Giving Compass' Take:

• Family foundations are uniquely positioned to identify and fulfill the needs of refugees and immigrants in their communities.

• What existing connections does your foundation have that could be leveraged to help these vulnerable populations? What individuals or organizations could you reach out to learn more about local need?

• This issue will only grow in significance as millions of people will be displaced by climate change.

1. Provide Flexible Rapid-Response Funding:
Family foundations are uniquely positioned to provide emergency support. They tend not to be as bound by cumbersome approval processes as other larger, public and private, institutions. This means they can move quickly to get discretionary resources out the door. Being nimble can make all the difference in critical times. According to Phil Li, President & CEO of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and a family foundation trustee, “Even a small investment, deployed quickly, can make a huge impact.”

2. Learn from Local Experts
Many family foundations are deeply rooted in the communities they serve. Funders with strong, longstanding relationships can engage their networks to learn more about how the political discourse is affecting people in their area first hand. We recommend family foundations and donors listen closely to their grantees, as there’s much to learn from their insights and perspective.

3. Collaborate
Family foundations should consider the ways they can learn from and collaborate with other funders that have a track record working in immigrant and refugee rights. Funder collaboration can range from exchanging ideas and information to “co-investing” or pooling funds in an entity or initiative.

Read the full article about family foundations helping immigrants by Naomi Polin at The National Center for Family Philanthropy.

To read more by NCFP, check out their Family Philanthropy magazine on Giving Compass.