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HIPGive: Leveraging Investments in a New Age

This is a guest post from Diana Campoamor, the CEO of Hispanics in Philanthropy.

Most people don’t associate Hispanics with “typical” philanthropy; however Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) is working to change that perspective through the power of personal storytelling and impact investing. Examples of Latino generosity are everywhere, although sometimes unseen to the public eye. There’s the humble family who won the lottery and started a foundation in San Jose, California. Or employee number 500 at Facebook who grew up a campesino farm worker and now runs his own foundation. Or the beltway bandit who a decade ago made good on her promise to never ignore another’s suffering, and turned her energies to human rights activism.

These important stories of Latino generosity inspire HIP’s work towards strengthening Latino leaders, diversifying the field of philanthropy, and increasing investments in Latino communities. Building upon its past work and the culture of Latino giving, HIP recently entered the exciting world of crowdfunding with the launch of HIPGive, an innovative online giving platform specifically focused on Latino issues and capacity building of Latino community organizations in the U.S. and across the Americas.

Cutting edge technology has been at the center of great discussion regarding its potential for wide-scale social impact. It would be impossible to ignore these conversations or the impact that so many have made thus far in utilizing these new tools—they’ve shaken up the world, the potential for communication, and, to a great extent, the potential within the world of philanthropy.

What makes this foray so unique for HIP is how it incorporates a key tenet of HIP’s philosophy on social impact: the potential for leveraging investments.

In the early years, HIP launched as a member organization – a way to network, promote diversity within the world of philanthropy and identify gaps in knowledge about the needs of the Latino civil sector. In 2000, however, a meeting of minds conceived of a bold and innovative way to achieve a much greater social impact through the power of leverage, which earned HIP the Scrivner Award for Creative Grant making and led to the disbursement of over $45million over the subsequent 13 years.

The HIP Funders’ Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities was a groundbreaking model wherein large grants, solicited by HIP, were matched and distributed by HIP and mid-level funders to carefully-vetted grassroots non-profits within these funder’s own communities. Specifically, the model highlighted leverage as an incentive for impact investing, and incorporated capacity building tools and convenings into the grant making process.

HIPGive is not a blind stumble into the world of crowdfunding and online social impact. With incentivizing leverage prizes from big funders, and capacity building tools for grantees to build out their online projects, it’s a carefully crafted tool based on the lessons learned and the approach honed through the Funders’ Collaborative. It’s a translation of a successful model to modern-day standards, bringing funders of all sizes to a new table – one in the online world, and equipping Latino community organizations with the tools they need to share their stories within the field of philanthropy.

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