California Dignity for Families Fund
The California Dignity for Families Fund aims to raise an initial $20 million to help migrant families and unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border receive urgent humanitarian relief and assistance as they request asylum and resettle in communities throughout the state.
Many migrants have arrived at the southern U.S. border fleeing persecution, violence, poverty, and the devastating impacts of climate change. Under the previous federal administration, they were forced to wait in Mexico in harsh and dangerous conditions. They, along with more recent migrants, are now arriving in the United States in record-breaking numbers. An astounding number are children traveling alone. The California Dignity for Families Fund honors the courage and humanity of these migrants and seeks to restore dignity to the asylum process.
The California Dignity for Families Fund is part of a public-private partnership with Governor Gavin Newsom, who has proposed an aligned investment of $25 million for services to unaccompanied youth and children in support of the safety and well-being of families, especially newcomer youth as they settle and integrate into California communities.
To learn more, please contact [email protected].
As of September 2021, the Fund has expanded its purpose to include support for Afghan and Haitian migrants seeking humanitarian relief. Donate today!
“California’s diversity makes us a more vibrant and resilient state, and we are a better place because of our immigrant communities. I am grateful to our philanthropic partners raising an additional $20 million to support newly arrived migrant families, including newly arrived children and youth, through the California Dignity for Families Fund,” said Governor Newsom.
“We feel compelled to invest in this crucially important and urgent effort to reimagine support services to migrants in California and to restore dignity to the asylum process,” said Don Howard, President and CEO of The James Irvine Foundation. “Those who are arriving in California need this assistance and, at the same time, we can pilot a better system for welcoming immigrants into this state.”
Top Photo: Bruno Nascimento/Unsplash License
Bottom Photo: Omar Lopez/Unsplash License
We are incredibly grateful to the following supporters of the California Dignity for Families Fund.
“Migrant families desperately need a restored asylum process and streamlined humanitarian relief at the border,” said Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and President of Emerson Collective. “I commend Governor Newsom’s leadership and hope others will join these efforts.”
“Addressing the humanitarian crisis at the California border requires meaningful long-term investment in infrastructure and system change,” said Antonia Hernández, President and CEO of the California Community Foundation. “The support of public-private partnerships like the California Dignity for Families Fund and innovative programs like the L.A. Justice Fund, which ensures due process and protections for immigrant families, are critical to meet the needs of our most vulnerable migrant communities. When the state, counties, cities, and philanthropy work together across sectors, sustainable solutions are possible.”
“The Haas, Jr. Fund believes in community, family, and human rights, and we look forward to working with other funders through the California Dignity for Families Fund to help make our southern border more reflective of our nation’s highest ideals,” said Cathy Cha, President and CEO of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. “By working together, philanthropy can ensure that immigrants at the border have access to critical services and supports, and that they are treated with the dignity they deserve.”
“Immigrant families who are striving to create better, safer, more secure lives for themselves in California should receive respect and care as they forge their new paths,” said Nicole Taylor, President and CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. “This new fund will help uphold this ideal, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation is proud to be part of this effort.”
“TCE is pleased to join our philanthropic colleagues in support of this effort, and it will require a concerted public-private partnership to bring some measure of dignity and humanitarian support to families impacted by this crisis,” said Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and CEO of The California Endowment.
"Vulnerable children and families are in urgent need of humanitarian aid and refuge," said Miguel A. Santana, President and CEO of the Weingart Foundation. "We are proud to contribute to this Fund, which will create systems to protect families seeking asylum and support their long-term well-being."
The California Dignity for Families Fund is guided by an advisory committee with deep movement, community, government and philanthropic experience. This team has been charged with setting the Fund’s grantmaking strategy as well as selecting the partner organizations to receive grants. We are so grateful to Dulce Garcia (Border Angels / San Diego Immigrant Rights Coalition), Mitzie Perez (California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance), Odilia Romero (Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo [CIELO]), Ola Osaze (Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project [BLMP]), Dan Torres (Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund), Rosie Arroyo (California Community Foundation), and Megan Thomas (Catalyst of San Diego and Imperial Counties) for joining Marissa Tirona (GCIR) on the California Dignity for Families Fund Advisory Committee.
Grantmaking in a Networked Way
At the Fund, we:
- Leverage the power of strategic agility, inclusive learning, and deep collaboration. With our balcony view and influence as funders, we connect key stakeholders.
- Follow the lead of those closest to the ground. Our advisory committee has deep movement, community, government, and philanthropic experience; expertise on the southern California border and with transnational issues; and grassroots perspectives often excluded from philanthropic conversations.
- Aim to distribute funds rapidly and equitably, and to strengthen movement infrastructure over the longer term.
Second Docket - November 2021
In November 2021, the advisory committee recommended another set of grants totalling $1.85 million.
These recommendations prioritized opportunities that balance state and local government strategies, focus on ”Coordinated + Transitional” and “Transformative” opportunities, support settlement and navigation for migrant children, unaccompanied minors and refugee youth, and resource and strengthen migrant communities often excluded from grantmaking priorities.
- California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance
- California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
- Central American Resource Center, Los Angeles
- Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative
- Immigrant Defenders
- Kids in Need of Defense, Central Valley
- Legal Services for Children
- National Center for Youth Law
- Oakland Public Education Fund
- Public Counsel
First Docket - September 2021
The Fund’s first set of recommendations was informed by the knowledge and expertise of leaders from the community, the advisory committee, state partners, GCIR, the L.A. Justice Fund, and over 25 interviews with key movement stakeholders, including social service providers, advocates, immigration legal services providers, and community rooted leaders.
We prioritized opportunities that are time-sensitive; organizations that balance state and local government strategies; and solidarity with migrant communities often excluded from grantmaking priorities, such as Black, Indigenous, Muslim, Latinx, LGBTQIA+ and womxn serving organizations.
- Al Otro Lado, Inc.
- Border Angels
- Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project (BLMP)
- Border Butterflies, a project of Transgender Law Center
- Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño (CBDIO)
- Centro Legal de la Raza
- Comunidades Indígenas en Liderazgo (CIELO)
- Haitian Bridge Alliance
- Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP)
- Muslim American Society Social Services Foundation
- Pars Equality Center
- Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA)
- The Afghan Humanitarian Parole Project, a project of Pangea Legal Services
How does this fund connect with the State of California’s fund?
The California Dignity for Families Fund (the “Fund”) is a separate but complementary entity that disburses private contributions to support migrant families and unaccompanied children. However, the Fund is part of a public-private partnership with Governor Gavin Newsom, who has proposed an aligned investment of $25 million for services to unaccompanied youth and children in support of the safety and well-being of families, especially newcomer youth as they settle and integrate into California communities.
How do organizations apply for funding?
The fund is not accepting unsolicited proposals or inquiries at this time.
What are the funding criteria to receive support from the fund?
Funds will be distributed in an equitable and timely manner according to a set of criteria developed by an advisory committee, which comprises field experts and funders representing diverse organizations, perspectives, and experiences. Funding criteria will be established with an eye toward, among other things, meeting needs in heavily impacted regions, filling gaps in regions with limited fundraising capacity, and ensuring that dollars are equitably distributed across the state based on need.
When will grants be made to selected organizations?
Grants to organizations will be made on a rolling basis, with $2,778,000 recommended by the advisory committee for investments for the first round of grantmaking in September 2021. The majority of funding will be distributed as two-year, general operating support.
Who is overseeing the fund?
Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) serves as the lead organization for the Fund, responsible for strategic direction, fund development, and implementation. GCIR brings its more than 30 years of experience as the nation’s only immigrant-focused philanthropic network to oversee the Fund.
Tides Foundation acts as the fiscal manager for the Fund, helping to receive, disburse, and manage these critical resources to get them to heavily impacted border regions and destination communities. Tides is a philanthropic partner and nonprofit accelerator dedicated to building a world of shared prosperity and social justice. Innovative foundations look to Tides as a partner for grantmaking, collaboration, capacity building, and strategic thinking. Tides has helped some of the world’s most prominent foundations achieve their goals.
How can I donate?
Online donations can be made here.
Foundations and major donors that would like to contribute may contact dignityf[email protected].
Online donations can be made through the link above.
Foundations and major donors that would like to contribute may contact [email protected].