Foundation funding for Hispanics stalls

Latino funding
Latino funding

The Latino population is growing and now represents a larger share of the U.S. population than any other minority group, but the share of foundation funding for this segment of society has remained about the same over the past decade, a new study says.

From 2000 to 2009, the Latino population grew to 16 percent of the U.S. population from 13 percent.

But grantmaking directed toward Hispanics, 23 percent of whom live in poverty in the U.S., has remained at an average of about 1.3 percent of overall foundation funding, says a new report from the Foundation Center and Hispanics in Philanthropy.

In 2009, foundations awarded 2,589 grants totaling $199 million for Hispanics, down from a peak of $226.1 million in 2007, but up from the $136.2 million awarded in 1999.

Independent foundations together awarded 73 percent of all grant dollars directed to Latinos from 2007 to 2009, while 18 percent came from corporate funders and 9 percent came from community foundations, says the report, which includes all grants of $10,000 or more from over 1,000 U.S. foundations.

Two funders together accounted for almost one-fifth of grantmaking for Latinos from 2007 to 2009, with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarding $57.4 million, or 9.3 percent of overall giving, and the California Wellness Foundation giving $56.5 million, or about 9.1 percent of the total.

The largest single grant of $10.2 million was awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the University of New Mexico Foundation to create a center focused on Hispanic and Native American populations.

About 27 percent of all grants directed to Hispanics went to human services; 26 percent to health; 20 percent to public affairs/society benefit; and 16 percent to education.

The National Council of La Raza, a national Latino-advocacy organization, received a total of $36.2 million in foundation funding from 2007 to 2009, more than any other nonprofit, followed by the Harlem Children’s Zone, which received a total of $26.8 million.

The western region of the U.S. received a total of $260.4 million from 2007 to 2009, more than any other region, with $213.4 million of that going to nonprofits in California alone.

Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory with a population that is 99 percent Hispanic and has a poverty rate of 44 percent, received a total of $10.5 million in grants from U.S.-based foundations.

U.S. foundation funding directed to Latin American organizations, and to the international projects of U.S.-based groups, totaled almost $1.1 billion from 2007 to 2009.

One-third of those dollars were directed to groups serving the environment and animals, with one-fifth supporting groups working in international affairs, development, peace and human rights.

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