What We Fund

Unbound Philanthropy works in the field of human migration to transform long-standing but solvable barriers to migrants’ and refugees’ freedom and equity. Our current strategic focus crosses five areas:

Protecting Rights
Migrants and refugees must have enforceable legal rights if they are to become fully engaged and participating members of their new communities. Protections against unscrupulous employers and unfair immigration enforcement practices provide newcomers with much-needed security and stability to help them fulfill their potential. We believe enforcement policies are most effective when they respect everyone’s rights and are supported by communities as necessary for maintaining everyone’s safety and order. That’s why we support projects that involve a broad range of stakeholders in achieving these goals at the federal, state, and local levels.

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Reforming Immigration Policies
Migrants cannot integrate and contribute fully to their communities unless there are effective approaches to managing immigration and integration where newcomers are treated with dignity and respect. Specifically in the United States, where a wide spectrum of public and community leaders agree that current immigration policies are dysfunctional, Unbound supports the need for comprehensive immigration reform that offers a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who have established roots in the United States. Offering this population an opportunity to come out of the shadows and earn legal status will benefit both newcomers and long-term residents alike—creating stronger, safer, and more vibrant communities.

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Supporting Civic Engagement
Unbound Philanthropy believes that the civic engagement of newcomers is critically important for building a stronger democracy. To achieve this vision we promote systemic and societal changes that lead to the supportive integration and dignified treatment of newcomers. We are currently focusing on projects that create a more welcoming environment for immigrants through public education, direct engagement, and alliance building between immigrants and other residents. We also support programs that offer leadership development to migrant and refugee youth in their new communities in order to help them engage policymakers on issues affecting their lives.

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Promoting Greater Understanding
The struggle for opportunity and fairness for migrants and refugees cannot ultimately be won without a fundamental shift in public opinion toward newcomers. We work to promote greater understanding of the economic and cultural contributions made by migrants and refugees and a deeper awareness of the long-term benefits they bring to their new communities. Unbound promotes new voices and perspectives; builds bridges between and among diverse communities; and seeks creative opportunities for the arts, culture, and media to open hearts and minds in ways traditional advocacy strategies often do not.

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Emerging Needs and Explorations
Unbound supports a wide array of non-traditional approaches to advance respect for the rights of migrants and refugees. Not all of our investments or interventions can be easily categorized, however. Many strategies are creative and crosscutting; others evolve out of unique circumstances or needs. As a small foundation we believe it is important to remain nimble and adaptable in order to respond quickly when opportunities arise, such as support for education in emergencies. We strive to meet emerging needs and nurture new ideas that can one day transform funding practice and public opinion.

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