Interview with Founder Claudia Jasso

Transformative Latino Philanthropy

Latinos make up 37 percent of Arizona’s population and 16 percent of the U.S. population. Yet a recent study found that Latino nonprofits receive a mere one percent of the more than $427 billion of charitable dollars given annually in the United States.

“That’s a staggering statistic,” says Claudia Jasso, Chair of the CFSA Board of Trustees. “And when you consider communities that are heavily Latino, like ours, that inequity is even more important to address.”

To that end, Jasso formally established the Latino Community Fund, CFSA’s newest initiative and an evolution of the Cariño Latino Giving Circle, which she had founded with four other members of the local Latino community.

Preceding creation of the Fund, Jasso researched best practices and lessons learned at initiatives regionally and across the country, including the Arizona Community Foundation, Hispanics in Philanthropy, the San Francisco Foundation, the Latino Community Foundation (California), and the Chicago Community Trust.

A key takeaway was that the initiative should unfold in a grassroots process, evolving organically from the community itself.  The Fund will also continue to operate in a “giving circle” model, which research indicates is highly effective for Latino philanthropy.  With a clearly defined purpose of strategically strengthening the Latino community and transforming lives by working for racial equity and social justice, the Fund seeks to inspire action through precise giving guidelines, including giving focused on organizations guided by Latino voices.