Advocating towards communities foundations

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Lee el artículo en inglés firmado por la Red Iberoamericana de Fundaciones Comunitarias publicado en la página de las Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmakers Support (WINGs). El texto revela las expectativas de la RIFC en relación a la conferencia organizada por WINGs y propone una reflexión sobre advocacy en el campo de la filantropía comunitaria.


Confira o artigo em inglês assinado pela Rede Iberoamericana de Fundações Comunitárias publicado pela na página da Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmakers Support (WINGs). O texto revela as expectativas da RIFC em relação à conferência organizada pela WINGs e propõe uma reflexão sobre advocacy no campo da filantropia comunitária.  


Advocating towards communities foundations: IANCF at WINGS’ Driving Philanthropy for the Future

The Ibero-American Network of Community Foundations and its members are excited to participate at WINGS Driving Philanthropy for the Future that will take place in Kingston, Jamaica, from April 23rd to 26th.

Communities need to be strong, considering the complex challenges we face nowadays, such as the loss of rights, social inequalities, social justice issues, and environmental degradation. Luckily we have groups around the world that, by getting organized in community philanthropy organizations, they catalyze local impact, seeking structural social transformation through working as conveners, creating opportunities for collaboration, getting knowledge about their local context and extensive network. They also have the capacity to strengthen civil society in their territories by motivating people to help each other. We are a network of such groups that got together in 2013 to strengthen the work of community foundations around the Ibero-American region and to promote, with partners and other infrastructure organizations, an environment that enables community philanthropy organizations to flourish.

Our network of community foundations operates in both Spanish and Portuguese and connects Latin America and the Iberian region. We were established six years ago with the mission of promoting the development of local communities by strengthening community philanthropy organizations in the region and advocating towards a vibrant field for such organizations. Our 25 members come from seven different countries: Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Spain, and Portugal. Together, these local community philanthropy organizations have invested an average of approximately US$30 million per year in the region in the last six years.

For historical and cultural reasons, our communities from both LAC and Ibero regions share some similarities such as a common language (Spanish and Portuguese) and concerns for local issues. Our members have a strong leadership role and flexibility to address different types of issues in a quick manner, due to their high local responsiveness. An example, research conducted among IANCF members in 2017, 88% of the Portuguese and Spanish community foundations within the network worked in projects or grantmaking activities to support youth, either directly or through other CBOs in their communities. The same is true with the majority of the Latin American CFs (92%). The main area of investment of the foundations in both regions was community development.

Shared learning experiences

IANCF has promoted in 2017 two exchanges amongst its members. One meeting took place between two Spanish Community Foundations, Fundació Oreneta del Vallès, from Barcelona, to Fundación Maimona, from Badajoz, and other was from Costa Rica to Mexico, with Fondo Comunitario Monteverde visiting Fundación Oaxaca. These face to face encounters, that lasted four days each, consisted of strategy meetings with high-level representatives from each organization and in-depth field visits. After both visits, the four organizations will adapt and replicate at least one initiative from its visited peer. To learn more about this experience, read the complete report.

Why are we attending the Driving Philanthropy for the Future?

Over the years, members of the Network have met in Mexico, Spain, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Uruguay to share experiences and to develop strategies that strengthens the work of community foundations. These regional and international events were important worldwide arenas that allowed opportunities to discuss and contribute to the future of philanthropy and grantmaking.

We believe that the field of community philanthropy needs new approaches and narratives in order to play a bigger, better role in making the social changes our communities require in a complex world. As a WINGS member, we see that gatherings such as the WINGS’ Driving Philanthropy for the Future in Kingston is a great chance to deepen the discussion on how we can do this together. “How can we attract more people as a mean to increase community participation?”, “How can we share what we do in a way that invites more people to participate in community processes?”, “Should our organization map local actions with global SDG goals? How to do it? These are some of the questions that are our members face in their local regions.

We are excited to share our experiences and learn from other practitioners and networks to be able to answer some of these questions and give visibility to the issues that are relevant to us. Furthermore, we are looking forward to the connections and network that allow us to amplify our impact by giving visibility to the work of community philanthropy organizations in the Ibero-American region.

Click to read the complete article: Advocating Towards Communities Foundations

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