A Current Assessment of the Community Foundation Latino Dynamic: Viewing Latinos and Consumers and Producers of Philanthropy

Saché Cantu, Emerging Leader, International Fellows Program ~ 2007



This paper seeks to explore the current dynamic vis a vis Latinos and community foundations. The United States is undergoing a substantial demographic shift that will make Latinos one quarter of the national population by mid-century. With increased numbers of U.S.-based Latinos, the potential for this community’s contribution to and consumption of philanthropic resources will be part of the national discussion that focuses on meeting social policy needs, as well as generating the resources that are required to respond. Community foundations, as a result of their dynamic and intermingled nature as grantmaker, fundraiser and convener, provide one philanthropic model that may be capable of addressing this growing segment of the population’s mounting potential as both philanthropists and service constituents.

The research seeks to answer the following questions: To what extent are U.S.-based Latinos socially and economically prepared to participate in organized philanthropy? What are community foundations currently doing to engage Latinos both as clients and potential donors?  By way of conclusion, the authoroffers recommendations to address the upcoming challenges that community foundations are likely to encounter as they think about the ways they will forward working with diverse populations and with Latinos in particular. These include:

  • Building boards that are reflective of community foundations’ regional diversity
  • Honoring the importance of relationship building and the role that this playsin influencing Latinos’ willingness to give
  • Clarifying the community foundations’ non-grantmaking roles
  • Considering the importance of promoting scholarship funds or academic achievement programs as bridge-builders to span differences in socio-economic scale and generational giving preferences.




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