With the upsurge in anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy under the Trump administration, more foundations seem to be making grants to more than a dozen pro-immigrant frontline organizations.

Although this is promising news for the pro-immigrant movement, complete data on funding after the 2016 presidential election is not yet available. And the increase covers merely a fraction of what movement groups across the country need to mobilize communities, provide critical services and mount campaigns against hate and hate-based policies.

Research from NCRP’s new Movement Investment Project indicates that in the years prior to the 2016 elections, support for immigrants and refugees represented less than 1% of all foundation funding. Only 11 funders accounted for half of all pro-immigrant movement funding.

NCRP’s extensive interviews with movement leaders as well as quantitative data from Foundation Center found a large gap between the small pool of funders and the urgent and long-term threats that immigrant communities face.

NCRP identified 2 specific areas where philanthropic investments can go a long way to fill these gaps:

  • Funding state- and local-level organizing to strengthen and grow immigrant communities’ ability to defend against threats such as deportations and anti-immigrant policies.
  • Explicitly identifying immigrants and refugees as key constituencies in supporting a broad range of issues such as criminal justice, children and youth, health, gender equity and more.

According to the NCRP’s research, pro-immigrant movement leaders have 5 recommendations for funders:

  • Give long-term, flexible and capacity building support to frontline groups.
  • Fund organizing and services to address short-term needs while seeking long-term solutions.
  • Help grantees access 501(c)4 dollars so they can use a greater range of strategies.
  • Work with other funders to ensure that all aspects of the movement have adequate resources and to fund across different social issues.
  • Deploy philanthropic social capital and networks.

Read the full article about foundations supporting the pro-immigrant movement by  Kristina ("Yna") C. Moore at National Center for Responsive Philanthropy.