Last week, the WES Mariam Assefa Fund co-hosted a webinar with the Tarsadia Foundation to provide an overview of its joint grantmaking initiative, the Opportunity Challenge: $1 Million to Uplift Immigrant Communities, and to answer questions from prospective applicants. 

A full recording of the event is available here. 

A few highlights that came up during the discussion 

  • We discussed the benefits that all applicants will receive by applying for the Opportunity Challengewhether or not their proposal is selected as one of the seven final awardees. All applicants will be invited to a virtual discussion at the conclusion of the Opportunity Challenge, where team members will share best practices and learnings from this experience. The Fund will also make available summaries of all applicants’ proposals to other funders and partners in our respective networks in the interest of fostering new connections that might help organizations advance their work. 
  • In mid-June, 21 semi-finalists will be identified and reviewed by our incredible selection committee. Semi-finalists will be invited to dedicated thematic webinars where they will have the opportunity to present their work to partners of the WES Mariam Assefa Fund and Tarsadia Foundation, as well as other funders.  They will also receive personalized feedback on their applications.
  • While this is a time of great uncertainty and pain for many mission-driven organizations, the Opportunity Challenge is not intended as a rapid response fund for COVID-19 relief Both funders are implementing separate actions to provide immediate support to immigrant and refugee communities impacted by this crisis.  We understand that impacts of the crisis and recovery needs must be incorporated or considered in your organization’s project plans, and we encourage these considerations in your application, but we are not directly funding emergency response efforts through the Opportunity Challenge. Grants will be made in September 2020.  

Thanks to all participants for asking so many interesting questions. The Opportunity Challenge FAQs are continuously updated on our web page here so please be sure to read through this resource. If your question is not addressed, please email us at [email protected] or sign up for office hours to discuss your proposal with members of the Opportunity Challenge team. 

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