculturation process. The essays contained here offer clear and shining examples of how paying attention to culture and creativity can build self-confidence, nurture a productive and valuable citizenry, and even save a life. Through these stories, we begin to see that encouraging the practice of cultural traditions and participation in arts activities will help newcomers spread their wings and fly.

Community-Based Outreach & Activity

The Chicago Community Trust: Investing in Public-Private Partnerships

January 15, 2010

In 2006, The Chicago Community Trust conducted an environmental scan to identify trends to inform its grantmaking in metropolitan Chicago. The Trust has long been responsive to the sizable immigrant population (18 percent) within the city limits, but the scan documenting booming immigrant populations in a number of suburban communities caught its attention.This GCIR case study highlights The Chicago Community Trust's three-year, $1.5 million immigrant integration initiative that was launched in response to the new demographic findings. A central strategy of the initiative was supporting local government leadership and public-private partnerships, including direct grants to three villages: Mount Prospect, Schaumburg, and Skokie (a fourth, Addison, would later be added).

Coalition Building & Collaboration; Staff & Leadership Development