Press Release

The California Community Foundation and the Weingart Foundation Announce New Fund Promoting Wellness and Sustainability in the Nonprofit Immigration Sector

Press Release | February 21, 2023

The Immigrants Are Essential Fund addresses high levels of burnout and financial challenges faced by the people that power the immigrant rights movement in Southern California.

Los Angeles, CA — The California Community Foundation (CCF) and the Weingart Foundation announce the launch of the Immigrants Are Essential Fund addressing the unique challenges faced by nonprofits in the immigrant rights sector in Southern California today. The fund was created in response to the findings of “From Burnout to Wellbeing Building a Sustainable Immigration Movement”, a report by CCF, Weingart, and The Raben Group, that found high levels of burnout, lack of mental health supports, and financial challenges amongst staff in the immigrant rights sector.

“Nonprofits in the immigration sector advance a powerful vision of justice and inclusion,” said Antonia Hernández, President and CEO of the California Community Foundation. “We know that to realize this vision, the sector and the people that power it, need to be healthy, strong, and adequately resourced. The Immigrants Are Essential Fund takes the necessary first steps to reimagine support for our community partners that is focused more on supporting the people who provide these critical programs and services.”

“Our immigrant rights partners have supported communities through tremendous challenges exacerbated by the pandemic and against the backdrop of anti-immigrant rhetoric and exclusionary policies,” said Miguel A. Santana, President and CEO of the Weingart Foundation. “We need to ensure that the health and wellbeing of the people within those organizations is prioritized. This is why we are proud to invest in the Immigrants Are Essential Fund and call on the philanthropic community to join us.”

While other reports have examined burnout within the nonprofit sector at large, the report revealed that organizations in the immigration sector are especially vulnerable as it is a sector that is chronically underfunded. Staff surveyed in the report largely feel they lack economic security with 53% of survey respondents stating that they do not have enough economic security to ensure lost work due to serious illness. Another 43% do not have adequate savings in the event of a financial emergency.

To address the alarming data in the report, the Immigrants Are Essential Fund promotes sustainability and wellness within the sector. Resources will be allocated to support wellness programs and activities such as self-care, therapy, workshops, and coaching for the people who power the sector in Los Angeles and surrounding counties.

An advisory committee comprised of movement justice leaders will provide strategic guidance on the fund’s grantmaking priorities. CCFand the Weingart Foundation each provided $250,000 in initial funding for a total of $500,000 and have a goal of raising $1 million during the initial phase of the fund. Funders interested in contributing to the fund can reach Rosie Arroyo, Senior Program Officer, Immigration for CCF at rarroyo [@] calfund [.] org.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Paula Valle Castañon at pvalle [@] calfund [.] org or 213.452.6233

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The California Community Foundation (CCF) has served as a public, charitable organization for Los Angeles County since 1915. Its mission is to lead positive systemic change that strengthens Los Angeles communities. CCF stewards $2.3 billion in assets and manages 1,870 charitable foundations, funds and legacies. For more information, please visit www.calfund.org.

Weingart Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation that partners with communities across Southern California to advance racial, social, and economic justice for all. Our vision is a dynamic and effective social change sector that is creating equitable systems and structures needed to achieve justice. Founded in 1951, the Foundation has to date granted over $1 billion to organizations, strengthening their efforts in human services, housing, health, education, and community power building. In addition, the Foundation builds networks and collaboratives with philanthropic, public sector, and community leaders to advance equity and justice together. For more information, please visit www.weingartfnd.org.