In Celebration of Its 15th Anniversary, the Latino Endowment Fund Presents, Una Conversacion Entre Familia: Collective Giving and the Power of Latino Philanthropy

For the first time ever, leaders of New England’s three Latino giving circles; the Latino Endowment Fund at the Hartford Foundation, the Progreso Latino Fund at the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven and the Latino Legacy Fund at the Boston Foundation convened to discuss collective giving and the power of Latino philanthropy at an event hosted by the Latino Endowment Fund at the Pond House in Hartford. This event commemorated the 15th anniversary of the Latino Endowment Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Moderated byMoraima Gutiérrez, chair of the Latino Endowment Fund Steering Committee, the discussion was lively, passionate and interactive with the audience. 

The panelists included:

  • Rosaida Morales and Marilda Gándara, co-founders of the Latino Endowment Fund
  • John Padilia, co-founder of the Progreso Latino Fund
  • Fernando Muniz, chair of the Progreso Latino Fund Steering Committee
  • Juan Carlos Morales, co-founder of the Latino Legacy Fund

Here were highlights of the event:

  • The co-founders of all three giving circles shared their goals when creating their groups and why it was important to engage the Latino community in philanthropy. Not surprisingly, all three groups shared similar reasons for creating their giving circles including the desire to change the perception that Latinos were most likely to be the beneficiary of philanthropic resources rather than benefactors. By changing this dynamic, the giving circles sought to ensure a more accurate representation of the benevolent nature of the Latino community and the power of the Latino donor.  
  • All three giving circles said that their groups helped to bring the perspectives and insights of the Latino community into the community foundations to better connect them with the people they serve. Panelists also discussed the importance of strengthening the capacity of local Latino nonprofit organizations as a vital means to meeting the needs of the community.  
  • The importance of continually developing Latino leadership and ensuring that those leaders were afforded opportunities to participate in decision-making was crucial to the mission of each giving circle.   This included making sure their Foundations did all they could to be more inclusive when it came to decisions related to board representation and determining where Foundation funds were being allocated.
  • Panelists discussed how the Latino community has traditionally responded to current short-term crises and the importance of educating Latinos about making long-term philanthropic investments to support both short-term and long-term needs.  
  • Speakers also discussed how major changes happen not through government or corporate activity but through the efforts of philanthropy and nonprofit organizations.  The creation of these giving circles produces ripple effects such as working to better connect the Latino business community and the creation of a Latino Political Action Committee to influence Massachusetts’ legislative agenda.
  • Panelists shared some of the challenges of building and sustaining their giving circles and their efforts to recruit a new generation of Latinos interesting in contributing and learning more about philanthropy. These efforts include creating a self-sustaining advisory committee that is not dependent a small group of long-time members and constantly adds new people to the group.  All agreed that attracting young people and other Latinos who are passionate about philanthropy and making positive changes in their community are crucial to the giving circles’ longevity and success.

The Latino Endowment Fund was founded in 2003 by Latino leaders in Greater Hartford to increase philanthropy in their community and to strengthen nonprofits working to improve the quality of life for Latino residents. Members examine issues affecting the Latino community and recommend grants from the fund to address those issues. For more information, contact Wanda Y. Correa at 860-548-1888 or or go to

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $720 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit or call 860-548-1888.