New Research Highlights Funding for Central America in a Global Context

Noli Vega
Communications Associate
Foundation Center
(888) 356-0354 ext. 701
communications@foundationcenter.org

Mauricio Vivero
CEO
Seattle International Foundation
(206) 557-8410
mauricio@seaif.org

funding_centralamerica

New York, NY — September 12, 2016. Central America received 1.1 percent of U.S. foundation funding for international causes in 2013, according to U.S. Foundation Funding for Central America in Context, a new fact sheet released by Foundation Center and Seattle International Foundation. Latin America, as a whole, received 9.4 percent of international grantmaking from U.S. foundations.

The fact sheet estimates that of $6.4 billion in total international funding by a sample of 1,000 large U.S. foundations in 2013, $68 million went toward Central America, while $605 million was for Latin America overall. Among grants for Central America specifically, $13 million was awarded directly to recipients located in Central America, while the vast majority of funding ($55 million) went to organizations based in the U.S. or abroad.

 “Central America, and especially the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, are faced with severe poverty, high levels of inequality, and an on-going immigration crisis. This new information shows we as a sector are failing to address the critical needs of our Central American neighbors at this important moment in their history,” said Mauricio Vivero, CEO of Seattle International Foundation. “U.S. philanthropy needs to prioritize Central America, and seize upon this great opportunity to improve millions of lives in the region.”

The new fact sheet complements a 2015 research brief, U.S. Foundation Funding: Latin and Central America, 2013, and contextualizes the report’s findings within the broader landscape of international grantmaking by U.S. foundations. Produced by Foundation Center and Seattle International Foundation, the report found that 104 foundations awarded 367 grants for Central American causes in 2013. The largest donors to the region were the Ford Foundation, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

"Gaining a clearer picture of the global funding landscape is essential for foundations seeking to have an impact in Central America or any other region," noted Lawrence T. McGill, vice president for knowledge services at Foundation Center. "By showing how grant dollars are flowing to Central America within the broader scope of international funding, this new fact sheet can help funders in the U.S. and around the world better target their resources to ensure the greatest impact.”

Download U.S. Foundation Funding for Central America in Context in English or Spanish, or view the full report at IssueLab.

About Foundation Center

Established in 1956, Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit Foundation Center’s website each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 450 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit foundationcenter.org or call (212) 620-4230.

About Seattle International Foundation

Seattle International Foundation (SIF) supports worldwide poverty alleviation efforts through grantmaking and other activities, with a strategic focus on Central America. Seattle International Foundation works with corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals to alleviate poverty and address inequality in Central America. Since 2008, SIF has provided $11 million in grants to over 70 organizations working in Central America and Mexico. The foundation also works with other donors working in the region to increase philanthropy, promote collaboration and coordination, and partner with private sector leaders interested in strategic corporate social responsibility.