A RIPPLE, NOT A WAVE: COMPARING THE LAST DECADE OF FOUNDATION FUNDING FOR MIGRANT COMMUNITIES AND MOVEMENTS
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What Must Funders Do
By following these asks from immigrant and refugee movement leaders, foundations can begin to heal their past harm and build a better world.
They’ll become much more effective grantmakers, too:
1. Model Equity: As you resource the movement, give special care to prioritize groups led by Black, AAPI, indigenous, LGBTQ, undocumented immigrants, and refugees and asylum seekers, especially local movement-building groups in underfunded regions. Simplify your reporting and application requirements, recognizing that people responding to crises may have more pressing deadlines.
2. Accountability: Make your money accessible and your grantmaking criteria, timeline and decision-making transparent. Partner with trusted, movement-accountable funder intermediaries if this alleviates barriers for you to get resources to the field.
3. Build Long-term Power: Give flexible, long-term c3, c4 and fiscal sponsor support. Groups will need this money for services, defense and organizing long before and after the elections, you follow and the headlines you see. Consider ways you can build and cede power by transferring physical assets and investing your endowment in ways that support resource ownership by immigrant communities.
4. Fund Sustainability: Create space for leaders to prioritize their own mental health and begin healing from ongoing trauma. Share power by giving resources that allow communities to build accessible spaces themselves, from translation to privacy and childcare.
5. Organize! Organize your board, community, and funder networks. Use your public voice to wield your institutional and individual power to amplify local movement calls to action, especially when they’re not in the headlines. Help your peers understand that migrant justice is core to your values and your mission, not a niche to be tossed aside.