2020 Movement Investment Project


“Won’t You Be My Neighbor: Local Foundations, Immigrants and Refugee Populations,”  analyzes the last 7 years of publicly available data (2012-2018) to provide a snapshot of total local foundation giving for immigrants and refugee-servicing organizations and the pro-immigrant, pro-refugee movement in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It also details the share of funding that went to these groups by each state’s largest local grantmakers.


Local foundations are 501(c)3 grantmakers whose funding footprint is primarily local- or state-focused funding (as opposed to national grantmakers like the Ford Foundation, e.g.). The list of local foundations that we are gathering data about in this report excludes hospital and university foundations that exist to support their sister 501(c)3 and do not have a diverse grantmaking program.

Local to local funding refers to funding by grantmakers to recipient organizations located in and serving the population of the same state (e.g. an Alabama-based funder giving to an Alabama-based organization).

Organizations that serve, service or benefits immigrants and refugees are nonprofits who have received funding to either directly provide services for, or whose work benefits, immigrants and refugees in the U.S. They include but are not limited to those that are led by those impacted communities.

Pro-immigrant, pro-refugee movement groups refer to organizations that whose mission is dedicated to protecting and honoring the civil and human rights of immigrants and refugees in the U.S. Organizational activities include but are not limited to state-based advocacy campaigns, civic engagement, community organizing and grassroots leadership development. For more information on movement groups and the pro-immigrant movement, read NCRP’s 2019 brief, the State of Foundation Funding for the Pro-Immigrant Movement.

More On: Our Sample of Largest Local Funders

“Our sample of funders” or “Sample of largest local funders or foundations” refers to a set of a state’s largest 501(c)3 foundations that distribute grants to nonprofits by total funding in the foundation’s state. In this report, that set includes the 10 largest foundations in 48 states and D.C., and the 20 largest foundations in California and New York for a total of 530 nationally. We expanded the field of examined foundations to 20 each in these 2 states to factor in the large size of the state, its foreign-born population and the number of immigrant and refugee servicing nonprofits in those areas. 

Total funding figures for each state may be overestimated because the data may include funding to national organizations located in the state that also serve other states

More On: Candid

We gathered funding data primarily from Candid, a database on U.S. grantmakers and their grants. The data is divided into 2 sets of years: 2012-2016 and 2017-2018. Data for the years 2017-2018 may not be complete because data from 2018 is still being collected by Candid. 

Candid data on philanthropic funding in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other U.S. territories is unfortunately limited. The territories’ legal status also contributes to some confusion when it comes to how foundations describe funding for local immigrant populations. For these reasons, they have been excluded from this analysis. 

For more information on how we gathered data on funding specifically for the pro-immigrant and pro-refugee movement, see the Methodology section in NCRP’s first brief, “the State of Foundation Funding for the Pro-Immigrant Movement.

Other Data Sources

All data on population, immigrant detention and deportation figures were gathered from public data sources. They include:

Deportation and detention figures in the dashboard reflect the number of individuals who are deported from or detained in a specific state. The figures do not reflect the number of residents from that state who are deported or detained in a different state, and may not reflect the total number of people deported or detained from the state. NCRP relies on US Government statistics for these numbers, and we recognize their reporting may be intentionally or unintentionally flawed. We welcome other sources of information and will continue to work with our members and allies to present data that describes the impact that local and federal government policies are having on immigrant and refugee communities. (updated May 15, 2020).


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