Non-profit

Werner-Kohnstamm Family Giving Fund (WKF)

Website:

www.wkfamilyfund.org/

Type:

Immigrant Advocacy Organization

Founded:

2012

Trustees:

Edward Kissam and Jo Ann Intili

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The Werner-Kohnstamm Family Giving Fund (WKF) is a family philanthropy focused on left-of-center immigration policy. It is managed by trustees Edward Kissam and Jo Ann Intili. It is organized as a donor-advised charitable giving fund within Fidelity Charitable. 1

WKF funds activist and advocacy organizations in the Central Valley region of California that provide services to immigrants, including educational programs and support for civic actions. 2 WKF has declared its support for “comprehensive legalization for the millions of immigrants in our communities who still lack legal status.” 3

Background

The Werner-Kohnstamm Family Giving Fund (WKF) is a small donor-advised charitable giving fund within Fidelity Charitable, 4 a commercial provider of donor-advised funds through which WKF can give to charities over time and receive tax benefits. 5

WKF was initiated in 2012 by Jo Ann Intili and Edward Kissam. Its focus areas include providing learning programs for immigrants, encouraging immigrants to be involved in civic actions, and supporting federal policies that will integrate illegal immigrants into the United States. WKF provides grants, technical assistance, and strategic planning to grassroots organizations in the Central Valley region of California that support these focus areas. 6 7 WKF supports amnesty, advocating “comprehensive legalization for the millions of immigrants in our communities who still lack legal status.” 8

In 2018 WKF was awarded the Foundation of the Year by the California Governor’s Office. 9

The Stanford Social Innovation Review published an article in January 2021 encouraging philanthropy to address many left-of-center issues. It specifically calls out The Werner-Kohnstamm Family Fund for its efforts to support “youth leadership and civic education in underserved communities.” 10

Donations

Werner-Kohnstamm Family Giving Fund donates to three major areas related to immigrants. To support the Lifelong Learning for Immigrants area, WKF contributes to organizations that provide computer literacy training, work internships for young adults, and the development of social networks for immigrants. Organizations that WKF donates to include Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), Liberty Hill Foundation, and Proteus. 11

The Immigrant Rights, Inclusion, and Policy Reform area includes efforts to integrate illegal immigrants into the United States and to provide access to social, economic, and occupational opportunities. To support this area, WKF contributes to National Immigration Law Center, ACLU of Northern California, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), and Welcoming America. 12

The Civic Dialogue and Community Opportunities area supports local initiatives to provide immigrant youth and young adults with social networks, skills development, and civic engagement opportunities, including ongoing assistance to DACA applicants and recipients. To support this area, WKF donates to the Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative (CVIIC), Migration Policy Institute, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Liberty Hill Foundation, and Peace Development Fund. 13

WKF is a member of the Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative (CVIIC) 14 and funds its efforts to provide services to immigrants in the Central Valley of California, encourage them to organize, and advocate at the local, state, and federal levels to make it easier for migrants to come to the United States. Other funders of CVIIC include California Immigrant Policy Center, Rosenberg Foundation, and Tides Foundation. 15

WKF contributes to the Sierra Health Foundation to support the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund, a partner network supported through philanthropic contributions from left-of-center organizations such as W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the California Endowment, and New Venture Fund (NVF) to support immigrant rights. 16

WKF also donates to Immigrants Rising, an organization that supports undocumented immigrants and undocumented youth access to higher education. 17

Research Articles and Reports

The Werner-Kohnstamm Family Giving Fund website has posted several research papers on immigrant topics written by trustee Ed Kissam. From March 2020 to his latest article in August 2020, Kissam focused on strategies to support immigrant farmworkers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier papers include the risk of an inaccurate 2020 census due to the undercounting of immigrant households, which then deprives immigrants of “equitable representation and their fair share of census-driven program funding.” 18

In October 2022, Ethnic Media Services published an article written by Kissam entitled “New Report Details the Harmful Legacy of Trump’s Subversion of Public Health.” 19 It claims that the Trump administration’s use of Title 42 to block immigrants into the United States was an effort to politicize the COVID-19 pandemic and subvert the authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 20 Title 42 is a public health law that dates back to 1944 that allows the U.S. government to restrict migration to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. It was invoked by the Trump administration at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 21

Leadership

Jo Ann Intili is a co-trustee of Werner-Kohnstamm Family Giving Fund. She has a doctoral degree from Stanford University in the design and evaluation of social programs and a master’s degree in teaching adults English as a second language. She lives in California. Intili has worked in schools and universities as a consultant, primarily focused on adult education. 22 She is on the board of La Clinica, 23 which provides health services and advocates for “diverse and medically underserved populations” in California’s East Bay area. 24

Edward Kissam is a co-trustee of WKF. He graduated from Princeton University and attended Oxford University. Throughout his career in research and consulting, his focus has been on immigrants, including civic engagement, immigrant farmworkers, census undercut, COVID-19 strategies for farmworker communities, adult learning, and education. He has published several papers in these areas that are posted on the WKF website. 25

In the 2020 election cycle, Intili contributed to ActBlue (PAC), Democratic candidate Phil Arballo for Congress, Stop Republicans, a Progressive Turnout Project campaign, 26 and Democratic candidate McCready for Congress. 27

In 2022, Kissam contributed to several Democratic candidates including Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and California Democratic candidates Kermit Jones, Rudy Salas, and Will Rollins. 28

References

  1. “Past & Current Grants.” WKF Giving Fund. Accessed July 6, 2023. http://www.wkfamilyfund.org/grants-wkf.html
  2. 2018 Foundation of the Year Award – Governor’s Award from California’s Office of Volunteerism.” YouTube. April 23, 2018. Accessed July 6, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-pRI1RcH2U&t=36s
  3. “Immigrant Rights, Immigrant Inclusion & Policy Reform.” WKF Giving Fund. Accessed July 6, 2023. http://www.wkfamilyfund.org/immigration-reform-wkf.html
  4. “Past & Current Grants.” WKF Giving Fund. Accessed July 6, 2023. http://www.wkfamilyfund.org/grants-wkf.html
  5.  “How the Giving Account Works.” Fidelity Charitable. Accessed July 6, 2023. https://www.fidelitycharitable.org/
  6. “Vision & Strategy.” WKF Giving Fund. Accessed July 5, 2023. http://www.wkfamilyfund.org/vision-wkf.html
  7. “2018 Foundation of the Year Award – Governor’s Award from California’s Office of Volunteerism.” YouTube. April 23, 2018. Accessed July 6, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-pRI1RcH2U&t=36s
  8. “Immigrant Rights, Immigrant Inclusion & Policy Reform.” WKF Giving Fund. Accessed July 6, 2023. http://www.wkfamilyfund.org/immigration-reform-wkf.html
  9. “2018 Governors Award.” WKF News. Accessed July 6, 2023. http://www.wkfamilyfund.org/news-wkf.html
  10. Mohit Mookim, Rob Reich, Nadia Roumani, Ayushi Vig. “How Can Philanthropy Help Rehabilitate US Democracy?” Stanford Social Innovation Review. January 6, 2021. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://ssir.org/articles/entry/how_can_philanthropy_help_rehabilitate_us_democracy
  11. “Lifelong Learning For Immigrants.” WKF Giving Fund. Accessed July 6, 2023. http://www.wkfamilyfund.org/lifelong-learning-wkf.html
  12. “Immigrant Rights, Immigrant Inclusion & Policy Reform.” WKF Giving Fund. Accessed July 6, 2023. http://www.wkfamilyfund.org/immigration-reform-wkf.html
  13. “Civic Dialogue & Community Opportunities.” WKF Giving Fund. Accessed July 6, 2023. http://www.wkfamilyfund.org/civic-wkf.html
  14. “2022 CVIIC Regional Conference.” CVIIC. Accessed July 6, 2023. https://cviic.org/2022-cviic-regional-conference/
  15. CVIIC home page. Accessed July 6, 2023. https://cviic.org/
  16. Sierra Health Foundation Center for Health Program Management. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (Form 990 – Part III.) 2020.
  17. “Ed Kissam and Jo Ann Intili.” Immigrants Rising. Accessed July 6, 2023. https://immigrantsrising.org/story/ed-kissam-and-joann-intili/
  18. “Discussion Papers.” WKF Giving Fund. Accessed July 6, 2023. http://www.wkfamilyfund.org/discussion-wkf.html
  19. Edward Kissam. “New Report Details the Harmful Legacy of Trump’s Subversion of Public Health.” Ethnic Media Services. October 20, 2022. Accessed July 7, 2023. https://ethnicmediaservices.org/oped/new-report-details-the-harmful-legacy-of-trumps-subversion-of-public-health/
  20. Edward Kissam. “New Report Details the Harmful Legacy of Trump’s Subversion of Public Health.” Ethnic Media Services. October 20, 2022. Accessed July 7, 2023. https://ethnicmediaservices.org/oped/new-report-details-the-harmful-legacy-of-trumps-subversion-of-public-health/
  21. Deepa Shivaram. “What to know about Title 42, the Trump-era policy now central to the border debate.” NPR. April 24, 2022. Accessed July 7, 2023. https://www.npr.org/2022/04/24/1094070784/title-42-policy-meaning
  22. “About Jo Ann & Ed.” WKF Giving Fund. Accessed July 6, 2023.  http://www.wkfamilyfund.org/about-je.html
  23. “Board of Directors.” La Clinica – About. Accessed July 6, 2023. https://laclinica.org/about/board-of-directors/
  24. “Our History.” La Clinica – About. Accessed July 6, 2023. https://laclinica.org/about/history/
  25. LinkedIn – Edward Kissam. Accessed July 6, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/edward-kissam-ba69009/
  26. Stop Republicans website. Accessed July 6, 2023. https://stoprepublicans.com/
  27. “Jo Ann Intili.” Federal Election Commission – Individual contributions. Accessed July 6, 2023. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=jo+ann+intili
  28. “Edward Kissam.” Federal Election Commission – Individual contributions. Accessed July 6, 2023. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=ed+kissam
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