Crowdfunding: A tool for change in Latino Philanthropy

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 4.01.22 PMThirty years ago, a group of Latinos working in various philanthropic organizations became increasingly aware of the lack of diversity within the sector. Latinos were neither well represented in the donor base nor were projects and programs within the Latino community receiving any significant portion of grants.

In order to support both Latino philanthropy and Latino projects, Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) was founded.  For over thirty years, HIP has worked successfully as an advocate for increasing diversity within the philanthropy sector, with most specific focus on helping philanthropic foundations to consider Latino concerns within their grant-making agendas.

In addition to its advocacy work, HIP also took the initiative to make its own investments, its own grantmaking vehicle —as a way to be more proactive in meeting the needs and lacks and gaps in funding they had witnessed in the first sixteen years of HIP’s existence.

Now, fourteen years after launching its collaborative grantmaking vehicle,, HIP has branched into crowdfunding with HIPGive. As Alexandra Aquino-Fike—HIP Director of New Initiatives—and Valerie Maulbeck—Grants Manager and Communications Specialist—explained “crowdfunding is a really powerful way to take ownership of the narrative of Latino generosity and that Latinos are “givers” not takers,” and show the world that Latinos are philanthropists.” Having spent half the organization’s existence with a strong focus on the needs of the Latino community, the crowdfunding vehicle of HIPGive.org provides a powerful and innovative way to highlight the fact that Latinos are givers.

Maulbeck continued “crowdfunding works really well with younger demographics, and allows us to mobilize the young Latino giving community. It’s a vehicle that may transform giving.”

Aquino-Fike adds that, through crowdfunding, “we’re better able to practice what we preach—it’s important to diversify funding sources and crowdfunding fits well with that and our mission of capacity building.”

As to their experience working with Launcht, Aquino-Fike and Maulbeck were first really pleased with the company as a “lower-risk, lower cost way to enter into crowdfunding.”

Once on fully on board as a client though, they were impressed with Launcht’s “personal attention and articulated commitment to growing with us,” said Aquino-Fike, “they really went above and beyond with building us a customized site, that included bi-lingual capabilities.”

For other organizations considering crowdfunding (and specifically, we hope, considering Launcht), Maulbeck and Aquino-Fike underscored that despite all the planning and preparation and getting projects on the site as soon as possible, the launch day will still involve some stress and requires a lot of flexibility!

As reshaping traditional modes of thinking and fundraising are likely to be. But absolutely worth the effort!

About Bethany Taylor

Bethany is a writer, part-time librarian and seasonal gardener and is very excited to write for Launcht as it works towards democratizing the ways that good projects make their impact on the world. Her other writing appears at granitebunny.blogspot.com and www.hothousemagazine.org.
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