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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Funder Engagement * Grants Map * Demographics * Recommendations * Get Involved


DACA is a policy directive that provides temporary deportation relief and work authorization, among other benefits, to qualifying immigrant youth and young adults. In response to this program, which began implementation on August 15, 2012, GCIR launched Delivering on the Dream, an initiative that coordinates national, state, and local funding to maximize the number of individuals who will benefit from this critical form of immigration relief. At the time of the program's launch, an estimated 1.2 million were immediately eligible for DACA's benefits, another 473,000 were eligible but too young to qualify, and 426,000 fulfilled all but the program's educational requirements. 

DACA represents a timely and strategic opportunity for funders to leverage the impact of their investments, meet pressing community needs, and achieve a lasting impact through diverse grantmaking priorities. The immediate and long-term benefits of DACA are considerable. For example, the directive’s educational requirements are expected to improve academic outcomes for young immigrants, and access to work authorization will help beneficiaries gain an economic foothold in our society.

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Funder Engagement

Delivering on the Dream

Shortly after DACA was announced, GCIR launched “Delivering on the Dream,” a nationally coordinated funding initiative to implement DACA in states with high numbers of potentially eligible immigrants, including California, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas. ( For an example of one such collaborative, visit the Illinois DACA Relief Initative's website.)  As of early 2014, local, state, and national funders have invested nearly $7 million to support outreach, application assistance, and legal services. 

With approximately one-half of currently eligible immigrants having applied for DACA, year two of the initiative will encourage funders to support expanded outreach and services to hard-to-reach populations (e.g., Asian Pacific Islanders, rural residents, older immigrants, and those aging in), increasing access to education and training opportunities to help more immigrants qualify for DACA, and screening applicants for permanent forms of immigration relief.

GCIR’s infographic, Stronger Together: The Power of Local-National Funder Partnerships, illustrates the impact of Delivering on the Dream, phase one. The achievements-to-date also inform the phase two work of the DACA colaboratives nationwide. (Definitions and notes regarding the infographic are listed below.)

Revolving Loan Funds

In late 2012 and early 2013, GCIR helped to launch DACA revolving-loan funds in the Central Valley, the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York City, leveraging more than $5 million in lending capital. We continue to document and learn from these funds. We have also recently launched an asset-building initiative in the Pacific Northwest, in collaboration with the National Federation for Community Development Credit Unions to develop and test loan products and partnership models geared to cover immigration-related application fees.  

Educational Pathways

GCIR has commissioned research from the Migration Policy Institute to identify specific education and training needs of DACA-eligible and -approved immigrants. The research will illuminate a cohesive set of funding recommendations and opportunities that can help set young immigrants on a path toward improved educational outcomes and employment opportunities. 

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DACA Grants Map

In partnership with The Foundation Center, GCIR has developed the DACA Grants Map, an online interactive resource that provides a comprehensive overview of DACA-related foundation grants. This online tool offers detailed information, including grant size, purpose, geographic focus, funding period, and strategies supported.

In using the tool, users should be aware of the following formatting choices, which were the result of both technical constraints and the limitations of the available data:

  • Locations: Some grants served multiple locations. In those cases, the total dollar amount is shown for each location. View a grant individually to see all of its locations.
  • Strategies: Many grants supported multiple activities and are listed under multiple areas of work. Their dollar totals cannot be disaggregated by individual activity.
  • National matching grants: National matching grants are excluded from State and County totals. To view them, click on the National Matching Grants box on the map.

To submit your organization’s DACA-related grants, please submit the DACA Grants Data Collection spreadsheet to Michael Kavate, who you can contact with any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the map.

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Demographic Snapshot


 Immediately Eligible Youth (Ages 15-30)

 Percent of Total

 Application Rate

 United States





















 New York




 New Jersey








 North Carolina




Currently eligible immigrants nationally and in the top-eight states (by total and share of beneficiary population), according to DACA at the Two-Year Mark: A National and State Profile of Youth Eligible and Applying for Deferred Action, a report from the Migration Policy Institute

More currently eligible DACA beneficiaries come from Mexico (65%) than any other single country, according to MPI's report. No other country accounts for even five percent of currently eligible youth, though several Central American, South American, and Caribbean countries are among the top ten: El Salvador (4%), Guatemala (3%), Honduras (2%), and Colombia (1%).

In additional to the currently eligible population, there are an estimated 473,000 youth and young adults who meet the age requirements but appear not to meet the education criteria, according to MPI’s report. Those in this group could become eligible by enrolling in an education, literacy, or career-training program leading to a GED or placement in postsecondary education, job training, or employment. Another 426,000 immigrants are under age 15 and could become eligible once they reach age 15, if they stay in school or obtain a high school degree or equivalent. 

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Funding Recommendations


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Funding Opportunities for Philanthropy provides a brief overview of DACA and potential beneficiaries, reviews the significant implications--and opportunities--for DACA has for advancing philanthropic goals in multiple priority areas, and lays out funding opportunities as well as GCIR's role and philanthropic response to date.



DACA Implementation: Implications and Opportunities for Education Funders provides grantmakers in education with guidance on DACA, including its implications and areas for investment that would enhance educational opportunities and outcomes for undocumented immigrant children and youth. It highlights the fact that DACA offers a chance for young immigrants to pursue further education and access better-paying jobs in the formal economy. 


Rural Youth

Helping Disadvantaged Youth in Rural Communities: DACA Implementation and Funding Opportunities provides key information, data, and funding recommendations for grantmakers regarding undocumented youth in rural areas of the United States and the implications of DACA in their lives. It addresses their special needs, including the fact that rural immigrants are less likely to be college-bound or enrolled in college, and more likely to work in low-wage positions with little job security.  

DREAMer Loans

Expanding Financial Access for Immigrants: Loans for DREAMers provides examples of DACA loan programs that GCIR and our philanthropic partners are involved in nationwide, helping to make DACA a reality for DREAMers. For many low-income immigrants, relief under the DACA policy remains out of reach due to the $465 application fee. The fee is often cited as the top reason DREAMers delay filing their DACA applications. 


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Latest reports from USCIS 

USCIS Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Monthly Reports

Characteristics of Individuals Requesting and Approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), August 2012 - September 2013, USCIS, July 7, 2014.

Demographics of DACA Beneficiaries

Impact Analysis

Implementation Efforts

Perspectives from the Field


GCIR prepared the following inventory using a wide range of sources. It is intended for informational purposes only. The content was not created or vetted by GCIR; its accuracy is the sole responsibility of the organization that produced it.

We will update the directory as frequently as possible. We encourage you to share additional resources by contacting Camellia Rodriguez-SackByrne, program and membership manager.

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How to Get Involved

For additional questions about education issues and DACA, the policy’s implications for the larger philanthropic community, and funder collaboratives currently in place, please contact Camellia Rodriguez-SackByrne, program and membership manager. Grantmakers that fund in California should contact Felecia Bartow, associate director.



Funder Engagement * Grants Map * Demographics * Recommendations * Get Involved

Definitions and notes for Delivering on the Dream Infographic:

  1. Infographic data includes all seven phase-one DACA collaboratives.
  2. Outreach events involve providing general education and information to a wider population about DACA.
  3. Workshops are events such as clinics to serve potential applicants and help them determine their DACA eligibility, identify the necessary paperwork, and complete their DACA applications.
  4. Eligibility screenings include reviewing a checklist for DACA-eligibility with potential applicants.
  5. ”New” funders are those who have not previously supported immigration-related work to a significant extent.
Posted July 30, 2013 • Revised February 4, 2015