Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund

A fund to support community-based responses to help Afghan refugees

Tens of thousands of Afghans have been forced to flee their homeland, many because of threats to their lives and livelihoods due to their association with the United States. Americans want to welcome our new Afghan neighbors to the United States by volunteering their time, donating clothes and furniture, and much more. However, most government-funded local resettlement agencies are under immense pressure to coordinate volunteer assistance and non-cash donations.

In recognition of the tremendous amount of goodwill towards our Afghan allies, the Schultz Family Foundation, Stand Together Foundation and The Starbucks Foundation have created the Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund to support community-based organizations across the United States that are helping Afghan refugees and parolees successfully resettle by donating goods, services, and volunteer time. As a part of the effort, the Schultz Family Foundation, Stand Together Foundation and The Starbucks Foundation have committed more than $1 million to provide general operating grants up to $45,000 to qualifying non-profits in up to 40 communities across the country to increase their capacity to serve individuals and families who have fled Afghanistan.

Call to Action

About the Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund

To connect volunteers with the resettlement efforts, the effort will invest in community organizations that are committed to creating opportunities for Americans across the country to directly engage in welcoming and helping Afghan newcomers integrate into their new communities in partnership with local resettlement agencies. We expect these organizations to provide volunteer-led services such as English instruction, driving lessons and job navigation; to coordinate the donation of clothing and household goods; and to organize activities and events to welcome Afghans into their new communities.

Funders of the Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund will provide general operating grants to community-based organizations that:

  • Operate in a community that is likely to receive Afghan refugees.
  • Are committed to engaging a broad cross section of their community to support refugees, including volunteers from families, schools, universities, veterans’ organizations, and religious organizations.
  • Are partnering with one or more refugee resettlement organizations in their community.
  • Commit to dedicating 3-5 hours per month to learn from and participate in a learning collaborative of like-minded organizations through the grant term led by Hello Neighbor.

Interested organizations can learn more by reading the Frequently Asked Questions below and can apply to receive support here. Applications are due Monday, November 15, 2021.

To support this effort, Welcome.US will raise awareness, foster collaboration, and coordinate among resettlement groups and civic organizations, including the more than 100 organizations that comprise its broad coalition of partners. Hello Neighbor, a nonprofit committed to supporting refugees and immigrants, will lead a collaborative learning community as part of the Hello Neighbor Network to share best practices among grantees. Support from the Schultz Family Foundation is part of the Foundation’s $1.1 million overall commitment to support Afghans resettling in the U.S.

Frequently Asked Questions

Organization Eligibility

What type of organizations will be funded?

The Fund will support community-based organizations that have the leadership and relationships to engage a broad cross section of its community to support refugees, including but not limited to individuals, families, schools, universities, veterans’ organizations, and religious organizations. While experience working with refugee resettlement organizations is preferred, it is not required.  

Are there any eligibility requirements?

Yes.  To be eligible for funding, organizations must:

1)      Operate in a community that is likely to receive Afghan refugees or parolees.

2)     Be partners with one or more refugee resettlement organizations in their communities.

3)     Be committed to spend 3-5 hours per month during its grant period participating in a learning collaborative of like-minded organizations led by Hello Neighbor.

Do I need to be a part of a 501(c)(3) organization?

Applicants with a 501(c)(3) organization or equivalent or with a fiscal sponsor are eligible to apply.  If you are an individual with a creative idea without a 501(c)(3) designation, you are encouraged to apply as well.

Is there a minimum size the organization must be?

No.  An organization of any size with creative ideas on how to support refugees is encouraged to apply.

Funds

What grant amount may organizations receive?

Organizations may receive $15,000 or $45,000 depending on the size of their organization.

What can the funds be used for?

These are general operating funds and can be used for any charitable purpose tied to refugee resettlement.  This can include but is not limited to: goods to meet refugees’ basic needs, staff salary to coordinate community engagement and volunteers, occupancy costs to store donations, transportation costs to deliver donations, etc.

How quickly are the funds expected to be spent?

It is expected the funds will be spent within a year of the award date.

The Learning Collaborative

Is participating in the Learning Collaborative required for all fund awardees?

Yes.

What is the purpose of the Learning Collaborative?

The Learning Collaborative will serve as a peer network for awardees – offering a supportive community, education, skills, and resources so that each organization can better fulfill its own mission while elevating grassroots voices and experiences.

What is Hello Neighbor’s role?

Hello Neighbor is a nonprofit organization based in Pittsburgh, PA committed to supporting recently resettled refugee and immigrant families. In addition to supporting refugee and immigrant families in Pittsburgh, Hello Neighbor leads a community of grassroots organizations and offers them support and technical assistance.  Hello Neighbor will play a similar leadership and support role for awardees of this fund through the Learning Collaborative.

Will travel be required as part of the Learning Collaborative?

During the course of the grant period and based on current public health recommendations, Hello Neighbor may bring the members of the Learning Collaborative together to network and share learnings. If it is determined that travel is required, those costs will be covered in addition to the grant funds.

Reporting

Will awardees be required to report on their activities?

Awardees will be required to report on the following on a monthly basis: the number of community members engaged and the number of refugees supported.  Awardees may also be asked from time to time to share stories of how their communities have come together to support refugees.

Application Process

How can I apply?

Access the application and instructions at http://mobilizingamericaforrefugees.org/.

When are applications due?

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. PT on Monday, November 15, 2021.

How will applications be evaluated?

Applications will be evaluated relative to their creativity of their ideas to engage a cross-section of the community to support refugees.  Organizations with leadership and/or staff with lived experience will be prioritized in the review process.

When will the awardees be announced?

We expect to announce the awardees no later than November 25, 2021.

Additional Information

Who can we contact if we have questions about Mobilizing America for Refugees?

If you have any questions about the fund or the application process, please send an e-mail with “Mobilizing America for Refugees” in the subject line to info@schultzfamilyfoundation.org.

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