"The Inter-American Foundation has been working for the last half century to promote community-led development in Latin America and the Caribbean, by providing support directly to community organizations. Over two decades ago, we realized that supporting local, community-driven philanthropy had to be an important part of our work to help communities thrive. Partnering with local philanthropic institutions helps us amplify our own impact, and builds the infrastructure for sustained local support for people who want to change the contexts of their lives and work.
Since then, we’ve had many opportunities to work with extraordinary social entrepreneurs who are building new models of community philanthropy. In Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Haiti, Colombia, Mexico, and elsewhere, IAF partners are thinking and acting outside the box to build new organizations. In Mexico, a vibrant national association of community foundations – Comunalia – is addressing complex issues of building stronger organizations, influencing attitudes toward giving, and changing a difficult legal and fiscal environment for philanthropy.
We’re very excited about the opportunity to join our Latin American partners in Johannesburg and learn more about the rapid evolution of thinking and action in other countries.
On a more personal note: I’ve been involved in this sector since 1979 – both as a donor and as a grantee partner, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to learn from a world of experience and experimentation. The sector is at a crossroads – an important point of inflection. The dual challenge before us is how to build strong, well-resourced institutions, and to ensure that these organizations are committed to effect community engagement in how they think and act. Glad to be a part of The Summit team."