National Citizenship Initiative

Launched in 2011, GCIR’s National Citizenship Initiative seeks to engage foundations across the country to invest in programs, services, and innovations to help eligible immigrants attain U.S. citizenship. Our work supports, coordinates, and aligns local, state, regional, and national grantmaking; identifies opportunities for partnership and leverage; and facilitates information-sharing and peer-learning among funders investing in citizenship. In so doing, we seek to create economies of scale, deepen the impact of citizenship funding, and promote sustainability. To learn more about the campaign's work, check out the article "The New Americans Campaign: Helping Immigrants Become U.S. Citizens" in the 2013 Summer Edition of Carnegie Corporation of New York's Reporter.

GCIR works closely with more than a dozen citizenship funding collaboratives, including the national New Americans Campaign. NAC works with partners across the United States, including regional and local funders, national organizations, and local groups. For more information on these collaboratives and citizenship-related funding, please contact us.

The Importance of Citizenship

Naturalization brings significant social, economic, and civic benefits not only to newcomers and their families, but also to local communities, individual states, and the country as a whole. Yet more than eight million eligible immigrants have not naturalized due to barriers such as lack of information about the application process and inadequate financial means.

To this end, foundations can play an important role in building and strengthening to the infrastructure needed to help immigrants navigate the naturalization process, including accurate information, legal services, application assistance, and English and civics instruction. These services are crucial to helping newcomers attain citizenship, establish a social and economic foothold, and become full and active members of society.

The following resources will help you learn more about funding opportunities related to citizenship:

  • Anti-Fraud Campaign resource page, Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
    This resource page features an anti-fraud advocacy "Toolkit," which includes distributable comic books and posters about the dangers of immigration fraud, as well as a ten-minute presentation about fraud prevention and a script for a thirty-second radio PSA in both English and Spanish.

Don't hesitate to contact us for more information about the above resources or data in your geographic region.