California Immigrant Integration Initiative (CIII)

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 the state. Through quarterly meetings and other programming, CIII facilitates funder engagement and member-led initiatives that help foundations to drill deep on specific issues and strategies—and target their work geographically. CIII 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, and it has become a model for peer-learning and collaboration for grantmakers from across the country.

Since its inception, CIII members have deployed more than $30 million to address priority issues, including implementing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), advancing naturalization and citizenship efforts, and responding to the unaccompanied minor crisis. California chapters of our national Delivering on the Dream initiative have made available millions of dollars to support implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), including leveraging nearly $4 million from local and state governments to support legal services and other DACA-related needs.

CIII members have launched five citizenship initiatives, helping thousands of eligible immigrants and refugees across the state naturalize. Since 2014, when the number of unaccompanied Central American children arriving on the United States’ southern border spiked, funders have deployed roughly $5 million, much of it organized through the CIII table. The coordinated efforts have also leveraged nearly $3 million in state and county funds to respond to the children’s needs.

How does GCIR support CIII?

GCIR provides CIII members with technical assistance, individualized consultation, 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 is made up of statewide and local funders from across California, including community, family, and private foundations. The groups’ listserv reaches more than 150 individual members, bringing regular updates and information about issues and events related to immigrants and immigrant integration in California and beyond.

Committees

CIII members can engage with three funder-led committees to facilitate communication and coordination between quarterly meetings:

  • 2020 Census
  • Communications
  • Policy and Advocacy
  • Legal/Direct Services Infrastructure

What are CIII's goals?

Inform: Exchange and enrich ideas; share learning with each other and with broader funder field 

Connect: Deepen relationships with peers

Catalyze: Expand immigrant-related grantmaking within the table, as well as with other funders working on a range of issues across California

What are CIII's priorities?

CIII’s activities and identified areas for collective learning and exploration are shaped by its members, as well as other experts and stakeholders in the field, and they are aligned with GCIR’s strategic priorities.

Local, state, and federal laws, policies, and trends

Better understand, assess and address the impact of laws, policies and trends on immigrant and refugee families and communities. Recently, CIII has crafted responses to local demographic changes, California’s TRUST Act and driver’s license bill for the undocumented, and administrative relief.

Citizenship and civic participation

Advance citizenship and civic participation to fully integrate and engage newcomers into society. GCIR works on an ongoing basis to promote citizenship and naturalization of the estimated 2.5 million immigrants in California who are eligible to naturalize.

Economic justice, workforce development, and adult education

Promote economic justice, support workforce development and expand adult education opportunities for low-wage immigrants and refugees. Most recently, CIII advanced philanthropic engagement in the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.

For more information, please contact Harmony Hayes.