Imagining Stronger Latino Communities With Philanthropy

By Diana Campoamor, President of Hispanics in Philanthropy

Latinos make up more than 50 million people in the U.S. today, and we’re growing by more than one million a year. Just counting Latinos in the U.S., we are the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world and the 15th largest consumer economy. By 2025, we will no longer be in the minority: half of US workers will be of Latino descent, and Latinos will make up 95% of teen population growth through 2020—the biggest demographic shift in the US since the Baby Boom.

So, with all this growth in our community, what’s happening with the Latino nonprofit sector? A recent Foundation Center report commissioned by Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) shows that Latino nonprofits receive only 1 percent of foundation funding. As Ford Foundation President Luis Ubiñas explained, that’s just one penny for every dollar.

Can you imagine how the United States would change if Latinos were funded at a level commensurate with our talent, ideas, and opportunities?

That is exactly what HIP aims to do. If you haven’t heard of us, HIP is a network of more than 600 funders in the U.S. and Latin America who collaborate to increase philanthropic investments in Latino communities, to increase the participation of Latinos in philanthropy, and to foster policy change to enhance equity and inclusiveness. Headquartered in San Francisco, we have made grants in 18 sites in the U.S. and Latin America, helping to strengthen more than 550 Latino nonprofits. We work on the issues that most impact Latinos: from aging to education to LGBT movement building. Since 1983, HIP has raised more than $40 million to invest in Latino communities.

But we have a long way to go.

Despite Latinos’ demographic growth, we are vastly underserved by the nonprofit sector, with only 1 organization for every 4,800 Latinos, compared to 1 organization for every 200 Americans in the overall nonprofit sector. As you bring in the New Year, I encourage you to invest in your community and to help us create a more equitable reality. Join over 53 percent of Latino households who give to charitable organizations and, in this season of giving, BE HIP. GIVE.

I hope you’ll join us in building the strong families and communities that we Latinos deserve.

As the president of Hispanics in Philanthropy for the last twenty years, Diana Campoamor’s vision has been to connect grassroots organizations with philanthropy and to foster the next generation of Latino leaders. Under her leadership, HIP has invested over $30 million in small Latino nonprofits and leaders in the U.S. and Latin America. Campoamor has served as a trustee of the Council on Foundations, Independent Sector, the Inter University Project for Latino Research, BRAVA for Women in the Arts and Horizons Foundation. She is currently on the Board of International Planned Parenthood for Latin America. Find out more about Hispanics in Philanthropy at HIPOnline.org.

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