Climate, Workforce, and Equity
In 2022 and early 2023, Hyphen engaged a wide range of stakeholders, including major foundations, the Department of Transportation (DOT), other federal agencies, and civil society organizations to identify opportunities for philanthropic co-investment alongside the federal government’s historic levels of funding. Together, the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will deploy $3.8 trillion to American communities––offering a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make progress on climate, equity, and workforce advancement, particularly among populations and geographies that do not typically succeed in accessing federal funds. Hyphen developed a roadmap for philanthropic investment and convened stakeholders to discuss and strategize about catalytic funding opportunities.
Hyphen’s efforts planted seeds which are taking root: philanthropic leaders are taking steps to pool and align their resources to maximize the reach and impact of these historic federal investments. Having catalyzed philanthropic action, the Hyphen team has completed its work in this arena. We will continue to provide ad hoc strategic advice, and our primary focus is on strategic communications and narrative initiative to amplify public understanding of the value and impact of federal infrastructure investments.
To increase the vaccination rates in the U.S. South, Hyphen partnered with the Southeastern Council on Foundations (SECF) to engage its member foundations to support vaccination outreach and education, using a $1 million commitment from Made to Save to secure additional funding. As a result of our work, approximately a dozen funders in Arkansas and Tennessee allocated additional funding to increase vaccinations in communities hardest hit by Covid and/or that have low vaccination rates in their states.
Humanitarian Relief for Refugees
and Asylum Seekers
An unprecedentedly high number of children and families from Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa are seeking asylum at the southern U.S. border, creating urgent humanitarian needs. And in August 2021, the United States began the process of resettling the roughly 65,000 Afghans forced out of their home country and now making the United States their new home. Many of these Afghan allies and their families aided American diplomatic, military, or civic agencies as interpreters, translators, and other personnel—and are at high risk of persecution by the Taliban.
In response, Hyphen partnered with Welcome.US to establish the Welcome Fund to support and connect Afghans and others fleeing their homelands to welcoming communities across the United States. The Fund supports efforts that enable individuals from all walks of life to welcome those seeking refuge. It also funds innovative, systemic solutions that create a more sustainable and integrated infrastructure for welcoming newcomers in need of help.
Hyphen also supported the FWD.us Education Fund to organize the National Dignity for Families Fund to secure and direct philanthropic funding to support humanitarian efforts in border communities, destination states, and at the national level. The Fund addresses urgent humanitarian needs and supports systems change. FWD.us Education Fund is covering all staffing and operational expenses; 100% of all contributions go to support programs.
Similarly, Hyphen worked with the California Governor’s Office and the James Irvine Foundation to conceptualize and organize the California Dignity for Families Fund, which is managed and led by Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees and the Tides Foundation.