PROJECT CITIZENSHIP INC

Delivering the Promise of America

Boston, MA   |  www.projectcitizenship.org

Mission

Project Citizenship is a nonprofit agency that provides free, high quality services to legal permanent residents to help them become U.S citizens. Project Citizenship offers free workshops, eligibility screening, application assistance, legal referrals and all materials needed to apply for U.S. citizenship. In addition, Project Citizenship works collaboratively with community-based partners across New England to provide a range of support services, civics instruction, application assistance, and ESOL classes.

Ruling year info

2015

Executive Director

Mitra K. Shavarini

Main address

4 Faneuil S Mkt Bldg 3rd Floor

Boston, MA 02109 USA

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Formerly known as

Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative

EIN

37-1769643

NTEE code info

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

Nonprofit Management (S50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Only 10% of eligible immigrants apply for citizenship each year. Project Citizenship works to eliminate barriers and obstacles on the path to citizenship. All of our services are free. Project Citizenship assists permanent residents to achieve citizenship with free, high quality services. Initially, we address client concerns and fears, provide information, schedule clients to attend a citizenship workshop with a list of documents needed. We are New England’s citizenship expert. Project Citizenship’s pro bono partnerships with several law firms and law schools allow us to staff our citizenship workshops with pver 1,000 highly skilled and trained attorneys to break down the legalese of the 20-page citizenship application. Project Citizenship staff provide oversight and supervision during workshops. As attorney of record, we intervene during the citizenship process as needed and correct any legal missteps the client may take.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Citizenship Application Assistance

Project Citizenship offers free assistance to eligible immigrants interested in becoming U.S. citizens.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants
Multiracial people
Economically disadvantaged people
People with disabilities
Seniors

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Social Innovation Forum Innovator 2017

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Immigrants, Economically disadvantaged people, People with disabilities, Seniors, Multiracial people

Related Program

Citizenship Application Assistance

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These are the number of clients who apply for citizenship each year. We have a 95% success rate in achieving citizenship for clients.

Amount of client money saved by fee waivers.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2017, approximately 24% of the volunteers returned to volunteer more than once. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic prevented in-person meetings

Number of new clients within the past 12 months

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Immigrants, Economically disadvantaged people, People with disabilities, Seniors, Multiracial people

Related Program

Citizenship Application Assistance

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2020 Covid-19 pandemic limited in-person service meetings

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Project Citizenship seeks to reduce the barriers faced by low-income legal permanent residents who want to become U.S. citizenship. By gaining citizenship, immigrants gain access to high paying employment, safety and security and the right to participate in the democratic process.

48% of clients require further assistance during the pendency of the application. When clients become citizens, we are immediately available to help their minor children obtain certificates of citizenship. After achieving citizenship, the client gains the benefits and refers countless more immigrants to begin the process; 25% of clients are referred by a former client. We offer our services free of charge. 75% of Project Citizenship clients are eligible to waive the $725 application. Cost is eliminated as a barrier. For clients with medical impairments that prevent them from learning English or civics, we act as an advocate with their medical provider to exempt them from the requirement and send legal representation to their naturalization interview to ensure fair treatment by USCIS. We have an 85% success rate with disability waivers, far above the national average of about 56%. We train medical providers and become a source of information and guidance for providers in the region. By hosting large scale citizenship workshops greater Boston, we take our services to the immigrant communities that need them. We partner with elected officials, other community organizations and local businesses to provide high-quality and free legal services.

95% of our clients achieve citizenship. The most common reason for denials is insufficient fluency with English. Project Citizenship is careful to advise clients applying for citizenship who must pay the full $725 fee if their English is inadequate.

Project Citizenship has refined its group processing workshop model. Applicants who have signed up to attend the workshop will sit down with a Project Citizenship staff member or a volunteer attorney to fill out the citizenship application. After the entire application has been finished, the application will be checked over by an attorney or senior staff member to ensure that no errors have been made. Project Citizenship staff also help applicants identify if they are eligible for an application fee waiver, and assisting in completing those forms. Finally, the applicant will receive a copy of their filled out application for their personal records, along with information regarding the next steps of the application process.

We partner with community organizations that make referrals and to whom we refer clients for ESOL and civics classes. Many community organizations are no longer able to accept disability waiver cases and are referring these and more complex cases to Project Citizenship.
We offer citizenship workshops in three different venues: at our Citizenship Center in Quincy Market, at law firms with which we have pro bono partnerships, and in the communities that we serve including Framingham, Quincy, Lowell, Lawrence, Attleboro, Chelsea, and beyond.

Project Citizenship has many core partnerships that allow it to provide services on such a grand scale. An initial staff of three that has now grown to five permanent staff members have served more than 4,600 immigrants since 2014. Our pro bono relationships with law firms provide venues for our workshops, needed volunteers who can be trained to serve clients, as well as financial support for our work. Similarly, pro bono relationships with the area law schools, notably, BC, BU, Harvard and Northeastern, provide volunteers, legal interns and a source of AmeriCorps attorneys.

AmeriCorps is the backbone of our staffing model. Three to four New American Integration Program AmeriCorps volunteers staff the intake telephone line, oversee our immigrant outreach, social media, and support the staff efforts with data entry and analysis. The AmeriCorps Legal Advocates – Massachusetts program provides a recent law graduate who gives one year of service to serve immigrants seeking citizenship.

We receive referrals from other legal services providers, from City Halls, immigration clinics and community leaders.

Project Citizenship's guiding principals are:

Inclusion: We welcome immigrants in the community and encourage them to become citizens as soon as they are eligible.

Democracy: We promote civic engagement among immigrants, to make new citizens active participants in their communities and country.

Opportunity: We promote the value of citizenship. Citizenship provides opportunities for increased access to benefits, jobs, and advancement for immigrants, their children, families and future generations to come.

Community: We inspire and assist immigrants to gain the benefits of citizenship to strengthen community ties.

Collaboration: We engage community-based organizations, partners and pro bono legal services to make Project Citizenship a community-driven, cost-effective model that is able to serve a vast number of immigrants across New England.

Project Citizenship has continued to see growth in demand for its services, and has been able to meet that demand. Since 2014, Project Citizenship has enabled more than 8,300 immigrants to apply for citizenship.

The political climate has, at different times, increased demand for services and has acted as a deterrent. The 2020 presidential campaign has increased the number of calls Project Citizenship received and the requests for information and services. COVID and its aftermath has constrained staff ability to respond.

USCIS practices also constrain our organization’s work. After litigation against USCIS, an injunction has been obtained to prevent the elimination of fee waivers and has prevented the increase of the filing fee from $725 to $1170.

Financials

PROJECT CITIZENSHIP INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

PROJECT CITIZENSHIP INC

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Brenda Diana

Ropes & Gray


Board co-chair

Sameer Ahmed

Harvard Law School

Term: 2019 - 2023

Alicia Rubio

Goodwin

Sameer Ahmed

Harvard Law School

Ed Boyajian

EBD

Brenda Diana

Ropes and Gray

James McGarry

Goodwin

Deva Hirsch

DH Advisors

Teresa Maynard

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Natalia Ivanytsky

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Mitch Montgomery

Chin & Curtis, LLP

Ben Opara

Duziem Labs

Nancy Rousseau

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Detlev Suderow

Brandeis University

Milton Manousaridis

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Andy Liebman

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Jean Russell

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Peter Torrebiarte

MASS Design

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/20/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Middle Eastern
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data