Community foundations emerge in Mexico

In Mexico, a country with a relatively small nonprofit sector, community foundations are emerging to raise and invest money to improve local communities, a new study says.

Mexican community foundations, 21 of which together raised almost $31 million in 2007, are strengthening civil society and helping build a culture of philanthropy, says the report funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Ford Foundation, Global Fund for Community Foundations and Inter-American Foundation.

These community foundations are challenging the long-held belief that it is the job of the church and government to assist the needy.

Increasingly, community foundations are using philanthropy to address poverty, encourage citizen engagement and boost economic development in rural areas.

In 2007, Mexico was home to about 5,000 nonprofits.

Today, the country has about 7,000 nonprofits, compared to about 1 million in the U.S, the study says.

To strengthen its community foundations, the study says, Mexico needs to build a sense of community among these funders, foster their ability to communicate their impact and foster their professionalism and capacity-building efforts.

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