In 2012, 14 bold Latinas had a vision: They wanted change, not charity. They also wanted to lead with their culture and have fun in the process. This led to the formation of Latino Giving Circle Network® (LGCN), a vehicle of Latino Community Foundation (LCF).

LCF exists to unleash the power of Latinos in California. What makes our work different: we put love, culture, and people at the center.

LGCN works to advance our mission and a reflection of our values. Right now, we are driven by a sense of urgency because we know that California—and our nation— desperately needs a movement of civically engaged Latinos driven by our values and purpose. Latinos are the largest ethnic group in the state and represent one of the fastest growing populations across the country. In today’s political environment, they have become a target of hateful rhetoric and harmful attacks. LCF is committed to pushing back on this by fanning the flames of hope, love, and the power of paying it forward.

Today, the LGCN is the largest network of Latino philanthropists in the nation. The network includes 19 giving circles across California—from the Wine Country to San Diego. With close to 500 members, the network represents Baby Boomers to Millennials, CEOs to emerging professionals, immigrants to US-born, Latinos and non-Latinos. Each member pledges to give at least $1,000 a year. By the end of 2018, the LGCN will have invested $1 million in Latino-led grassroots nonprofit organizations in California.

Giving Circles Go Deeper

These investments are critical to grassroot nonprofits working on the frontlines of social change. Grants from giving circles provide core operating support to help them expand and strengthen their capacity to meet the demanding needs of this unprecedented time. Equally important, these organizations are proud to receive these resources and view it as a seal of approval from their own community that comes with love and commitment. The relationship between the LGCN members and the organizations often goes much deeper than the resources they offer. With time, LGCN members get closely involved with their community partners, serving as ambassadors, board members and volunteers to help advance the mission of the organizations. LCF encourages these partnerships—acknowledging that the support beyond the check is critical. LCF facilitates the opportunities for the LGCN members to invest their time, talent, and treasures in these organizations considering that the members have access to opportunities and influencers that far exceeds the region and work of the organizations.

For many LGCN members, the experience has been their first door into philanthropy. Our annual survey has shown that the LGCN members are contributing more civically and philanthropically since the time they became members.

LCF has been intentional about building this movement across generations and sectors. The LGCN represents bankers, techies, artists, lawyers, non-profit executives, elected officials, academics, foundation officers, and business owners. Our LGCN members are in their 20s and 60s. Married and single. Straight and gay. They are concerned citizens and parents. Our diversity is our strength; our shared values for justice and opportunity drive us to be advocates for our families and communities.

Latinos are generous. We love family and community. We love to laugh, make new friends, and enjoy good food. Our LGCN builds on the strength of our culture allowing people to step into their power as philanthropists and community advocates.

All in all we are all philanthropists.