Supporting the Pro-Immigrant Rights Movement in Social Justice Grantmaking

Monday, May 20, 2019

In April, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) launched the Movement Investment Project—a multi-year initiative to drive more resources to social movements by providing recommendations for grantmakers to improve their grantmaking and maximize their impact.

NCRP has been in conversation with leaders in the pro-immigrant movement, including nonprofit and funders, over the past couple of years about the relationship between philanthropy and the movement and how funders can support the movement to meet urgent needs and invest in long-term progress.

After analyzing over 17,000 grants from the Foundation Center, it is clear that philanthropic funding for the pro-immigrant movement has been:

  • Disproportionately low and limited to a small group of funders.
  • Skewed toward national organizations that focus on policy or inside-game strategies without authentic community connections
  • Geographically unequal to threat level.

While the funding data certainly provides a part of the story of how the movement has been funded, conversations with individuals and organizations in the movement told us much more about how funders have been supporting them. And while there are a few funders that are supporting the movement in innovative ways and following grantee partners’ leads on their visions, there are many more funders that could be supporting these organizations on the frontlines.


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