Grassroots Capacity Building Grants - Request for Proposals

Applications are closed.  


Deadline: January 15, 2020

Print RFP

In response to the escalating federal threats against immigrant families in New Jersey, local funders have come together to form the Funders’ Collaborative for Immigrant Families (FCIF). This new partnership seeks to stabilize immigrant families that are facing impacts from enforcement of harsh immigration policies, to support the inclusion of immigrants in all aspects of life in New Jersey, and to create mechanisms for funders to become informed about and engaged in addressing immigration issues in New Jersey, strengthening the state’s immigration inclusion infrastructure in the long run.

Following a planning process led by a group of New Jersey immigrants’ rights advocates, FCIF has determined that building capacity for immigrant-led community grassroots organizations is key to addressing structural problems and empowering immigrants in New Jersey. To this end, the newly established Organizing Capacity Steering Committee, made up of NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice member organizations and partners, will award grassroots capacity-building grants to organizations in New Jersey. The Organizing Capacity Steering Committee will establish subgranting guidelines, review and award applications, and work with subgrantees to establish deliverables and follow
organizers’ progress over the course of this yearlong grant.

Grant Objectives

● Building the organizing capacity of New Jersey’s immigrants’ rights movement by providing support to organizers, particularly in under-organized communities or regions of the state;
● Increasing civic engagement and organizing participation by immigrant community members, including youth and families;
● Supporting leadership development for organizers and community members, including youth and families;
● Ensuring greater coordination and participation among New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) member organizations and other immigrant rights organizations to support
the fight for a fairer and more welcoming New Jersey, and to diversify the voices included in these efforts;
● Building power within the immigrant community and creating spaces where immigrants can organize locally around issues that impact their lives;
● Providing regular organizing and media trainings to amplify capacity-building, strengthen media coverage and public discussions of the human impacts of harsh and cruel
immigration policies and enforcement activities, and support immigrants in sharing their stories with media.

Awards and Benefits

Grants of $45,000 each will be awarded to grassroots organizations, to be spent as a standard or base salary for a full-time organizer. Grantees commit to paying their full-time organizer at least $45,000 for the year and to cover benefits and fringe costs to ensure organizers have a living wage.
Grantees that are not already members of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) will receive one year of free membership in the NJAIJ. NJAIJ and its staff will provide the organizers hired via grassroots capacity-building grants with access to a network of experienced organizers, advocates, and communications experts; trainings (including a convening for subgrantees, partners, and NJAIJ members); organizing materials and resources; and one-on-one support. Each of the organizers will join one of the NJAIJ’s campaign committees, providing an opportunity to collaborate with organizers and advocates from around the state.

Eligibility Guidelines

Grassroots capacity-building grants are designed for grantees to hire organizers to help build long-term sustainability for immigrants’ rights organizing in New Jersey. Grantees will sign a
Memorandum of Understanding with the Organizing Capacity Steering Committee and share experience and accomplishment during the grant year.
Organizations or groups that are interested in applying for grassroots capacity-building funding must satisfy all of the following criteria:

● are led by immigrant(s): at least 60% of the board, staff, and members/constituents are immigrants or related to immigrants;
● have committed to building power within the immigrant communities they serve and have gained the respect and trust of the communities they work with;
● demonstrate a need for funding to build grassroots organizing capacity or lack of financial support to achieve organizing goals in an underserved area or for an underserved
population in the state (see below);
● have either 501(c)(3) status or fiscal sponsor and a formal decision-making body and can provide a budget and documentation of finances;
● are committed to paying organizers a living wage, including health care, PTO, and benefits;
● meet one of the following criteria:

  • are located in communities with large immigrant populations (i.e., where the percentage of immigrants exceeds the state average (roughly 20%),
  • are located in municipalities or counties that are politically challenging or strategically important. For example, counties that have substantial immigrant populations but few advocacy and organizing efforts include Bergen, Hudson, Ocean, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Atlantic, Camden, Cumberland, or any other regions with underrepresented communities, examples below,
  • are seeking to work with immigrant communities usually underrepresented in immigration advocacy in New Jersey; for example, immigrants from Korea, China, Haiti, India, the Philippines, and several West African countries.


The Organizing Steering Committee and each subgrantee will co-create a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU will set forth the terms of their collaboration; the ongoing support NJAIJ will provide to the organizers throughout the year; how organizers will engage with NJAIJ and share information they learn with other organizers and advocates across the movement, including NJAIJ members, the NJ Consortium for Immigrant Children, and other partners; and how organizers will report results and measure their success over the course of a year. 

How to apply

Submit a grant proposal between 2-3 pages and organizational and organizing budgets. Your proposal should explain (a) how your organization fits within the guidelines, (b) how you will work to improve immigrant leadership, (c) participate in the Alliance and/or other immigrant rights campaigns, and (d) how you measure success at the end of 12 months. If you have recently submitted another grant proposal addressing these issues, please feel free to submit a copy of that proposal. 

Applications should be submitted to [email protected], the deadline is January 15, 2020.

If you need this request for proposal to be translated into another language, please contact the grant making committee at [email protected]

Si necesita que esta solicitud de propuesta sea traducida a otro idioma por favor contacte a el comité de concesión de subvenciones a [email protected]

Se você precisar que esse pedido de proposta seja traduzido para outra língua, entre em contato com o comitê de doação em [email protected]