“Why would we ever leave?” That was a sentiment I heard over and over from my cousins and friends when I returned to Venezuela every summer as I was growing up.

There was a sense that Venezuela had everything you would ever want. Maybe, back then, it did.

Venezuelans today live in crisis. The economy has collapsed, precipitated in part by falling oil prices and sanctions and the flight of foreign investment. People often find themselves without basic necessities, like drinking water, food, medicine, sanitation and electricity.

It is estimated that 3.4 million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2014 – almost 10% of the population.

The philanthropic response to this crisis has been insufficient, compared to other recent global refugee crises.

The philanthropic community – including institutional and individual donors – can do better. That’s 1 of the reasons that Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) is collaborating with funders to explore how the sector can better support the migrants fleeing Venezuela.

Currently, HIP is mobilizing a funders’ working group with foundation partners interested in supporting the millions of Venezuelans who have fled the country.

NCRP’s Movement Investment Project has made some useful, evidence-based recommendations for advancing the pro-immigrant movement:

  • In order to adequately respond to the fast-moving crisis, foundations should move away from the traditional grantmaking process and adapt quicker, more agile giving.
  • Provide multi-year, general operating support that can be used flexibly by organizations responding to shifting conditions on the front lines.
  • Refocus philanthropic giving to influence state and local immigrant policymaking, where victories are easier, instead of funding efforts to change federal policy.
  • Support the creation of livable salaries and health benefits for those working on the front lines, where burnout is a common side effect of the constant crisis response.

Read the full article about the philanthropic response to the refugee crisis in Venezuela by Amalia Brindis Delgado at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.