A report from the Castellano Family Foundation calls on Silicon Valley philanthropies to step up their investments in and engagement with Latinx communities and the nonprofits that serve them.
The report, Blueprint for Change: A Call to Action for Silicon Valley Philanthropy to Engage and Support Latinx Organizations, Communities and Leaders for the Common Good (32 pages, PDF), notes that the Latinx community represents a quarter of the region's population and is growing and that its labor force participation, small business development, and consumer purchasing power are significant contributors to the region's prosperity. Yet Latinx nonprofits receive only about 1 percent of total philanthropic funding nationwide, while community-based organizations, which account for 84 percent of local nonprofits, receive only 26 percent of total funding targeting the region, with the bulk going to universities and hospitals.
Based on two years of research, peer-to-peer funder consultations, grantee listening sessions, and convenings with sixty-five local Latinx-led and -focused nonprofits, the report found that local nonprofit leaders find it difficult to identify potential funders because they are not part of the same networks or social circles and feel they lack the capacity to meet data and measurement requirements, with Latinx organizations in particular feeling overburdened by the growing demand for their services, undervalued by funders, and largely invisible and irrelevant to "new wealth" donors.
To address the widening gap between available philanthropic capital and the needs of local nonprofits — a gap that disproportionately disadvantages Latinx organizations and their leaders — the report outlines a roadmap for boosting investment in and capacity-building support for Latinx leaders and nonprofits in four key areas: fundraising, organizational capacity, leadership development and human resources, and innovation and impact. Recommendations for funders include helping potential grantees access fundraising, marketing, design, and communication experts; listening more intentionally to better understand grantees' issues, approaches, challenges, and measures of success; providing more general operating support and adopting funding models that better support grantees' infrastructure needs; creating physical resource hubs where nonprofits can meet, share lessons learned, and collaborate; helping nonprofits offer better pay and benefits as well as professional development opportunities; and offering planning grants or training to help nonprofits innovate and scale their work.
The report also calls on philanthropic leaders in the region to engage with Latinx communities on communities' terms and to pursue strategic opportunities focused on driving substantive change.
"Building on our unique community engagement process with regional Latinx organizations, the Castellano Family Foundation is pleased to uplift the voices of grassroots Latinx leaders, nonprofits, and allies to present a bold vision for change in Silicon Valley," said Castellano Family Foundation president Carmela Castellano-Garcia. "Our Latinx communities are rich in talent, ideas, potential, and resilience, and with greater investment and real inclusion, we can collectively build a stronger, more equitable Silicon Valley for current and future generations."
(Photo credit: Castellano Family Foundation)