The Download

The Download

September 11, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

DACA, What’s at Stake?

Congress has six months to develop legislation to address the needs of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. On Thursday, President Donald Trump said he would sign such legislation (the Dream Act) if it’s passed by Congress. This comes after the president said Congress has six months to develop legislation or he would revisit the issue.

The Trump administration announced last Tuesday they were cancelling the DACA program. CNN reports the White House was “acting in response to a threat from 10 states threatening Trump that they'd sue in an unfriendly court if the president didn't end the program by September 5.” This led to the president instructing Congress to work on legislation to create a permanent program.

Created in 2012, DACA allows young people who were brought to the U.S. as immigrants under the age of 16 to apply for DACA status to remain in the country legally to go to school, work and pay taxes. The permits are renewed in two-year periods and only available to those who don’t have serious criminal histories, are currently in school or graduated and meet the age requirements. Nationwide about 800,000 people are recipients of DACA.

The economic impact of DACA:

  • There are as many as 6,700 people in Michigan who are recipients of DACA, allowing them to legally live, go to school, work and pay taxes in the U.S.

  • National College Access Network (NCAN) shares that rescinding DACA means a loss of workers and tax revenue that will cost Michigan $418.6 million in annual gross domestic product losses.

  • The Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan policy institute, shared research earlier this year that the loss of DACA workers would result in a loss of $460.3 billion in U.S. gross domestic product over the next decade.

  • NCAN shares that ending DACA will remove 685,000 workers from the U.S. economy. In addition to this we are facing a workforce shortage, research shows that within the next 7 years there will be about 3.5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs available but there will be enough skilled workers to fill only 1.5 million.

  • CNN reports that the Cato Institute, an independent nonpartisan public policy think tank, says that by repealing DACA, the U.S. stands to lost $60 billion in tax revenue.

  • A survey of DACA recipients via the National Immigration Law Center shows that more than 75 percent of them are employed, with an average hourly wage of more than $17.

Since the announcement that the program will be rescinded, economic analysts and education leaders have weighed in about the implications for our U.S. economy and workforce.

"Getting rid of DACA reduces the number of skilled workers and a lot of industries are facing worker shortages," Ike Brannon, a visiting fellow at the Cato Institute said. "To push this now is really an inopportune time."

The Lumina Foundation shared last week how important Dreamers are to support our demanding, high-skilled future workforce and help the U.S. be competitive in the global marketplace. “Right now, just over 45 percent of Americans have earned post-high school degrees and certificates. But if we could get to at least 60 percent of working-age Americans—whether born here or not—with degrees or other postsecondary credentials, that could ensure the nation continues to lead the world economically,” the foundation shared.

Governor Rick Snyder is asking Congress to quickly act to clarify the status of Dreamers, he released a statement saying, “We are the best Michigan when we are a diverse Michigan – one that is made up of people whose stories and journeys are not identical. One path to success and prosperity looks different than the next, which should be celebrated and encouraged. Many are working toward success under the existing DACA, and for the certainty of their future Congress should act quickly to authorize and clarify their status. In Michigan we will continue to honor everyone's journey who has become part of our family of 10 million people, and remain the most welcoming state in the nation for immigrants and dreamers seeking prosperity, a home and a community that is accepting of their family and their desire to succeed in America."

This Thursday, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) is hosting a webinar about the future of DACA and next steps for funders.

Want more?

Read NCAN’s Michigan DACA economic fact sheet.






What We’ve Learned from the Good Neighborhoods Initiative

As funders seek to work deeply in communities to lift up the voices of the communities they serve to help catalyze positive transformation and investments, we’re getting a look at lessons from The Skillman Foundation’s Good Neighborhoods Initiative (GNI).

The Skillman Foundation has shared Kids Matter Here: An Analytic Review of the 10-Year Good Neighborhoods Initiative, which provides lessons from the GNI and strategies that could potentially be scaled and modeled in other Michigan communities.

In 2006, the foundation launched the 10-year, $100 million community-based initiative in six Detroit neighborhoods focusing on education, youth development, safety and community leadership to prepare Detroit’s youth for the future.

Highlights of successes from the report include:

  • The Skillman Foundation’s grants “leveraged over $1.25 billion in additional public and private investments over the 10 years of GNI.”

  • “GNI now ranks among the largest and longest multi-site place-based effort to improve children’s lives within any single U.S. city.”

  • High school graduation rates increased in GNI neighborhoods from 65 percent to 81 percent.

  • There’s greater resident leadership now with “new networks of resident leaders with increased capacity to influence local conditions on behalf of children.”

  • Crime rates declined by 40 percent in GNI neighborhoods.

  • There’s been an increase of youth involvement, from 10,000 youth to 14,000 in GNI neighborhoods.

  • More summer jobs for youth, growing from 2,500 to 8,000 paid jobs with training.

  • Community leaders have mobilized more than 10 percent of GNI residents in leadership development activities

  • A small grants program has funded 800 youth-focused projects in GNI sites

Challenges identified in the report include:

  • Financial stability of neighborhood organizations poses potential issues for continued work

  • The outcomes of multiple organizations working within youth development did “not progress seamlessly,” the report shares that if all activities were within one organization it may have moved quicker.

  • The report shares that while graduation rates improved high schools didn’t achieve the “minimum level of quality desired.”

Strategies at work
The GNI was a time-intensive strategic framework which began with three years of community planning, then moved to readiness and capacity building and finally five years of implementation. There was extensive and intentional work to engage the individual communities in authentic ways, bringing together stakeholders who want to best support neighborhood children.

The report shares lessons for the philanthropic field from the GNI, which include:

  • It takes more than grantmaking: The report shares that such a targeted and comprehensive initiative calls for work beyond grants, it takes government, nonprofit and private sector partnerships to lead to institutional change and ongoing support. The successes of GNI can be attributed to a broad range of tools, including program-related and mission-related investments, and partnerships to achieve the results.

  • It leads you to check your foundation’s values and norms that are guiding the work: For instance, to align with the foundation’s norm of a “strong commitment to valuing neighborhood voice,” foundation staff have regular check-ins with community partners, engage neighborhood grant partners in foundation meetings and “engage neighborhood leaders as authors or co-authors of written products.” The foundation has also worked to improve staff capacity and alignment with the GNI desired results and goals.

  • Civic leadership is critical but can be challenging and time intensive: Cultivating these relationships and building opportunities for civic leadership and engagement involves an understanding of the challenges, possibilities and identifying who should and can be involved. “Funders who venture into this changemaking approach must resist the temptation to take on more than is appropriate.”

  • The importance of data-driven decisions in investments: The report notes the importance of utilizing data to drive decisions and investments but shares that challenges remain, saying in part there are “still unresolved issues and lessons to be learned about which measurement data matters most, how to forge broader agreement about the intended results of investments being made, and how to ensure accountability for following through on implementation of data-related investment strategies.”

  • Transparency: Throughout the GNI, the foundation shared data with residents and partners in various forms including reports, social media and articles to ensure accountability, transparency and that the work was open to discussion.

The GNI is an example of work that can be achieved in targeted, community-based work but as the report shares more resources are needed to expand upon the progress and neighborhood-level alignment to ensure the momentum continues.

“The Good Neighborhoods Initiative is more than a philanthropic experiment or investment,” writes Tonya Allen, president and CEO, The Skillman Foundation. “It is a lesson in co-creation, civic action and collective impact.”

Want more?

Read the full report.






Helping After a Hurricane

While parts of Florida are still bracing for Hurricane Irma and other Florida communities are surveying the damage, we’re taking a closer look at the response to Hurricane Harvey and lessons learned.

Over the past few weeks we have seen support from several CMF members, organizations and communities around the country in providing support to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The storm was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since 2005, more than 65 people have lost their lives due to the hurricane and it has forced more than 30,000 people from their homes.

Several CMF corporate members have announced donations for disaster relief support. The support of more than a half dozen CMF members is already totaling donations in the millions, with expectations of more to come through employee matched contributions.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) launched the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund in response to focus on long-term needs of those affected.

The CDP was highlighted by Inside Philanthropy, Forbes and other major news outlets for their quick action on creating the fund that will focus on long-term needs for the hardest hit communities. The fund received high visibility on Facebook, with support from the social network as it pledged to match every dollar raised for the CDP fund.

The high traffic of donors via Facebook crashed CDP’s website.

“The uptick in traffic was the direct result of the kindness, compassion, and generosity of people living all across the United States, and beyond, who wanted to support Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. In a way, our website was just as overwhelmed as we were with this heartfelt giving,” Regina Webster, vice president, CDP said.

Inside Philanthropy reports that “about 70 to 80 percent of money donated in the wake of a disaster goes to near-term relief but disaster recovery always requires long-term sustained work.”

CDP shared that “for every day of immediate relief, there are at least ten days required for mid-term recovery and at least 100 days for long-term recovery. Based on that estimate, people will be recovering from hurricane Harvey for at least three years and probably longer.”

CDP notes that long-term needs could include “rebuilding homes, businesses, infrastructure, meeting the needs of young children, supporting mental health needs, and boosting damaged agricultural sectors.”

The CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund will invest and target several key areas, including:

  • Supporting those whose livelihoods have been affected

  • Funding is based on needs that will continue to emerge

  • Fill in gaps where resources aren’t available

  • Encourage cross-sector collaboration and the sharing of information to better serve those affected

While giving continues to help the victims and communities affected by the hurricane, their needs are expected to continue for months and potentially years to come.

Want more?

Learn more about the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund.

Check out CDP’s Disaster Philanthropy Playbook.

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