From Inside Philanthropy
“If we, as Latinos, are not at the table, we are going to be on the menu,” said John Padilla, co-founder of the Progreso Latino Fund (PLF) at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. He was speaking late last year at an event called “Una Conversación Entre Familia: Collective Giving and the Power of Latino Philanthropy,” hosted by the Latino Endowment Fund (LEF) at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
Along with representatives of the third main Latino giving circle in New England, the Latino Legacy Fund (LLF) at the Boston Foundation, these groups convened to discuss their work and aspirations in Latino-focused philanthropy. Senior Development Officer Wanda Correa, who provides support for the LEF and led the effort to convene this forum, tells us the event was also a recognition of the LEF’s 15th anniversary, or quinceañera. It was also the PLF’s 15th year in action and the LLF’s fifth.
Latino Giving Circles on the Rise
At nearly 18 percent of the population, Latino people are the largest minority in the U.S., and their population has grown sixfold since 1970. Yet a few years ago, the Boston Globe reported that only about one penny of every charitable foundation dollar nationwide goes to Latino groups. The good news is that Latino giving circles and similar collaborative funds are on the rise, mobilizing new philanthropic resources for these communities. This is part of a broader trend we’ve been covering at IP, in which donors of color are becoming more collaborative and coordinated. This sea change reflects growing wealth for these populations, their frustration with longstanding neglect by mainstream philanthropy, and their desire to be self-funded and self-powered problem solvers within their own communities. Giving circles—often housed at community foundations—are a powerful way to bring together emerging donors, and the meeting hosted by the Latino Endowment Fund is another indicator of growing momentum in this dynamic corner of philanthropy.
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