Latinas in Bay Area are Trying to Grow a Culture of Philanthropy
An inspiring story has come out of the Bay Area in which a group of woman has come together to help Latinas and develop a culture of philanthropy. Over a dozen Latina professionals in San Francisco, with a similar motivation to give back to their community, each donate over $1,000 a year to a giving circle. The group was organized by the Latino Community Foundation, which seeks to increase investments in Latino led nonprofits. Compared with other types of philanthropy, the giving circle is a more democratic, fun and direct type of giving. Ana Díaz Hernandez, a 28 year old donor who grew up in Georgia, states,
The term philanthropist is really loaded and a lot of people associate it with really high amounts of wealth. What makes this model more compelling is that it feels much closer to the ground, and the organizations we support here are often deemed as too small by other donors and foundations.
This group’s collective donations go to local Latino-led nonprofits supporting girls and women of color. They meet once a year to listen to funding pitches directly from nonprofits, and then vote how much to invest in them. An analysis of 1,000 foundations by Foundation Center, a research nonprofit, estimates that out of $24 billion in U.S.-based grants, only 1.2 percent was identified as serving Latinos in 2014. According to a recent report financed in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the number of giving circles and other forms of collective giving nearly tripled nationwide in the last decade, with grants totaling up to $1.3 billion. These giving circles are a great way to give funds to local organizations that might have otherwise been overlooked by large foundations and this giving circle in the Bay Area seems to be doing great work for Latinas.