The face of America is changing. The foreign-born population is larger than any other time in history, with nearly 40 million immigrants living in the United States today.
In the face of this change, America’s future prosperity depends on immigrants and their ability to successfully integrate into our society. GCIR defines immigrant integration as a dynamic, two-way process in which newcomers and the receiving society work together to build secure, vibrant, and cohesive communities.i
Immigrant integration connects to virtually every issue funders care about. In other words, this is not just an issue for “immigrant funders.” Immigrant integration is inextricably linked to citizenship, civic participation, economic mobility, education, equal opportunity, health and well-being, and language access and acquisition, among other pressing concerns.
Consequently, all types of funders use GCIR’s immigrant integration toolkit. Small and large, regional and community-based, family and corporate foundations have used the toolkit to guide their grantmaking. Some funders are immigrant-focused, but most do not have funding priorities that are specific to newcomers. The list includes Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Endowment for Health (New Hampshire), Unbound Philanthropy, Zellerbach Family Foundation, The California Endowment, The Clowes Fund, Inc., and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation, among others.
For information about how to connect GCIR’s immigrant integration framework to your organization’s grantmaking, please contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is immigrant integration? A dynamic, two-way process in which newcomers and the receiving society work together to build secure, vibrant, and cohesive communities.
Why is immigrant integration important now? Two overriding reasons:
- The face of America is changing. Due in large part to a record foreign-born population, whose fertility rates are much higher than the native-born, the U.S. Census predicts that by 2043 minorities will account for more than 50 percent of U.S. population.
- Immigrant integration is vital to nearly every issue on funders’ agendas. Civic participation, citizenship, education, economic mobility, equal opportunity, health and well-being, and language access and acquisition.
Who uses GCIR’s immigrant integration framework? A wide variety of funders with a wide variety of interests, including:
- small state foundations, such as the Endowment for Health (New Hampshire);
- large state foundations, such as The California Endowment,
- major regional foundations, such as the Silicon Valley Community Foundation;
- corporate foundations, such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation; and
- immigrant-focused foundations, such as Unbound Philanthropy.
i We use “integration” instead of “assimilation” to emphasize respect for and incorporation of differences, the need for mutual adaptation, and an appreciation of diversity.
Posted August 2, 2013 • Revised October 15, 2014