Latinos Come From a Culture of Giving
Hispanics in Philanthropy, in partnership with Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, recently released a study shedding light on current giving trends within the Latino community in the United States. The discussion around Latino purchasing power and economic impact has gained prominence since the Latino population in the U.S. represents the country's youngest demographic. As organizations and institutions seek Latino donors, it is essential to consider the rich cultural traditions surrounding giving within the Latino community.
In Latino culture, giving isn't merely an act of philanthropy driven by tax deductions; it is a sense of responsibility. Giving is deeply ingrained in Latino culture as a means of caring for friends, family, and the community. It comes from the soul, it is an act of love and kindness, something meant to enrich not only the lives of others but the sense of self. To fully grasp the potential of Latino philanthropy, it is crucial to differentiate between two types of giving: formal and informal. Formal giving pertains to tax-deductible donations that can be officially tracked by the government, while informal giving occurs within personal networks, such as exchanges between friends and family.
Given that a significant portion of Latino philanthropy takes the form of informal giving, the Latino community often feels overlooked within the philanthropic landscape. This, coupled with anti-Latino sentiments, has, in some cases, diminished the community's willingness to contribute to institutionalized philanthropy.
To ease the tension, organizations should examine the existing systems they expect communities of color to adhere to. It's essential to evaluate whether these existing practices encourage cultural expression and whether the organization's initiatives align with the ethical values of the community they are seeking donations from. Establishing a safe and culturally empathetic environment can strengthen the support of dedicated and loyal donors who wish to witness the tangible impact of their contributions within their communities. Meeting Latino donors on their own terms paves the way for Latino leadership within philanthropic organizations and fosters a legacy of intergenerational generosity.