Why Do Donors Give?

Understanding why donors make gifts to nonprofits is always important to organizations like Immigrant Pathways Colorado. It turns out that there are many reasons, but a major one is belief in the nonprofit’s work and trust that it makes the best use of donors’ gifts.

For example, a donor who makes regular gifts to IPC has sent this statement to us:

I found Immigrant Pathways on ColoradoGives.org as I was looking for nonprofits to support. Given what’s unfolding in the world around us, and the negative perception of immigrants that is held by some, I felt it was important to support an organization that not only embraces immigrants but really helps them in achieving a better life than they had in the country they emigrated from.

We are a country of immigrants, and I feel immigrants should be embraced and offered support while they find their footing in this new country that they now call home.

By seeking resources from Immigrant Pathways, these individuals are demonstrating their desire to better their lives and be contributing members of society. Instead of turning our backs on them, I think their determination and desire should be celebrated and supported.

Another woman believes in IPC’s work and honors her mother with her donations. She told us:

When I heard about Immigrant Pathways, I immediately understood the value of an organization that is attempting to address the many needs of the immigrant community in this way. I want to support, in a concrete and helpful way, immigrants who face many barriers to achieving their goals. I am thankful that Immigrant Pathways provides me with this opportunity.

I make this donation in honor of my mother, who spent her life finding ways to support communities that had been marginalized. Thank you for all the good work that you do.

If you would like to share the reason(s) you support Immigrant Pathways Colorado, please contact us at info@immigrantpathways.org.

Immigrant Pathways Colorado Passes $100,000 Landmark in Grant-Giving

Immigrant Pathways Colorado (IPC) has given more than $100,000 in self-development grants to low-income, documented immigrants in Colorado, and in scholarships for immigrant students at Arapahoe Community College.

Susan Thornton, Founder and Chair of the nonprofit and former Littleton Mayor, made the announcement of the grant-giving landmark at a meeting of IPC’s Board on Dec. 17.

Thornton emphasized that the ability to give so many grants was remarkable, since the nonprofit is completely community-supported, receives no state or federal funding and has no staff, only a hard-working Board of Directors. She expressed gratitude for the community’s support of IPC and of New Americans.

Since it began grantmaking in 2010, IPC has made grants and scholarships to immigrants from 37 countries, Thornton said. In 2021 alone, IPC made grants and scholarships available to people from Afghanistan, China, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Senegal, South Korea, Tanzania, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Grants have been for such things as learning English, applying for citizenship, studying to become a doctor, nurse, dentist, dental technician, pharmacy assistant, accountant or engineer, earning a commercial driver’s license, learning auto repair, purchasing tools for work, and much more.

The grants are intended to help immigrants, refugees and asylees build a better future for their families and to help them become more integrated into the community, Thornton said, adding that the nonprofit is preparing to provide grants to Afghan refugees expected in Colorado in 2022.

People wishing to support IPC’s work can make a tax-deductible donation online at www.ImmigrantPathways.org, can donate at www.ColoradoGives.org, or can send a check to IPC at PO Box 401, Littleton, CO 80160.


Anda Gansca is an immigrant from Romania, who came to the U.S. 14 years ago to attend Standford University. Since then, she has co-founded a tech company – Knotch — built a team of more than 100 people and created a category of software and products that did not exist before the company invented it.

She says it hasn’t been a cakewalk. Simply getting a visa required a lot of time, multiple people vouching for her in front of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and financial assistance from early supporters who believed in our concept despite the risk of losing their investment..

She has faced similar hurdles in hiring other immigrants to build the company. A visa transfer can take anywhere from 30 to 45 days. A new visa can take two to three months. Legal fees can range anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000.

Despite these hurdles, immigrants comprise more than 20 percent of her company’s workforce. She says they are an indispensable asset to the company — and to other employers — for several reasons.

Immigrants are risk takers.  Ms. Gansca says that every immigrant she knows has made an immense leap of faith by leaving their home country, their families and everything they know to come to the U.S. Leaping out of ones comfort zone to see what else is out there creates a strong-willed and determined person.

Immigrants have diverse perspectives. Varied voices and backgrounds challenge the status quo, which leads to the development of innovative technologies.

Immigrants are change agents. Immigrants not only can handle change but also embrace and thrive in it.

Immigrants can see new possibilities. Immigrants have the ability to view the American market as both outsiders and insiders.

Immigrants have a strong work ethic. Just as immigrants were motivated to leave their countries to explore opportunities in the U.S., they are motivated to take full advantage of those opportunities by pouring their energies into their work.

Ms. Gansca highlighted some of these benefits last fall in a campaign called “Opportunity Makers,” a series of interviews and podcasts profiling 15 immigrant executives. It debunked the narrative that immigrants take opportunities away from Americans. More often than not, it found, the immigrant community actually creates opportunities, with their diverse voices and perspectives.

Credit: The Expert, April 30, 2021

Assistance for International Professionals

Did you know that more than two million immigrants and refugees with a college degree or higher are unemployed or underemployed?

That is why Immigrant Pathways Colorado’s valuable partner, Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning, is joining IMPRINT, a national coalition working to advance policies that promote career pathways for immigrants and refugees with international credentials.

The partnership complements Spring Institute’s Colorado Welcome Back Program for international medical graduates.

Read about Rohullah’s journey to become an RN in this country at www.immigrantpathways.org.

Immigrants: Essential Health Care Workers

A study by the New American Economy shows that across the U.S., 16.5% of all health care providers are immigrants!

  • Physicians: 28.7% immigrants
  • Surgeons: 19.7% immigrants
  • Registered Nurses: 15.7% immigrants
  • Psychiatrists: 32% immigrants
  • Lab Technicians: 19.6% immigrants
  • Respiratory Therapists: 13.6% immigrants
  • Home Health Aides: 36.5% are immigrants.

Many other immigrants work in housekeeping at hospitals and elsewhere, helping to keep the virus at bay; they are also considered “essential workers.”

Even before COVID-19, there was a severe shortage of health care providers in the U.S.  Here’s a cheer for the immigrants who are risking their own safety to keep us safe!

Key Lessons in Strategic Giving

Adapted from the work of philanthropic strategist Bruce DeBoskey, JD

Go deep, not wide

DeBoskey says that too many donors adopt the “peanut butter” approach to giving – spreading charity thinly across a variety of causes and nonprofits. He believes that donors benefit when they focus deeply on a few carefully selected causes.

Support smaller nonprofits

Many large nonprofits do great work, DeBoskey says, but they are often already well-funded and deeply endowed. Gifts to smaller “grass roots” organizations, in contrast, can make a big difference.

Start now and give boldly

DeBoskey says there is no better time to give than right now. Many people wait until their later years to start giving. In the meantime, philanthropy could have been playing a meaningful role in your life.

Give to repair the world

Philanthropy is a “powerful tool to repair the world,” while also helping donors find more purpose in their lives, DeBoskey says. Philanthropy is “inherently optimistic,” he notes, reflecting the “deeply held belief that we can have a positive impact on stubborn society issues and the lives of others.”

Through giving to nonprofits, you can make a difference, promote change and improve your community.

To learn more, go to www.visitdeboskeygroup.com.

Immigrants Filling Long-Term Care Jobs

A new study published in Health Affairs finds that immigrants make up nearly 1 in 4 workers in the long-term care sector, and over 25 percent of direct care workers (Yusra Murad, writing in Morning Consult). “Millions of Americans rely on direct care workers, such as nurse aides, home health aides and personal and home care aides, for daily assistance. There was a demand for roughly 2.3 million workers in 2015, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, and as the population ages, that is expected to inflate to 3.4 million by 2030.

Undocumented Students Are Newly Eligible For Financial Aid In Colorado

According to CPR News (May 14, 2019), undocumented college students in Colorado will soon be able to access state financial aid.

Governor Jared Polis has sign a bill into law that allows undocumented students to apply for the $160 million dollars Colorado gives out in financial aid every year.

Until now, undocumented students in Colorado could get College Opportunity Fund dollars and help from their higher education institutions, but state aid has been unavailable to them.

There are some caveats: Students must have attended a Colorado high school for three years before graduating, they must be admitted to a participating college within 12 months of graduating and they must sign a document that says that are seeking or will seek legal status as soon as they’re eligible.

Americans Support for Legal Immigration Grows

The respected Pew Research Center released a report in June of 2018 showing the support for increasing the number of legal immigrants has risen among Americans. 

The study found that 32 percent of Americans feel that legal immigration should be increased, which is the highest percentage since at least 2001.

Conversely, 24 percent say legal immigration should be decreased, while almost 38 percent of Americans believe legal immigration should at least be kept at current levels.

32% of Americans feel that legal immigration should be increased