Esperanza Fund distributes more than $500k in third round of grant funding


13 Community-Based organizations receive grants to assist immigrant families

Additional $100k received from Amalgamated Foundation’s Families and Workers Fund

Note: this is originally a press release published on October 5, 2020.

The newly established Esperanza Fund, created to support Nevada’s immigrant communities and strengthen nonprofits working with these communities, announces the distribution of an additional $516,000 to 13 community-based organizations. According to Duncan Lee, who chairs the Esperanza Fund, this is the third distribution from the Fund which recently received a donation of $100,000 from the Amalgamated Foundation’s Families and Workers Fund.  A New York-based Foundation, Amalgamated is committed to expanding the capabilities of small public foundations such as the Esperanza Fund.

“Combined, the Esperanza Fund has distributed more than $750,000 since mid-August to statewide organizations well positioned to help immigrant families who don’t qualify for federal or state aid,” said Lee. “We are grateful to Amalgamated for believing in our mission to support immigrant individuals and families who have long been integral to our community fabric state-wide. Especially as the effects of the pandemic continue and the end of the eviction moratorium looms, it’s incumbent upon us to do all we can to support them through this trying time.”  

The Esperanza Fund was established in August in partnership with the Governor’s Office for New Americans. It received an inaugural gift of $750,000 from George Soros’ The Open Society Foundations, the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights.  

Lee, who also chairs Nevada Community Foundation– a nonprofit foundation that helps families with their philanthropic legacy – is joined on the Esperanza Fund board by other high-profile Nevadans who are mostly first-generation immigrants. In addition to Lee, the Esperanza Fund board includes Francisco Aguilar, Nevada Assemblyman Alexander Assefa (District 42), Erika Castro, Vadim Fridman, Vida Lin and Francisco Morales.

On Aug. 12, the board of directors of the Esperanza Fund approved an initial rapid response grant to the community-based organizations, followed by the approval on Aug. 19 of a second grant and the Sept. 22 distribution of this third round of funding.

With the grants, the community-based organizations are equipped to provide financial assistance (up to $300 each) to immigrant individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and who do not qualify for state or federal aid. The funds are intended to help with essential and basic needs such as rent, food, utilities and prescriptions.  

Organizations that received funding in the third round include:

  • Asian Community Development Council
  • Arriba Las Vegas Worker Center
  • Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada
  • CSN Foundation
  • Dream Big Nevada
  • Ethiopian Christian Fellowship Church
  • Immigrant Home Foundation
  • Make the Road NV
  • Mi Familia Vota
  • Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
  • REACH Las Vegas
  • UNLV Diversity Initiatives

The Esperanza Fund is working closely with the Governor’s Office for New Americans (ONA), created through Senate Bill 538, one of Governor Sisolak’s priority during the 2019 legislative session. ONA promotes opportunities for immigrants, refugees, and aspiring Americans to thrive in Nevada.