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2015 Request for Proposals for Community Education and Legal Services

The Fund for New Citizens: Community Education and Legal Services

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced plans to expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows undocumented immigrants who arrived as children to remain in the U.S. free from fear of deportation and with permission to work. He also announced the creation of a new program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), which will provide similar relief for parents of citizen and legal permanent resident children. For those who are eligible, these programs will open new opportunities for education, employment, and health care.

Several weeks ago, a federal court in Texas put a temporary halt to the expanded DACA and DAPA programs. Although most legal experts agree that the programs are within the power of the Executive branch, the injunction will result in delays, fear, and even more confusion among immigrants. The City’s estimated 150,000 eligible residents will need help understanding the programs, the litigation, and—when they become available—the applications. And regardless of the final outcome of the litigation, accurate information and affordable, high-quality legal advice can help immigrants make informed decisions about applying for all forms of legal status or deferred action when available, and avoid falling prey to notarios.

2015 Request for Proposals

The Fund for New Citizens seeks proposals for projects that will educate immigrants about available immigration benefits, including but not limited to DACA and DAPA, and help them prepare supporting materials for applications. The Fund also seeks proposals from legal service providers that will help immigrants apply for new and existing forms of available relief. For instance, groups may prioritize applications for U Visas and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) while awaiting resolution of the litigation surrounding expanded DACA and DAPA. The Fund expects to make approximately $500,000 in grants, with the possibility of more, contingent on additional fundraising.

Although not required, groups are strongly encouraged to submit proposals that demonstrate coordinated service provision. For example, a group providing education and outreach may partner with an immigration legal service provider, ensuring eligible immigrants are not only referred to such groups but also receive legal support, as needed. The Fund will prioritize projects that seek to provide a full continuum of immigration services. Coordinated efforts help to ensure as many of the City’s eligible immigrants as possible are adequately screened for all forms of relief, and for those who are expanded DACA- and DAPA-eligible, are well prepared to apply when the time comes.

In an effort to facilitate coordination among funders, the Fund for New Citizens may summarize your proposal to other interested funders and may also contact you to share your proposal with non-member grantmakers that may, based on the proposals, consider complementary grants in excess of the Fund’s available resources.

Priority will be given to projects that:
  • Contribute to building a coordinated, citywide infrastructure for effective outreach and legal help to immigrant populations in the wake of major policy changes.
  • Use creative and effective outreach strategies to help undocumented immigrants, including underrepresented ethnic groups and other vulnerable, difficult-to-reach populations, learn about and apply for DACA, DAPA, and other forms of immigration relief.
  • Demonstrate ability to implement and maintain a system to track applicants.
  • Use creative and effective strategies to keep immigrants engaged in community advocacy.
  • For projects that provide legal services, include a comprehensive immigration screening for permanent forms of immigration relief or bars to applying for DACA or DAPA.
Although organizations may apply for both capacity-building (see separate RFP) and community education and legal services, the Fund will support only one (if any) of the proposed projects.

Applicants are encouraged to attend an informational meeting at The New York Community Trust on Friday, May 15, 2015 from 10 to 11 am. If you plan to attend, please email fundfornewcitizens@nyct-cfi.org no later than Tuesday, May 12, 2015.

Required Materials

Please include the following in your proposal:

1.    Proposal Cover Sheet (complete the online process at http://bit.ly/1ElMolE).

2.    Proposal Narrative (please limit to 8 pages)
Organizational Description: A brief description of your organization(s), including:
  • History, mission, and major accomplishments;
  • Past community outreach and legal service partnerships;
  • Staff with Board of Immigration (BIA) accreditation;
  • Program activities on behalf of undocumented immigrants; and
  • Advocacy efforts on behalf of immigrants.
Project Description: A description of your project, including:
  • How the project contributes to or supports a coordinated City-wide effort by government and nonprofits;
  • Other groups/partners participating in the project;
  • Target population and geographic area your project will serve;
  • Linguistic capacities among staff to accommodate target populations;
  • Types of outreach, education, and/or legal clinics; and
  • Plans to track those who apply and receive DACA, DAPA, and other forms of legal status and its impact on their lives.
Project timeline: A time frame for your project

Outcomes: An explanation of the accomplishments you expect during the grant period, including the number (if applicable) of:

    • Individuals receiving outreach and education, including help with gathering documents in preparation for filing applications for DACA, DAPA, and other forms of available immigration relief;
    • Informational workshops on DACA, DAPA, and other forms of available immigration relief;
    • Individuals screened for eligibility for DACA, DAPA, and other forms of available immigration relief;
    • Legal clinics;
    • Applications filed for DACA, DAPA, and other forms of available immigration relief;
    • Applications approved;
    • Training for pro-bono attorneys; and
    • Increased membership, participation, and progress made in advocating for long –term solutions.
3.    List of board of directors and senior staff, including years with the organization.

4.    Complete project budget, including staff time and other organizational costs. Please list any in-kind contributions and anticipated external human resources, as well as other funding secured or expected for the project. Please note: grants from the Fund for New Citizens are intended to complement additional funding from public and private sources.

5.    2014 actual income/expense statement and year-end balance sheet and 2015 projected budget for the organization, including a list of sources of income and expenses.

6.    Most recent audited financial statement (2013 or later) or IRS 990 Form.

7.    Proof of tax exemption/501(c)(3) status (or a fiscal agent agreement).

Submission

The narrative and project budget must be received by email to fundfornewcitizens@nyct-cfi.org on or before 4 pm on Thursday, May 28, 2015. The email should have the organization’s name in the subject line and the narrative and project budget should be attached to the email as a single PDF document. Hard copies of the full application, including the narrative, project budget, and all supporting materials, should be sent by first-class mail, postmarked no later than Friday, May 29, 2015, to:  
Sheila Dinkins
Fund for New Citizens in The New York Community Trust
909 Third Avenue, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10022

Grant applications submitted after the due dates will not be considered for funding. Questions about this Request for Proposals may be emailed to fundfornewcitizens@nyct-cfi.org; include your contact information. Grant awards will be announced in early summer 2015.

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The New York Community Trust is a 501(c)3 public charity.

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