Knight Foundation’s American Dream Fund awarded $6 million to 47 nonprofit grassroots organizations to promote greater civic involvement among new immigrants. This article reviews the effectiveness of the effort and evaluates Knight’s future grant-making direction for immigrant causes.
Approach: The reporter analysis involved interviews with Dream Fund Grantees, local partners, Knight Foundation staff, and document review.
Report Partners: This reporter analysis was produced by Tony Mecia.
Dream Fund Grantees have worked on a range of issues, including helping immigrants learn English, prepare for citizenship, develop leadership among young immigrants and engage in critical social and economic issues.
American Dream Fund grant recipients report that they have become very active in networking and collaborating with national and local groups. Creating such links was described as a “key component” of the program at its inception. Grant recipients say their greatest need is for assistance in fund raising and other sustaining technical help.
Knight Foundation and Public Interest Projects underestimated the amount of staffing needed to oversee so many grants and to help grantees.
The report highlights the shifts in Knight Foundation’s approach from broader advocacy and immigration integration efforts to a focus on naturalization.
To support earthquake relief efforts in Miami's Haitian community through a Community Support and Counseling initiative
To support earthquake relief efforts in Miami's Haitian community through direct legal counseling to Haitian individuals
To support earthquake relief efforts in Miami's Haitian community through three distinct initiatives: Community Support and Counseling, Census Outreach and Naturalization Outreach
To expose the community to a major part of South Florida's cultural background through the creation of a live Haitian jazz series
To help sustain healthy communities in a democracy, we aim to increase the ability of individuals to engage in change. Trabian Shorters on our strategy
Knight Foundation commissions independent journalists to write occasional articles reviewing its grant making and program strategies. Veteran reporters examine grant documents, conduct interviews and offer their perspective on the lessons learned and impact of Knight-supported projects in stories published online and in print.