OVERVIEW: This San Francisco-based funder oversees over a dozen giving circles composed of Latinos who support Latino-led organizations. LCF awards grants to grassroots groups for community and civic engagement.
FUNDING AREAS: Latino-led nonprofits, community, civic engagement
IP TAKE: Bay Area grassroots groups that are mostly led by Latinos have some great opportunities with LCF. Attend one of the funder’s events or send the staff an email if you have an idea about local community engagement.
PROFILE: The Latino Community Foundation (LCF) is based in San Francisco, California, and is committed to unleashing the power of Latinos in California. LCF is the largest network of Latino philanthropists in the nation, with over 400 members and 13 giving circles. It was founded in 1989 as part of United Way of the Bay Area to increase donations to Latino groups. Sandra Hernandez, the past CEO of the San Francisco Foundation established it as a supporting organization of The San Francisco Foundation in 2003.
Then in 2016, LCF became its own independent foundation. It has invested over $4 million in some 75 organizations in the state and also made a big push to mobilize the Latino vote. A recent campaign reached eight million people and got over 6,500 Latinos registered to vote. The foundation leaders have pointed out that only 1.1 percent of philanthropic dollars go to Latino programs and organizations even though 54 percent of school children in California are Latino and over seven million Latinos in California are eligible to vote.
In 2017, LCF became the first cohort of the Latino Nonprofit Accelerator, which is a program that provides leadership development marketing and communications training, and fundraising mentorship for Latino-led groups. The LCF giving circles have invested over $483,000 in Latino-led organizations in California. Members of the giving circles donate at least $1,000 per year, and each giving circle has its own funding priority. For example, there is a San Francisco Latina Giving Circle, an East Bay Latina Giving Circle, a Latinos in Tech Giving Circle, and a Latinx LGBTQ Giving Circle.
The foundation partners with many donors, foundations, companies, and community leaders to achieve its mission. Donors include Karen and Luis Toledo, Angel Chavez, and Alma-Ruth and Arnoldo Avalos.
As a grantmaker, LCF funds community organizations whose boards and staff are more than 51 percent Latino. It primarily supports grassroots groups who use culture as a tool for positive change. Civic engagement is at the heart of this funder’s mission. Groups must have operating budgets of less than $1.5 million and work in California to be eligible for grants.
However, grants are made by invitation only—unsolicited applications are not accepted. Contact Samantha Sandoval at email@example.com to learn more about this process. A list of past grantees can be found here.
General questions can be directed to the LCF staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-236-4020. The foundation’s address is 235 Montgomery Street, Suite 1160, San Francisco, CA 94104. Keep up with the foundation through its newsroom page and events page.