Undocumented in Philanthropy Network

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) is partnering with the Undocumented in Philanthropy Network (UPN) to support the power-building of undocumented leaders and those with non-permanent status working in philanthropy. Together we’ll help increase the representation of current and formerly undocumented professionals throughout the philanthropic sector. We center the voices and experiences of those most affected by the lack of permanent legal status in all aspects of philanthropic decision-making.

approach and goals 

GCIR seeks to support UPN leadership, build a reciprocal collaboration, and advance our shared commitment to resourcing immigrant leaders and amplifying their leadership locally, statewide, nationally, and globally.

about upn

UPN’s ultimate goal is to advance immigrant justice for those most marginalized by investing in the cross-movement work of immigrant-led organizations. The network was founded in September 2020 by philanthropic professionals, most of whom had met in the late 2000s as part of the national immigrant youth justice movement.

Together we cultivate liberatory practices in our individual lives and at our respective institutions guided by intersectional racial and immigrant justice values.  We aim to amplify and expand undocumented and formerly undocumented leadership in the philanthropic sector, with an eye to influence grantmaking strategy and funder practices. 

We do so by:

  • Building Community: Philanthropic professionals who are or have been marginalized as a result of their immigration status break free from isolation and fear by building community with those who share this lived experience.
  • Peer-to-Peer Mentorship: With the goal to expand and advance our leadership in the sector, together we support our peers’ career advancement through professional development planning, peer mentorship, skill building, and connections to opportunities.
  • Creating a Continuum of Care: We build and advocate for systems that enable individuals in philanthropy without permanent immigration status to thrive in their roles. We center their physical, financial, psychological, and emotional security within their places of employment.
  • Mobilizing Strategic Resources: We partner and strategize to mobilize and deliver resources to marginalized communities that are advancing intersectional immigrant and racial justice, with an eye towards systemic change. We seek to leverage the power of our access, influence, and expertise to champion philanthropic practice, opportunities, and strategies that may not currently exist.

For more information about the UPN, please contact GCIR's Senior Director of State and Local Programs Cairo Mendes.