Immigrant & Refugee Funders Collaborative

In early 2016, we shared our three-year equity plan, identifying increased engagement and investment in immigrant and refugee communities among the Foundation's priorities. Since then, Federal actions on immigration -- including executive orders that restrict visitors, immigrants, and refugees to the U.S; detentions of DACA youth, their parents, and others in Oregon and throughout the country; and a series of ICE raids in the Northwest -- have served as catalysts for several foundations in Oregon, urging us into action. We're pleased to share one way we're moving forward together: by launching the Oregon Immigrant & Refugee Funders Collaborative in partnership with Meyer Memorial Trust, MRG Foundation, and The Oregon Community Foundation. The purpose is to create a coordinated, collaborative, and nimble funding approach to address emerging and urgent issues impacting immigrants and refugees in the state, and to support local organizations responding to these issues. A common application form is available here as a Word document.
 

Funding Structure and Process

“No Wrong Door”
Nonprofit and community groups are encouraged to reach out to any of the representatives from each of the participating funders by email or by telephone. Representatives from participating funders communicate with each other and make any information and documents available to the rest of the representatives. Funders will also coordinate their efforts when communicating and/or requesting information from community groups to lessen the burden on answering to different people on similar issues.
 
Shared Application | Funding Process | Application Review
The funders collaborative share a common application form, which is available here. A submitted application does not guarantee a grant award. The collaborative does not have established funding cycles or a formal "request for proposals" process. The intent is to offer a nimble and responsive process that reduces the wait time for grantees; the collaborative expects to make decisions within four weeks of receiving a proposal, with funds dispersed shortly after that. The collaborative member who receives the application will make it available to other members for joint review and discussion. If additional clarifying questions arise, a member of the collaborative will contact the applicant to secure the answers. The members may choose to fund an application using various methods: a pooled fund, where a grantee will receive one grant check; aligned funding, where the grantee will receive separate checks and letters of award if multiple funders are supporting the project; or a combination of pooled and aligned funds.
 
Funding Criteria
Any collaborative member may choose to individually fund an application outside these parameters, but the criteria for collaborative funding are:
  • The collaborative will consider and give priority to proposals for projects and programs that directly address the impact of policies and actions implemented after November 2016. For other projects serving immigrants and refugees, applicants are encouraged to contact each of the funders separately.
  • The collaborative will consider applications from only 501(c)(3) organizations or those with a qualified fiscal sponsor.
  • Applicants must not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disabilities, age, status as a veteran, national origin or any other protected class.
  • An organization may submit only one application within a 12-month period. Funding will cover proposed activities for a 12-month period. Members of this collaborative may also choose to fund the applicant organization for another project within the same time period.
  • A proposal of $50,000 or more to this collaborative is considered a large request.  
 
What We’ll Fund | Areas of Interest
Collectively the funders collaborative will consider requests for projects that provide:
  • Legal information, advice, services, or representation for immigrants and refugees
  • Outreach and education about policies, programs, services, and preparedness
  • Information gathering, research, and analysis on immigration and refugee issues
  • Basic human needs for immigrants and refugees
  • Community organizing, civic engagement, and advocacy
Individually any collaborative member may choose to invest more in some areas than others, but the response to the organizations and community will be coordinated among participating funders. 
 
Reporting
At the end of the grant period, grantees will be required to submit a single report in a format supplied by the collaborative. Even if a project is supported by multiple funders aligning their funding, grantees will only need to submit one common report.
 

Critical Response Fund

The funders collaborative may consider small requests that need an especially quick turn-around time. The collaborative has established a small fund to respond to critical needs. Broadly defined, critical response means a response needed within 48-72 hours, for small, planned or unanticipated expenses related to funding eligible activities. This may include materials and expenses for education and outreach, training and capacity fees. Requests under this fund cannot exceed $4,000 and will receive a response in 48-72 hours, with funds dispersed within a week.
 

Participating Funders & Contacts

MRG Foundation | Email: Roberta Phillip-Robbins, roberta@mrgfoundation.org