It was the second week in March when New York City, the city that never sleeps, shut down as it became the epicenter of the novel coronavirus in the US. As panic set in, it quickly became evident that predominantly immigrant and working-class communities were at particularly high risk.

In March, Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), an organization that strengthens Latinx leadership, influence, and equity by leveraging philanthropic resources into impactful investments for the community, began to reach out to Latinx-led nonprofits to better understand their priorities and how strategies were shifting to conduct both direct relief and civic engagement efforts.

It was during conversations with LCF Georgia, as well as organizations like Mi Familia Vota, and Poder Latinx, that the degree of technological shift needed for outreach and mobilization—both for relief and civic engagement—became apparent to HIP’s staff. At the same time, Latinx organizations were challenged to achieve this shift without ignoring the major digital gaps that still exist in vulnerable, hard-to-count communities.

The shift in supporting digital outreach tactics and platforms plays a pivotal role in engaging Latinx voters, as the digital divide continues to be a problem for underserved Latinx communities. Today, more Latinxs are using the internet, but many still lack full access to broadband or Wi-Fi technology to receive or consume media. Still, Latinx communities are early technology adopters, especially on platforms such as Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok, and Snapchat.

With this critical distinction, organizations in key battleground states have shifted their strategies to upgrade technology and information infrastructures that can adapt to the needs of the community and serve as responsive technology, based on the platforms their members and the community already use, such as peer-to-peer messaging, Facebook Messenger, and more.

Read the full article about civic engagement in Latinx communities at Hispanics in Philanthropy.