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Immigration Program Grant

IMMIGRATION PROGRAM GRANT

Immigrants and refugees have long been a part of our state and region, with one in five state residents being foreign-born. Immigrants and refugees in Florida come from every global region, with most born in Latin America (including the Caribbean), followed by people from Asia and Europe. The human, social, and economic capital they bring contributes to our state’s vitality.

At the same time, immigrant and refugee communities in Southwest Florida continue to recover from the disastrous impact of Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Recent changes in federal immigration law and policies have made recovery and life in general more challenging and complex for noncitizens.

With funding from The Florida Bar Foundation and national funders, the 2019 Immigration Program Grant season opens with a call for projects and programs for services (both established and new) designed to increase the quality of life in sustainable and equitable ways for immigrants and refugees in Southwest Florida. Projects and programs will support equity and empowerment in our region.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation seeks projects and programs from 501(c)(3) organizations that assist immigrants and refugees in Southwest Florida. Projects and programs must provide to immigrants and/or refugees in Southwest Florida: legal services OR legal services and at least one of the three following: community outreach and education, legal services capacity building and/or technical assistance capacity building, and/or advocacy and organizing, described below.

  • Immigration Legal Services. This includes, but is not limited to, screenings/intakes, application assistance, and representation.  Grantees, via mid-term and final reports, will be required to report the number of screenings/intakes completed, the number of individuals for whom assistance was provided in categories such as asylum, DACA, deportation defense, family-based petition, fraud prevention, legal permanent residence, naturalization, no relief available, special immigrant juvenile status, T visa, TPS, U visa, VAWA, or other, and, if available, the number of applications filed in each of these categories.
  • Immigration Community Outreach and Education. This includes, but is not limited to, presentations, webinars, door knocking, workshops, and other activities to provide information to immigrants and refugees.  Grantees, via mid-term and final reports, will be required to report the number of community outreach and education events held and the number of participants at outreach events or engaged in outreach activities. 
  • Immigration Legal Services Capacity Building and/or Technical Assistance Capacity Building. This includes, but is not limited to, hiring new immigrant or refugee-serving staff, recruiting and training new legal and lay immigration volunteers, obtaining DOJ accreditation for additional staff, and providing education and technical assistance to one or more organizations, to increase their capacity to provide high quality, low-cost immigration legal services.  Grantees, via mid-term and final reports, will be required to report the number of new immigrant or refugee-serving staff hired, the number of total new legal and lay immigration volunteers, the number of total organizations newly DOJ-recognized or in progress, the number of new partially DOJ-accredited individuals, the number of new fully accredited DOJ-accredited individuals, and the number of groups for whom their organization provided technical assistance.
  • Immigration Advocacy and Organizing. This includes, but is not limited to, constituents trained in advocacy or organizing, immigrants and/or refugees who receive leadership development training (e.g., public speaking, building relational power, organizing, civic engagement, etc.), and immigration policies or legislative initiatives (municipal, county, state, and/or federal) (e.g., campaigns, coalition/network efforts, etc.).   Grantees, via mid-term and final reports, will be required to report the number of constituents trained/educated in advocacy and/or organizing and the number of immigrants and/or refugees who received leadership development training. 

Collaborations and Partnerships

Collaborations and partnerships enhance and strengthen projects, programs, and relationships, increase efficiency, and result in cost savings.  In the event your organization does not meet one or more of the requirements of this grant, we encourage your organization to partner with one or more organizations that meet the requirements.  As just one example, if your organization does not provide immigration legal services in Southwest Florida, but provides immigration community outreach and education in our region, your organization may partner with an organization that provides immigration legal services in Southwest Florida.  Only one proposal per collaborative would be submitted, but more than one idea can be submitted by an organization.  Should you submit a collaborative proposal, please include a complete list of all partner organizations, main contact person for each organization, roles, responsibilities, and allocation of resources- including financial resources from this grant request.  While collaborative proposals are welcomed to create impact, they are not required. 

Eligibility

  • Applicant must be nonprofit organization exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Applicant must be located in and/or serve immigrants and/or refugees in Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, and/or Glades counties.
  • Applicant must be governed by volunteer board of directors, with at least 5 individuals unrelated through familial or business connections.
  • Organization(s) must conduct business without discrimination based on race, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, or religious affiliation.
  • Project or program must include an organization that meets 1 OR 2 below:
    1. Each office site where immigration legal services are provided must be Department of Justice (DOJ) recognized with at least one DOJ accredited representative on staff. If you are proposing a collaborative project or program, any of the organization(s) involved can fulfill these DOJ recognition and DOJ accreditation requirements.
    2. Employ an attorney with immigration expertise. If you are proposing a collaborative project or program, any of the organization(s) involved can fulfill this attorney requirement as an alternative to DOJ recognition and DOJ accreditation.
  • Organizations providing immigration legal services must not engage in the unauthorized practice of immigration law. This includes, but is not limited to, notary publics who are not attorneys giving immigration legal advice, immigration consultants going beyond providing clerical assistance on immigration matters and providing legal advice on such matters, etc.
  • Organizations providing immigration legal services must maintain legal malpractice insurance.
  • Organizations providing immigration legal services must track cases using a secure immigration case management software system. Please note that CLINIC (Catholic Legal Immigration Network) has an article with case management systems they suggest: CLICK HERE
  • Organizations offering immigration legal services must offer indigent and low-income immigrants or refugees such services for free or at low-cost.

Exclusions

  • Capital building campaigns and building renovation projects
  • Political campaigns
  • Lobbying or similar activities
  • Advancement of a particular religion or faith

Funding

You may request up to $100,000 for your proposed project or program.  The Immigration Program funds may vary in amount and may be less than $100,000.  This grant funding is for one year.  We do not yet know whether we will have grant funding for 2020.

Priorities

Projects or programs will be considered based on the following priorities:

  • Degree of potential benefit to immigrants and/or refugees derived from project or program
  • Projects and programs that address challenges or opportunities for immigrants and/or refugees and do not unnecessarily duplicate efforts
  • Capacity of organization(s) to achieve project or program’s expected results
  • Projects and programs likely to attract additional funds, resources, and support for immigrants and/or refugees
  • Agency’s ability to obtain continued funding, beyond a grant from the Foundation
  • Amount of available funds from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation
    Note: The Immigration Program Grant funds vary in amount and may be less than $100,000.

The Process

Below is a description of this year’s Immigration Program process.

Requests for Proposals (RFP’s)-October 1, 2018 through October 26, 2018

Requests for proposals (RFP) is open October 1, 2018 through October 26, 2018. We will announce awards in December 2018 and disseminate funding in January 2019. General elements of a well-written RFP are:

  • Clarity of ideas
  • Precision of explanations
  • Thoughtfulness of design
  • Track record of effective work
  • Connection to community served

Note: The RFP is a series of questions asked through our online application portal.  Supplemental materials beyond the RFP requirements will not be reviewed, unless specifically requested.
Click here to view application questions.

Question and Answer Session with Regional Organizations – October 5, 2018, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

We will convene a question and answer session with organizations serving immigrants and/or refugees in Southwest Florida on October 5, 2018, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., facilitated by Alice Cottingham, a seasoned consultant for immigration nonprofits and philanthropy.  At the session, you will also learn more about the funding, what types of immigration services organizations are currently providing, and the immigration services learning community we hope to establish.  Organizations are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting.  Organizations that do not attend this meeting may still apply for the Immigrant Program Grant.  If you plan to attend the October 5, 2018 meeting, please RVSP to Nirupa Netram, Immigration Program Officer, [email protected], no later than September 28, 2018.    

Compassionate Shark Tank: Immigration Program Pitch Day – December 5, 2018

Should your proposal advance to the next round, you will be invited to participate in the Compassionate Shark Tank: Immigration Program Grant Pitch Day on December 5, 2018.  Shark tank participants have 3 minutes to share their idea with the shark tank panel.  The shark tank panel has 10 minutes to ask you questions about your project or program idea.  The shark tank panel will measure your effectiveness by your ability to address each of the RFP elements in your presentation, your responses during the question and answer session, and your responses to any additional questions from the panel.

The RFMI Round

You may be invited to submit a request for more information (RFMI).  Should we need more information, we will contact you.  The RFMI is a set of questions that require elaboration on specific aspects of the proposed project or program.

Grant Period, Reports, and Meetings

The grant period is January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019.  The Southwest Florida Community Foundation will require grantees to submit mid-term and final reports and attend quarterly meetings in 2019, which will be open to non-grantees.

We will announce awards in December 2018 and disperse funds in January 2019.

Still Have Questions?

Please email Nirupa Netram, Immigration Program Officer, [email protected] or call 239-274-5900.