The WES Mariam Assefa Fund is a philanthropic initiative of World Education Services (WES). For more than 45 years WES has enabled immigrants and refugees to fully utilize their education and talent. The WES Mariam Assefa Fund offers a new way for WES to achieve this mission. The Fund supports select organizations working to accelerate progress in immigrant economic integration, spur innovation in workforce development, and permanently dismantle the barriers that hinder the advancement of immigrants and refugees.

In the near-term, the Fund is focused on supporting organizations and solutions that address the following focus areas:

Building skills and supports for workers:  Solutions that equip all immigrants and refugees with the tools they need to succeed in today’s economy and tomorrow’s

Improving employer practices:  Initiatives that build inclusivity and equity, encourage employers to invest in immigrant and refugee talent, and ensure quality jobs

Fostering experimentation and innovation:  Novel or early-stage models for service delivery, funding, and partnerships that unlock economic opportunity for immigrants and refugees

Empowering tomorrow’s leaders: Efforts that support and empower leaders within immigrant and refugee communities

Growing an ecosystem of collaborators:  Approaches to expand the field of funders, policymakers, educators, employers, and service providers focused on immigrant workforce integration

The Fund does not currently accept unsolicited proposals. However, we deeply value innovative ideas generated by organizations and practitioners in the field and will periodically issue calls for projects aligned with our areas of focus. Any future open calls for proposals will be shared here or through our email list, so please sign up to stay updated. 

The Fund is focused on advancing the economic and workforce integration of immigrants and refugees. We do not offer scholarships or other resources to support international students. In general, we do not provide funding to individuals.

We identify potential grantee partners who can contribute expertise, learnings, and impact toward our mission of building inclusive economies for immigrants and refugees. All final-stage applicants undergo financial, organizational, and programmatic due diligence before funding is awarded.

The Fund primarily supports entities classed by the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt, non-profit organizations. For-profit social enterprises may be eligible for a grant if the nature of their work clearly contributes to the charitable goals of the Fund. The geographic focus of the Fund’s grantmaking is currently the United States. We will begin funding in Canada in late 2020.

Grantee partners are selected based on several factors including alignment with our values and current focus areas, organizational track record, ability to learn and generate new ideas to inform the field, and the potential impact of the proposed project.

Please join our  distribution list! We will share updates on funding priorities, opportunities, what we’re learning, and more.

Please email [email protected].

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Thank you for your interest in the WES Mariam Assefa Fund. We’ll share updates on the Fund’s efforts, what we’re learning, and opportunities through our email list.