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Carolina Briones

Program Director,

Civic Engagement

(213) 413-4130, ext. 207

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Los Angeles County has been home to diverse people since its formation.  This diversity has changed constantly over time and is now recognized as a source of the region’s unique character, vitality and promise.  Immigrants are intrinsic to both our social fabric and economic engine, accounting for one in three residents and nearly half of the work force. Almost two-thirds of youth up to age 18 are children of immigrants.

In recent years, immigrant integration has been caught in a cross current.  The lack of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level has put pressure on state and local entities to address immigration issues.  As a result, there is a great need for a local and civil discourse on immigrants and the positive contributions they make to the region, state and nation, in order to achieve policy solutions to support immigrant integration.

CCF advocates for immigrant integration through sustained community engagement and collaboration. Our Immigrant Integration Initiative has dedicated staff and a financial investment of up to $1 million per year.

The Immigrant Integration Initiative seeks to increase the civic participation of immigrants in L.A. County, enhance the region’s policies and systems, and foster vibrant, engaged communities. CCF believes that what is required is fundamental systems change, and that promoting community leadership and policy changes will ultimately lead to lasting improvements.

To achieve this, CCF focuses on the following strategies:

  • Increasing the problem-solving capacity of communities through leadership development and capacity building of residents and organizations;
  • Increasing the civic participation and involvement of immigrants to pursue public policy solutions that address local and regional issues; and
  • Strengthening alliances/partnerships to work together to prioritize and address the needs of immigrants

Examples of desired outcomes include the following:

  • Grassroots community members have increased leadership skills and capacity
  • Grassroots community members are involved in policy advocacy, including leadership roles
  • Civic engagement and advocacy efforts lead to positive changes in systems affecting the quality of life in immigrant communities
  • Communications, research or policy analysis support successful advocacy and increase public awareness about issues affecting immigrant communities

Council on Immigrant Integration

The Council on Immigrant Integration is an integral part of the Immigrant Integration Initiative’s leadership strategy. The primary responsibility of the Council is to function as a working group that will address public policy and strategy development to facilitate the integration of immigrants into the Los Angeles region and the local communities.

The Council is a 35-member panel of Los Angeles leaders that includes representatives from across the entire spectrum– from business, labor, education, law enforcement, and planners, to government agencies, and community-based organizations. Convened by CCF, this group hopes to support local and regional leadership in effectively integrating immigrants and making Los Angeles stronger in the short- as well as the long-term.

See the list of members

Grantees

These community-based organizations have received a grant, and help CCF achieve the goals of this initiative through strong leadership, hard work and dedication.  

View the list of grantees

Funders

CCF is actively seeking to develop long-term partnerships with other foundations for the Immigrant Integration Initiative. For more information, please contact Maria Blanco, Vice President of Civic Engagement, at mblanco@calfund.org

Council on Immigrant Integration:

A 35-member panel of Los Angeles leaders from business, labor, education, law enforcement, government agencies and community-based organizations meets on an ongoing basis. Convened by CCF, this group has identified priorities and is providing local and regional leadership on immigrant integration.

To view the Council on Immigrant Integration policy principles, please click here.

Grants to Community-Based Organizations:

Since the start of the Initiative, more than $2.9 million in grants has been awarded to local nonprofits to increase civic participation in immigrant communities, develop leadership skills among immigrant residents and support public policy advocacy.  For a list of grantees and projects, see “Partners” tab. 

Research to Inform the Field:

Research studies commisioned by CCF are helping to set the context and framework for policy advocacy and funding strategies for foundations and other organizations.

Strategic Communications

By spurring an exchange of information and ideas, CCF is supporting organizations in shifting public discourse, creating a new narrative on the immigrant experience and providing a balanced view of immigrant contributions to the regional economy and society.

 

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WHAT WE FUND

CCF is offering two-year project support grants of up to $150,000 to increase the civic participation of immigrant communities and create policy solutions.

WHO WE FUND

Organizations that meet the following criteria:

  • Experience working with immigrants and conducting local policy advocacy campaigns (e.g. education, housing, health care, jobs etc.)
  • Demonstration of a successful model for engaging immigrants through activities such as organizing, leadership development, awareness building, and other similar techniques

In awarding grants, consideration will also be given to the following factors:

  • The geographic distribution of grants within the county, including areas with less civic engagement infrastructure
  • Ethnic diversity among grants
  • Whether an organization has a current CCF grant, and for what amount

Please contact Elizabeth Hynes at EHynes@calfund.org with inquiries.

Grant Deadlines are as Follows:

CCF Funding CycleJun. 2014 Oct. 2014Dec. 2014Mar. 2015Jun. 2015
LOI deadline  December 20, 2013 April 14, 2014 TBD TBD TBD
Invitation to submit grant  January 2014 May 2014 TBD TBD TBD
Grant application deadline  February 2014 June 2014 TBD TBD TBD
CCF reviews applications and conducts site visits  March-April 2014 July-August 2014 TBD TBD TBD
CCF Board of Directors reviews applications  May-June 2014 Sept-Oct 2014 TBD TBD TBD
CCF notifies applicants of awards  June 2014 Ocotber 2014 TBD TBD TBD

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: How much should we apply for? Will we be eliminated from consideration if our request is too high?

A: Immigrant Integration grants range anywhere in size from $50,000 to $150,000 over two years. Amounts vary based on the scope of the project and the size of the organization’s annual budget . CCF reserves the right to determine the grant award based on available resources. Applicants are not eliminated from funding due solely to the amount of the request.

Q: Can we contact the program officer to speak with her in determining whether we should apply? Can we arrange a site visit prior to submitting an LOI?

A: Organizations are welcome to contact the program associate or the program officer to inquire about Immigrant Integration priorities. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review program area priorities and eligibility criteria prior to submitting an LOI. Due to time constraints, the program officer typically does not conduct site visits prior to submission of a grant request.

Q: Why do we need to submit a strategic plan?

A: CCF invests in organizations that have stronger chances to make long-term impact and sustain themselves in future years. A thorough, well-conceived strategic plan provides evidence of the agency’s long-term vision, prospects for sustainability and long-term impact. Therefore, the strategic plan is critical to CCF’s due diligence process in considering a long-term investment.

Q: Can my organization submit a joint proposal with another organization?

A: Yes, and please be sure to describe clearly the roles and responsibilities for each organization on the project and to provide information about the track record of collaboration, if applicable.

Q: How competitive is the LOI process?

A: Unfortunately, there are many dynamic organizations and limited funds, so it is quite competitive. A portion of this year’s funds is already committed to renewals for current grantees. The amount of funds available for June 2014 grants is approximately $300,000.

 
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