About the California Immigrant Integration Initiative
Launched in 2007, the California Immigrant Integration Initiative (CIII) seeks to advance the civic and economic integration of immigrants by strengthening the immigrant integration infrastructure in communities across California. Through quarterly meetings and other ongoing programming, CIII facilitates funder engagement, peer-to-peer learning, and member-led initiatives that allow foundations to drill deep on specific issues and strategies—and target their work geographically. CIII also creates opportunities for funders to leverage the collective impact of their funding—and their leadership—to advance their institutional goals and energize the immigrant funding field.
How does GCIR support CIII?
GCIR provides CIII members with support, information resources, and networking opportunities to advance the group’s goals and interests, as well as to cull best practices that can be shared with funders in other parts of the country. We also organize briefings and site visits that examine a geographic region and/or issue area in greater depth.
Who is involved in CIII?
CIII currently has over two dozen members, including statewide and local funders from across the state, with the largest concentration in the San Francisco Bay Area. The groups’ listserv has nearly 100 members who receive regular updates and information about issues and events related to immigrants and immigrant integration in California and beyond.
CIII’s current activities and identified areas for collective learning and exploration are aligned with GCIR’s strategic priorities
and fall under three main categories:
- Local, state, and federal laws, policies, and trends
- Citizenship and civic participation
- Economic justice and opportunity
Within these broad priorities, CIII activities and initiatives are shaped by the funders who are directly involved—along with input, support, and guidance from GCIR, as well as other experts and stakeholders in the field.
In 2013, CIII members formed four funder-led committees to facilitate communication and coordination between quarterly meetings. The committees include:
- Federal Policy and Advocacy
- State Policy and Advocacy
- Legal/Direct Services Infrastructure
- Education, Economic Opportunity, and Immigrant Integration
For more information about any of the above committees, please contact Vanessa Cedeño.
Since its inception in 2007, CIII has contributed to the immigrant funding field by:
- Publishing five reports that filled information gaps, identified funding opportunities, and laid the foundation for CIII's work.
- Developing data sets with unique information about the state's immigrant population and the children of immigrants.
- Helping to raise and coordinate the allocation of more than $9.5 million to increase the participation of historically undercounted populations in the 2010 Census as part of a coordinated statewide campaign.
- Advancing a statewide citizenship initiative that seeks to encourage foundations to invest in programs, services, and innovations to help significant numbers of immigrants attain U.S. citizenship in California, which is home to 30 percent of citizenship-eligible immigrants in the United States.
- Leveraging funding in support of other immigrant integration projects, including more than $300,000 for statewide communications capacity building.
How to Get Involved
Funders making grants in California have various ways to participate in CIII:
- Join the CIII listserv to get regular updates on issues and events related to immigrants and immigrant integration in California.
- Participate in CIII’s quarterly meetings, either in person or via conference call.
- Ask GCIR to help connect you with a funder(s) in your area that are engaged on issues related to immigrants and immigrant integration—or a related area of grantmaking.
- Explore CIII’s published reports and data sets to learn more about immigrants and immigrant integration in California, as well as GCIR’s toolkit—Investing in Our Communities: Strategies for Immigrant Integration—a succinct, easy-to-understand guide that describes how grantmakers at all levels can play an important leadership role on this issue.
Those funding outside of California can benefit from CIII by:
- Asking GCIR to help connect you with a CIII funder(s) to learn more about their approach to immigrant-related grantmaking.
- Exploring CIII’s published reports and data sets to learn more about immigrants and immigrant integration in California, as well as GCIR’s toolkit—Investing in Our Communities: Strategies for Immigrant Integration—a succinct, easy-to-understand guide that describes how grantmakers at all levels can play an important leadership role on this issue.