Celebrated from September 15 to October 15, Latinx Heritage Month is a tribute to the contributions that Hispanic and Latino Americans have made to U.S. art, culture, and society. Hispanic Googlers Network (HOLA) and Google.org gathered in honor of Latinx Heritage Month to reflect on the issues affecting Latinx communities today.
The statistics in the US are staggering. Latinas are hit the hardest with wage inequity: Latinas make 54 cents for every one dollar a White male does. The pandemic and wildfires are disproportionately affecting Latinx communities: Latinos make up 92% of farm workers in California, and in Monterey County, are more than 3x likely to become infected by the virus. Immediate relief and community organizing has the power to alter this reality, and the Google community was ready to respond.
During a 90-minute introductory giving circle experience facilitated by Philanthropy Together, participants all reclaimed the word philanthropy and showed an extraordinary amount of ‘love for humanity’. Together, HOLA and Google.org pooled more than $11,000 to support Prospera, a Latinx-led nonprofit partnering with Latina entrepreneurs to launch social enterprises that foster cooperation, economic independence, and well-being in immigrant communities.
In five steps, HOLA and Google.org maximized their giving power with a pop-up giving circle. Here’s what they did:
After a round of introductions to the whole group, participants were broken out into small groups to discuss their shared values.
Masha Chernyak, VP of Programs at Latino Community Foundation, joined the discussion to educate participants on the issues facing the Latinx community, especially due to COVID-19.
Philanthropy Together presented members with two Latinx-led and Latinx-serving organizations whose missions align with the values and work of Google.org with details on budget, staffing, and programming. After a quick poll, HOLA selected Prospera to receive a collective gift from the group.
HOLA members each made a personally meaningful donation that Google matched dollar-for-dollar. Each person’s gift was multiplied exponentially thanks to the power of the giving circle!
Participants were encouraged to follow Prospera on social media, sign up for their email networks and send them a note. Engagement happens after the pop-up giving circle as it is all about building trusted relationships.
Giving is embedded in Latino culture. By focusing on their own, giving within the Latino community strengthens their voice and calls attention to their needs. The landscape of philanthropy is changing and giving circles will continue to play a transformational role in amplifying and diversifying the voices at the table: people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ people, those without wealth, youth, people in rural communities, religious minorities, and many, many more.
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Ilyasah N Shabazz
For more than a decade, Ilyasah has worked with nonprofits to help them grow their audience by telling impactful stories, implementing strategic plans, and streamlining digital communications. A proud New Yorker, Ilyasah now lives in Greensboro, NC.