The Central Valley is both the economic engine and the heart and soul of California—the 6th largest economy in the world.
The Valley is home to a $35 billion agricultural industry fueled by Latino immigrant labor. Comprising more than half of the population, Latino families are proud, resilient, and courageous people who believe in the promise of the American dream. Yet, they battle the reality of poverty daily.
Unfortunately, the fight for political power and economic prosperity has been hindered by a severe underinvestment in Latino leaders and nonprofits—especially those working on the frontlines of social and systemic change. According to the D5 Coalition, less than 1.1% of all philanthropic dollars are invested in Latino-led nonprofits in the US.
That is why LCF, the only statewide Foundation focused on Latinos, launched the statewide Latino Giving Circle movement— to increase philanthropic investments by and for Latinos.
Community giving and organizing is not new to the Central Valley, it’s in the culture. The seeds of the farmworker movement have come to bloom, and they have strong roots.
Currently, the Central Valley Latino Giving Circle has 80 members, and in their first year, they’ve raised and invested $115,000 into 13 Latino-led nonprofits in the Valley. “As Latinos, generosity is part of our culture, said Tim Rios, founding member of the Circle, “together, we are rewriting the narrative of how Latinos engage in philanthropy for generations to come.”
For the nonprofits receiving funds, its more than just a grant check. It’s deeply personal. “It feels like a whole community stands beside you, acknowledging your hard work and encouraging you to get it done,” said Homero Mejia, a longtime community organizer and Chapter Director of Faith in Stanislaus.
The Central Valley Latino Giving Circle has three geographic areas of priority: Stanislaus/San Joaquin; Merced/Madera/Fresno; and Kings/Tulare/Kern Counties.
Below you will find the list of Grantees for each region (download list here).
CENTRAL VALLEY LATINO GIVING CIRCLE | GRANTEES 2017: