Empowering undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DOES FUSE DEFINE A “SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR”?
We broadly define “social entrepreneurs” as people who are working to create positive social change -- in their own communities and in the larger American society.
We are looking for undocumented young people who have the passion, determination, and leadership skills necessary to execute on social change projects that are innovative, important, and impactful.
WHAT KINDS OF PROJECTS WILL FUSE SUPPORT?
We will consider proposals for projects that address a variety of needs, target diverse populations, and employ different strategies.
We are open to supporting either non-profit or for-profit initiatives -- or hybrid projects that include both non-profit and for-profit components.
We are open to supporting projects that serve and advocate for undocumented people. We are also open to supporting projects with broader potential impact, as we are certain that undocumented young people have ideas that could benefit society in countless ways: projects that strengthen families and build community; projects that advance educational achievement; and projects that broaden economic opportunities; and projects that improve public health or the environment;.
Most importantly, the projects must create positive social change and must be designed and led by undocumented young people.
Here are two projects that inspired us to start FUSE:
Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement was founded at the beginning of 2014 by UndocuQueer activist Jorge Gutierrez and other LGBTQ Latinx leaders. Familia: TQLM is the only national LGBTQ Latinx organization and works at the intersections of immigrant and LGBTQ rights, and racial justice. The organization envisions building a cultural, organizing, and political home for the LGBTQ Latinx community and their families across the country.
Pre-Health Dreamers was started in 2012 by three undocumented students—Angel Ku, Jirayut Latthivongskorn Denisse Rojas—who were blocked from pursuing health careers because of their immigration status. Pre-Health Dreamers now provides direct support, advocacy, and a peer network to over 700 members nationwide.
These are just a few sample projects. We want to hear about yours!
HOW DOES FUSE DEFINE "UNDOCUMENTED"? We define the term “undocumented” to broadly to include all immigrants who reside in the United States without legal status, including all of the following categories:
Immigrants who entered the country without inspection, entered presenting false documents or overstayed temporary visas and may now be considered “unlawfully present” in the United States.
Immigrants who have been granted temporary reprieve from deportation through the federal government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Immigrants who have been granted prosecutorial discretion through Deferred Action, Stay of Removal or various forms of temporary humanitarian relief but are unable to fully legalize their status.
CAN ONLY PEOPLE WITH DACA APPLY TO FUSE?
Definitely not! We believe that entrepreneurial talent is not limited to undocumented young people with DACA, and that undocumented young people who do not yet have work authorization can still lead entrepreneurial projects. Any undocumented* young person is eligible to apply for a grant through FUSE.
*See above for our definition of undocumented.
IS FUSE SEEKING PROPOSALS FROM A DIVERSE POOL OF APPLICANTS?
Yes! E4FC recognizes that the undocumented community is very diverse. We welcome and strongly encourage proposals that reflect and respond to that diversity. We are especially interested in proposals from project leaders from the African and Asian diasporas and from leaders who identify as LGBT, queer or transgender. We also strongly encourage proposals for projects that address the needs and concerns of diverse communities.
HOW DOES FUSE DEFINE "YOUNG PEOPLE"? IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT TO APPLY?
There is no age limit. If you think you're young (or young-at-heart), then you are eligible to apply!
I’M ALREADY LEADING A PROJECT THAT SUPPORTS UNDOCUMENTED YOUNG PEOPLE. CAN I APPLY FOR A GRANT FROM FUSE TO SUPPORT MY CURRENT WORK?
FUSE is looking for undocumented young people with great ideas who need funding and advice to develop those ideas and bring them to fruition. We expect that many applicants will propose projects that are still in the idea stage. However, we are willing to consider projects that have been operating for less than two years and have raised less than $50,000 in revenue to date.
HOW MUCH CAN I APPLY FOR?
We will consider requests for one-year grants of $5,000 to $50,000. By offering a wide range of grant amounts, we hope to support projects of varied reach, scope, duration, time-sensitivity, and sustainability.
HOW MUCH FUNDING WILL FUSE AWARD?
In our first round of funding, we will disburse $250,000 in awards to five projects. You can read about our 2016 FUSE Grantees here.
HOW LONG WILL FUSE GRANTS LAST? ARE THEY RENEWABLE?
Grants from FUSE will be for one year.
WHAT KINDS OF EXPENSES WILL FUSE COVER?
We are open to providing support for a wide variety of personal and programmatic expenses. For example, we will consider requests to support your income while you design or implement your project. We will also support operational costs, such as technology or equipment purchases, communications and dissemination expenses, or stipends for others involved in the project.
WILL GRANTEES RECEIVE ADDITIONAL SUPPORT BEYOND THE FUSE GRANT FUNDS?
Yes! We know that young social entrepreneurs need more than just financial support to successfully implement the projects they design. We are still formulating our plans, but we intend to partner with established leadership programs to offer support and guidance to grantees. We will also recruit volunteer advisors to provide industry or issue-specific support. Finally, we will look for promising practices employed by other established national fellowship programs.
ARE THERE OTHER FUNDING SOURCES FOR UNDOCUMENTED SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS?
If you live in California and are under age 28, you should apply for the Westly Prize for Young Innovators of California. They offer $20,000 prizes to young innovators in California with novel solutions to community problems. They are looking for leaders who are early in their journey and have not received major recognition or substantial outside investment, but have prototyped their innovation. Application deadline is 9/15.
Know of other funding sources? Email them to us so we can share!
I'D LIKE TO SUPPORT FUSE. HOW CAN I MAKE A DONATION?
Fantastic. We'd love for you to join us. You can make an online donation to E4FC here.
APPLICATION QUESTIONS I JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT FUSE. CAN I STILL APPLY? Unfortunately, no. Applications for our first round of funding were due on August 8, 2016. We expect to release applications for our next round of funding in mid-2017.
I’M WORKING IN A TEAM. CAN MORE THAN ONE OF US APPLY TO FUSE?
Yes. If you are working in a team, then your team can jointly apply for a single one-year grant ($5,000 to $50,000) for your project. In your application, you may submit information for up to three project leaders. Do not submit multiple applications for the same project.
I’M LEADING MORE THAN ONE ENTREPRENEURIAL PROJECT. CAN I SUBMIT MORE THAN ONE APPLICATION TO FUSE? If you are leading multiple projects, then you may submit more than one application. However, it is very unlikely that we will award multiple grants to one individual, so we encourage you to concentrate your efforts on a single project.