Giving Compass' Take:

• Steve Dubb explains that philanthropy's response to growing attacks on immigrants in the United States has been misplaced and insufficient. 

• How can funders work to fill in the gaps that philanthropy has left? What resources can you deploy for immigrants? 

• Learn why some immigrants are giving up their chance at a life in America

Now, with anti-immigrant sentiment rising again, where did philanthropic supporters of immigrant rights groups focus their efforts? What was done—and what should have been done—are central questions that inform the NCRP brief.

Three key findings are the following:

  1. Support for immigrants’ rights groups had a narrow base: “According to Foundation Center data,” the NCRP team reports, “between 2011 and 2015, barely one percent of all money granted by the 1,000 largest US foundations was intended to benefit immigrants and refugees. Eleven foundations were responsible for over half the funding that immigrant rights groups did receive.”
  2. Few dollars went to state and local groups: To the extent that immigrants’ rights groups got foundation support, most of the money went to policy groups. The NCRP survey estimates that in the three-year period of 2014–2016, 65 percent of grants went to policy groups, 21 percent went to national organizations and only 14 percent went to state and local groups.
  3. States that hurt the most got the least funding: Of the money that went to state and local groups, most of it went where the anti-immigrant threat was the lowest. In California, New York and Illinois, funding per immigrant totaled $6 over the three-year period while deportation levels were low. In the southeast, southwest and Florida, the deportation rate was five times higher, but funding was half as much per immigrant or less.

In short, not only was funding too low, but it was spent on the wrong things and invested in the wrong places.

Read the full article about philanthropy's response to attacks on immigrants by Steve Dubb at Nonprofit Quarterly.