We knew this year was going to be different. And if you had told me that we’d be responsible for the largest DACA renewal fund in the nation, I would not have believed you. Our promise to “meet our clients where they are” was held to the test. When DACA was rescinded, we knew we had a job to do. And, just like our clients, we couldn’t let our fears stand in the way.
-José Quiñonez, CEO

2017, a difficult yet inspiring year

A groundswell of resistance

From Dreamers taking over the hill to Muslim ban protests and Women’s Marches, it was an incredible year for rising up. We take strength from the resilience of our communities and the bravery of our clients who share their stories with all of us.  

Binding us together

“In these times of orchestrated chaos designed to fracture the immigrant communities, I am pleased that we are becoming closer, stronger, there for each other.” Patrice Lawrence, UndocuBlack Network

A history of rising up

This year was a time for joining forces with fearless colleagues across all sectors. We know that if we work together and organize, if we feed ourselves with music, art and culture and remember a long history of rising up, we can hold onto the hope that we can find a way forward.

When the Trump administration said DACA was ending, we jumped into action.


    rapid response grants in a matter of days


    $1,000,000 in 3 days and $4,000,000 over 24 days  


    7,678 grants of $495 to dreamers across the nation

What we learned

This effort was the nation’s largest DACA renewal campaign - helping 7% of all nationwide DACA renewals.


A year for bravery among new and longtime friends

  • Energy Watch Loans

    We piloted this program across the Bay Area to help small business owners go “green”. With the Department of the Environment, we’re giving credit-building loans to mom and pop shops that need energy efficiency upgrades.

  • Undocumedia

    This DACA-led media organization was there in a heartbeat to help get the word out about the DACA grants. They came to our offices, and produced not one - but two - videos encouraging dreamers to apply.

  • nLIFT

    As a founding member, we joined forces with five other organizations to increase financial inclusion through technology-driven platforms. nLIFT nonprofits are driven by mission and impact over profits. Together, we’re leveraging technology to advance a fairer and more inclusive financial system.

  • Mexican Consulate

    We launched a new partnership with two Mexican Consulates to provide on-site financial resources, classes, and financial coaching. Our financial coaches are based at the consulates in San Francisco and San Jose and have served over 30,000 people in 2017 alone.

  • New Supporters

    659 new donors from 42 states and 8 countries said “yes” to help our community members start businesses, renew DACA, and save for college. Together, we’re building a world where everyone has the right financial products & services to thrive. We couldn’t do this without you!

  • Fred Ali

    When we launched the DACA campaign, we were ready to provide loans. Then Fred Ali called from the Weingart Foundation. He had this idea: do grants instead. He dedicated ½ million dollars (then got 5 good friends to do the same). Here’s to learning and growing with each other.

  • Hurricane Relief

    During Hurricane Irma, Catalyst Miami’s staff went out to pick up debris, and provide food and shelter. They worked with loan participants to extend payments for a month & get back on their feet. With their help, 56 loans have been provided to clients in Florida  - that’s $78,400.

  • Brunch Time

    The Resurrection Project dedicates a lot of time fostering social engagement and community. They invented Lending Circles Brunches where participants meet one another, exchange ideas and learn about ways to get involved. Read about one of our clients, Sonia.

  • Purple Rain

    Lending Circles champion and staff at Project for Pride in Living, Henry has enrolled 42 community members in Lending Circles so far. Some have even gone on to buy homes with his support. Read about Pilar, a new homeowner, who has a curious connection to the musician Prince.

  • Hacienda’s Mercado

    Hacienda’s Portland Mercado is a Latino marketplace and incubator. With small business advice, Lending Circles loans and commercial space, their tenants are thriving. Visit Amelia Vazquez, owner of the Oaxacan food cart Tierra del Sol when you’re in town.

  • Chasing Dreams

    MAOF offers multiple loan programs in Los Angeles, including Lending Circles and Citizenship loans. They have helped provide $115,000 in loans to over 200 people. That’s 57 new U.S. Citizens! Check out Nora’s story about refusing to let bankruptcy keep her from her dreams.

  • “Sensitive” Locations

    For nine days, El Centro de la Raza dedicated 25+ staff to assist immigrant families, creating emergency plans in the case of detention or deportation. Their office became known as a "sensitive location," so everyone would feel welcomed and safe.

    Fearless (S)Heroes

    • New

      One of our favorite doctors (and clients), New Latthivongskorn, was a plaintiff in the suit that challenged & shut down the #DACA repeal. It's with the bravery of Dreamers like New who refuse to remain silent that hundreds of thousands got a window of opportunity for protection.

    • Amzi

      A nursing student and DACA recipient who came to our office to pick up her check. When a reporter chased her to her car, she enthusiastically joined us for an on-the-spot interview. Read her story in Mother Jones.

    • Freddy

      With a small business loan, Freddy got a laptop which “was essential to my music producing/ engineering success.” An album he produced with Los Rakas was nominated for a Grammy! He doesn’t have to work at home anymore - he’s now at a studio and says, “I’m extremely proud and grateful.”

    • Claudia

      Claudia was living in Virginia for a year when she fainted and was rushed to the ER. When a $6,000 hospital bill proved difficult to pay, she built her credit history from 0 to 680 with NVFS’s Lending Circles program - saving her hundreds of dollars in interest & launching her bakery.

    • Mohan

      Our steadfast Programs Director poured his heart, soul (and sleep reserves) into DACA. Each morning, he organized meetings for all staff with a smile, made a corny joke, and went the extra mile for everyone who needed help. Also? He rescued a hurricane dog from Puerto Rico.

    • Alicia

      A hearty tamale-filled congratulations to Alicia who made the leap to 44 Whole Foods stores! A hard-working mom of 4, she has come a long way from going door-to-door selling 100 tamales/week with a $200 profit.  Her thriving business supports 20+ hardworking ladies and their families.

      Our impact since 2007

      • $8,153,620 in 0% interest loans provided to 9,109 people

      • $1,642,527 that low-income communities saved in interest and fees


      • 8,477 DACA work permits financed

      • 538 new U.S. citizens

      In 2017

      • $2,902,063  in 0% interest loans to 3,114 people

      • 2,000  hours of technical assistance to 40+ nonprofits

      • 36,000  people received financial education & coaching

      • 8%  growth in client enrollment

      • $2.5M in DACA fee assistance grants to 5,078 people


      A Fearless Circle of Support

      As a DACA recipient told us, a check is so much more than a check. So many new and returning fearless funders stepped up to the plate to fuel our work this year.

      Rising Up for Dreamers

      When your supporters contribute more for DACA renewals than your annual operating budget in one month, you know you’re on the right track. We pivoted, and so did our supporters. 

      The Circle of Supporters is Growing

      All nonprofits know “you must diversify to sustain” and we’ve taken that to heart. 2017 was a landmark year for engaging individual supporters - with an increase of 1078% over last year.

      Investing in Hope & Dreams

      In 2018, we have big plans to sustain our partner network while expanding our programming, with an emphasis on R&D and technology development. Here are key investments for 2018:

      And we will #BeFearless in 2018, too.

      We’re thrilled about upcoming projects to launch new immigration loan programs across the state of California - extending relief to people trying to secure green cards, TPS or become new citizens. We’ll also be launching a new design/tech/research hub - The MAF Lab - to help organizations like ours make research and tech development a priority in developing or improving programs. (It’s been part of our secret sauce for years and now we’re codifying it). Thank you so much for raging against the dying of the light - now and forever.

      With special thanks to our:

      Staff  |  Board |  Funders  |  Advisory Councils  |  Partners



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