Friends Focus highlights updates from members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work. This month we feature suggestions from a funder briefing convened by the Meadows Foundation for foundations and donors interested in assisting immigrant  families and unaccompanied children crossing the border. Also included are updates from The Siragusa Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, and the Stuart Foundation, along with a complete list of current NCFP Friends and Leadership Circle members.

Are you a current Friend of the National Center and have an update or news about your foundation that you would like to share with Family Giving News readers? Email us. Interested in learning more about Friends of the Family? Go here.


Unaccompanied children border crisis: The Meadows Foundation takes leadership

As tens of thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children and families have fled to the United States in recent months, foundations and donors are responding with a variety of short-term responsive approaches as well as longer term funding strategies. Among them are many family foundations as well as families giving through donor advised funds. In July, the Meadows Foundation, a long-time supporter of the National Center for Family Philanthropy and leader in the Texas philanthropic community, hosted a funder briefing to build awareness and support collaborative efforts.

Leading the briefing were representatives of the U.S. Government and national and local nonprofit organizations involved in the response, including Save the Children, Catholic Charities, Southwest Key, and the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas. Their guidance is useful for families and funders eager to respond to this humanitarian crisis. Other information is also available from Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) here and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) here.

Among the key take-aways from the briefing were:

  • The majority of children and families are coming from Guatemala (37%), El Salvador (26%), and Honduras (30%). Smaller percentages are arriving from Mexico, Ecuador and other countries.

  • So far this year, officials estimate that more than 90,000 individuals have crossed the border, over half of these are unaccompanied minors.

  • The most common reasons for coming to the United States are to escape violence or abuse in their home country; to find family members living in the U.S.; to find work to support themselves, their family or their children; or they were brought to the U.S. by human traffickers.

The speakers shared harrowing stories of the journeys taken by the children and families as well as information on the impact of the surge on the state and Federal agencies charged with managing the situation. The Meadows Foundation provided an extensive funder briefing packet with data and recommendations for funder responses. If you are interested in receiving this packet please email Celeste Arista, at the Meadows Foundation.

The figure below outlines the process that children and families crossing the border face when they arrive in the U.S.

While unaccompanied minors crossing the border is not a new phenomenon, the drastic increase in volume in the last year was unanticipated. The agencies had predicted 9,000 unaccompanied minors would cross the border in 2014 and that number had already been exceeded by May.

One issue the funder’s call and briefing packet brought to light is the stark difference in outcomes for children without legal representation. The following paragraph is excerpted from the briefing packet answering the question “How do children gain access to legal representation?”

The federal government is under no obligation to provide legal counsel to any individual, including unaccompanied children, in immigration courts. ORR and other non-profit organizations try to connect children and their guardians to legal services. Of the pending immigration hearings, only 31% (13,063) of children have an attorney. The following table shows the hearing outcomes of children during FY2005-2014 based on legal representation:


Removal Order

Granted Stay in U.S.

Children With Attorney (31,036 cases)



Children Without Attorney (29,173 cases)



Recommendations for Funders

Among the many recommendations provided at the Meadows Foundation briefing—and echoed by GCIR and CDP—are the following:

  • Legal services and representation: Funding is needed to expand immigration legal services in a multitude of ways, including recruiting, training, and supporting both paid and volunteer attorneys; expanding the pool of interpreters and child advocates; increasing monitoring efforts of court proceedings, shelter operations and litigation efforts; as well as equipment, space and other general operating costs associated with these growing programs.

  • Direct service: The majority of families and children are NOT eligible for most Federal “safety net” programs. There are tremendous needs for shelter, clothing, food, and other immediate needs.
  • Medical and Mental Health Care: Again, the majority of families and children are only eligible for lifesaving medical services. Screenings in the Federal shelters are for skin infestations and other communicable disease symptoms. Many children and adults arrive malnourished and/or require mediate attention and have experienced trauma during their journeys.
  • Capacity building: For the nonprofit organizations and public agencies involved in the response, including training; support of network building and collaborative efforts; respite and mental health supports for workers; technology and space needs; and evaluation, etc.
  • Advocacy: Longer-term recommendations include investing in data collection on the children and families including outcome data; policy reforms around the immigration legal process and asylum regulations; and development of alternatives to detention.

As the crisis continues to evolve, more immigrant families and children are being moved to communities throughout the U.S., extending the scope of needs beyond Texas and other border states. Funders are also being encouraged by organizations like GCIR to invest in programs that address the drivers of the crisis in the countries of origin as well as assist repatriated children through education, economic development, and other strategies.

Arthur Vining Davis Foundations support initiatives aimed at first-generation college students

First-generation college students face unique challenges due to a lack of parental support and involvement, and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations has joined other funders in trying to develop a variety of scholarships and other types of support for first-generation college students. 

According to a recent article in Inside Philanthropy,

A growing number of colleges are working to bridge this college knowledge gap, developing programs to provide needed supports for first-generation students, and they are turning to higher education funders for support.

A recent example comes from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, a big supporter of higher education programs, especially for private liberal arts schools. Davis just awarded a $200,000 grant to Centre College in Kentucky to support initiatives aimed at first-generation college students. Centre plans to develop leadership training programs and other supports to help foster college success for the estimated 130 first-generation students at Centre.

Read more here...

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation partners on campaign advocacy tool for organizations and coalitions

Planning to Win: The Just Enough Guide for Campaigners™, developed by Spitfire with partnership and support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, uses a six-step process to help organizations and coalitions build effective plans that lead to winning behavior, corporate or policy change campaigns. It also includes special sections on opposition management and building or managing winning coalitions, and infuses smart digital strategies along the way. The tool provides real-life lessons from the best and brightest campaigns, and allows users to recommend other examples from your own campaigns or noteworthy resources to share with others. The tool is mobile and tablet friendly, exportable and shareable. See a brief video about the guide below or read more...


Passing of the leadership baton at the Siragusa Foundation

Long-time Friend and colleague Irene Phelps from The Siragusa Foundation has announced that she will resign from her position as president of the foundation at the end of the year after more than a decade of leading the efforts of this multi-generational family philanthropy. Current Executive Vice President Sharmila Rao Thakkar has been appointed as her worthy successor; among many other roles, Thakkar also serves as co-chair of NCFP’s Non-family Staff Peer Network. For more information about joining this network, please contact

New leadership at the Stuart Foundation

The Board of Directors of the Stuart Foundation is very pleased to announce that Mr. Jonathan P. Raymond was appointed president of the Foundation, succeeding Ms. Christy Pichel. Jonathan assumed the office and responsibility July, 2014. Jonathan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the important strategic and programmatic work of the Foundation. Most recently he served as Superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District and in that capacity was a founding member of CORE – the California Office to Reform Education; an early proponent of the Common Core Standards; and a strong advocate for instructional efforts to reduce the achievement gap in minority and disadvantaged children and youth. Jonathan has a keen interest in the educational trajectory and conditions of young people caught in the child welfare system (foster care).

Read more... 

Current list of NCFP Friends and Leadership Circle members

We offer special thanks to our Friends of the Family and Leadership Circle funders who support and sustain the work of NCFP. Our Leadership Circle recognizes a special group of our most generous supporters. Our Friends offer continuing support for our work, ensuring that future generations of donor families can access the best possible resources for sound decision-making. For more information, please contact Maureen Esposito at 202.293.3276 or at

Leadership Circle:

  • Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
  • RGK Foundation
  • David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Lilly Endowment
  • Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund
  • Meadows Foundation
  • Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
  • Walter and Elise Haas Fund
  • Annenberg Foundation
  • An Anonymous Donor
  • S.D. Bechtel, Jr Foundation
  • C.E. and S. Foundation
  • Arie and Ida Crown Memorial
  • Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
  • Dyson Foundation
  • Max. M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
  • Flora Family Foundation
  • Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
  • Hyde Family Foundations
  • Leighty Foundation
  • Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation
  • Mathile Family Foundation
  • McKnight Foundation
  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • Nord Family Foundation
  • Roy A. Hunt Foundation
  • Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation
  • George B. Storer Foundation
  • Stuart Foundation
  • Surdna Foundation

Friends of the Family:

  • Six Anonymous Donors
  • Louis & Anne Abrons Foundation
  • Jeffrey and Rita Adler Foundation
  • Nibs & Edna Allen Foundation
  • Allyn Foundation
  • Paul M. Angell Family Foundation
  • Ansara Family Fund
  • Apex Foundation
  • Ausherman Family Foundation
  • Axfoundation
  • Helen Bader Foundation
  • Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation
  • Barry Foundation
  • John M. Belk Educational Endowment
  • Bernstein Family Foundation
  • Bigglesworth Family Foundation
  • Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation
  • Allen H. & Selma W. Berkman Charitable Trust
  • William Bingham Foundation
  • Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
  • Blumenthal Foundation
  • Dan and Merrie Boone Foundation
  • Borgen Family Foundation
  • Frances Hollis Brain Foundation
  • Brindle Foundation
  • Brinson Foundation
  • Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies
  • Isambard Brunel Society of North America
  • Frank H. and Eva B. Buck Foundation
  • Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation
  • The Robert G. Cabell III and Maude Morgan Cabell Foundation
  • Carlson Family Foundation
  • Castellano Family Foundation
  • Cemala Foundation
  • The Clowes Fund
  • Coghlin Family Foundation
  • Colina Foundation
  • Carol & James Collins Foundation
  • Commonweal Foundation
  • Compton Foundation
  • Cook Family Foundation
  • Couch Family Foundation
  • Crevier Family Foundation
  • Cricket Island Foundation
  • CS Fund
  • The Daniel Foundation of Alabama
  • Davis Family Fund
  • Arthur Vining Davis Foundation
  • Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation
  • Deerbrook Charitable Trust
  • Delaplaine Foundation
  • R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation
  • Dorrance Family Foundation
  • The Dresher Foundation
  • Durfee Foundation
  • The Celia Lipton Farris and Victor W. Farris Foundation
  • Ferree Foundation
  • The Fine Foundation
  • Fleishhacker Foundation
  • Frey Foundation
  • Francis Family Foundation
  • Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation
  • Frist Foundation
  • Fuller Foundation
  • George Foundation
  • GHR Foundation
  • Gilhousen Family Foundation
  • The Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation
  • William and Charlene Glikbarg Foundation
  • David B. Gold Foundation
  • Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation
  • Michael and Gillian Goodrich Foundation
  • William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund
  • The Hamilton Foundation
  • Hardee Family Foundation
  • Irving Harris Foundation
  • The Hastings Foundation
  • Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation
  • Hawksglen Foundation
  • The Hershey Foundation
  • Hidden Leaf Foundation
  • Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • Hoffberger Family Philanthropies
  • The Hoglund Foundation
  • Homestead Foundation
  • Horner Foundation
  • HRK Foundation
  • Island Foundation
  • Jacobs Family Foundation
  • Jackson Foundation
  • James R. and Anita Horne Jenkins Family Foundation
  • The Raymond C. & Anna T. Johnson Foundation
  • Walter S. Johnson Foundation
  • Ethel & W. George Kennedy Foundation
  • Grayce B. Kerr Foundation
  • Marion I. & Henry J. Knott Foundation
  • Lawson Foundation
  • Simon K Y Lee Foundation
  • Legacy Works Foundation
  • Leonettti/O’Connell Foundation
  • The Miller Wehrle Family Foundation
  • The Mortimer Levitt Foundation
  • Lipscomb Family Foundation
  • The Looper Foundation
  • David and Lura Lovell Foundation
  • Ludwick Family Foundation
  • Lumpkin Family Foundation
  • Elizabeth Mitchell Manternach Foundation
  • MARK Foundation
  • McCarthy Family Foundation
  • Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation
  • William G. McGowan Charitable Fund
  • Medina Foundation
  • McNeely Foundation
  • Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds
  • The Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation
  • Miller Wehrle Family Foundation
  • Jean and Saul A. Mintz Foundation
  • Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation
  • Edward S. Moore Foundation
  • Murad Family Foundation
  • Leo & Libby Nevas Family Foundation
  • Edward John Noble Foundation
  • Nordblom Family Foundation
  • Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
  • Ralph E. Ogden Foundation
  • W. O’Neil Foundation
  • William J. & Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation
  • Gerald Oppenheimer Family Foundation
  • The Orfalea Foundation
  • The Overbrook Foundation
  • Patrina Foundation
  • The Paz Fund
  • Pearlstine Family Fund
  • The Peck Foundation
  • The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota
  • Pierce Family Foundation
  • Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Foundation
  • Potts Family Foundation
  • Public Education Network
  • Quimby Family Foundation
  • Quixote Foundation
  • Rasmuson Foundation
  • Realan Foundation
  • Robins Foundation
  • Rockdale Foundation
  • Mr. David Rockefeller
  • Roth Family Foundation
  • Samuel Rubin Foundation
  • Ruderman Family Foundation
  • Russell Family Foundation
  • Ruth Mott Foundation
  • Sampson Family Foundation
  • Satterberg Foundation
  • Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
  • Homer A. and Mildred S. Scott Foundation
  • The Seaver Institute
  • Selander Foundation
  • Self Family Foundation
  • Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation
  • Simms/Mann Family Foundation
  • Siragusa Foundation
  • Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation
  • Patricia D. & William B. Smullin Foundation
  • Springs Close Foundation
  • Stifler Family Foundation
  • Stocker Foundation
  • Stoller Foundation
  • W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation
  • Stranahan Foundation
  • Hattie M. Strong Foundation
  • Stuart Family Foundation
  • Tarsadia Foundation
  • Tauck Foundation
  • Flora L. Thornton Foundation
  • Three Swallows Foundation
  • Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund
  • The Tow Foundation
  • Tracy Family Foundation
  • Triad Foundation
  • TriMix Foundation
  • Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation
  • Ueberroth Family Foundation
  • Volgenau Foundation
  • Walker Foundation
  • Wardle Foundation
  • Weaver Foundation
  • Weissberg Foundation
  • Weller Family Foundation
  • Lawrence Welk Family Foundation
  • CL Werner Foundation
  • Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation
  • Woodard Family Foundation
  • Wyncote Foundationa
  • Yoreinu Foundation
  • M.B. and Edna Zale Foundation
  • Zarrow Families Foundation
  • Zegar Family Foundation
  • Zeist Foundation