Migration Exchange

Informing public debate on migration and supporting welcoming communities

Migration Exchange is an informal network of independent funders. We aim to improve the lives of people who migrate, and receiving communities in the UK, by informing public debate on migration and supporting welcoming communities. We do this through commissioning research to inform funders and key partners to act on shared concerns; supporting coordination and building capacity in the sector, and aligning grants to enable activity to take place at scale or increase the potential for success.


  • Improve understanding of public attitudes on migration and how they relate to politics, policy and communities.
  • Use this knowledge, locally and nationally, to improve accuracy and depth of conversations about migration, integration and identity.
  • Develop strong networks that forge alliances and build public support for welcoming and thriving communities for all.
  • Promote an immigration system that treats people fairly and with dignity and respect; and which has public confidence and consent.

Migration Exchange is not a grant making programme. Decisions on funding applications are made by individual foundations. Grant seekers should approach foundations separately and consult the funding criteria and guidelines for each foundation. Migration Exchange holds a small commissioning and grant making budget to support activities in line with the strategy agreed by funders. Recent examples include a grant to support coalition activities for the Lift the Ban campaign by Asylum Matters.

Migration Exchange 2018/19 Annual Review and Strategic Priorities to 2021 An overview of Migration Exchange’s work.

Recent Highlights


  • Developing a COVID-19 response programme, Respond and Adapt, distributing over £2.4m to 130 organisations across the UK
  • Co-designing training & support on anti-racism, collective care & better data on sector trends & sources of support.
  • Co-developing a Leadership for Social Change programme tailored to emerging and established migration sector leaders, with a focus on lived experience, delivered by Clore Social Leadership and the Centre for Knowledge Equity.
  • Publishing Taking Stock, a report on the infrastructure & resources of UK migration charities & funders highlighting leadership, collaboration & influencing as key focus areas. The report has informed the work and priorities for organisations and funders in the sector.
  • Shifting funder practice through co-designed programmes with people with lived experience & supporting funding to grassroots organisations (including £400,000 to Afghan-led refugee community organisations in 2021)

Snapshot: Current Projects


  • From September 2022 to January 2023, MEX is undertaking a strategy review. This is being carried out through facilitated dialogue sessions with key partners in the sector. By examining the current external environment and future scenarios through different perspectives, we will reflect on what this means for Migration Exchange and align our work around key priorities and our values.
  • In September 2022 we commissioned research on the infrastructure and resources of the UK refugee and migration sector and independent funding landscape, as a follow-up to our 2020 report Taking Stock and Facing the Future. The research will comprise of quantitative surveys followed by interactive workshops to gather insights on our research findings from people working in the sector and funders.
  • In early 2023, we will be publishing a report scoping the current landscape of leadership development in the UK migration and refugee sector.
  • Throughout 2022, we have hosted a ‘Welcome & Safety’ series of briefings and dialogues with independent funders, inviting them to hear from people working in the migration and refugee sector on approaches to promoting welcoming communities. Sessions in this series have included speakers talking about the politics of welcome and public perception, community organising, campaigning to fight the hostile environment and resourcing welcome.


With thanks to Barrow Cadbury Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Migration Foundation, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Sigrid Rausing Trust, Trust for London, Unbound Philanthropy for their support to Migration Exchange.


Learn more

Would you like to stay up-to-date on our current activities and get involved in future events or projects? Join our mailing list

 If you would like more information or to connect, please contact us on mex@global-dialogue.org