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Fundraising in Latin America in “Global Fundraising” PDF Print E-mail

Trends and Challenges 

We know that global philanthropy continues to rise, that many NGOs have taken on roles that have traditionally been held by the government, and also that the "success stories" are no longer seen only in countries with organized philanthropic tradition as some European countries and the United States, but many come from other countries and hence the need to gather all in one material.

Latin America is a very large region and although many countries speak the same language, they are not necessarily similar countries. In the book Norma explains, in her view, which countries have similarities and share similar characteristics that are important when making fundraising. In turn, she interviewed several colleagues working in the region to share their views and have a more integrated view of the region.

The chapter is subdivided by source of funding and consistent techniques. Again, through different cases it is shown that all technics work in the region: from face to face to big donors to direct dialogue in the street. There are excellent investment returns in telemarketing, even though there is great difficulty in the region due to the poor quality of the databases.

Norma relieved examples of organizations that having well planned their campaigns and applied the necessary budget, were successful in their collection, even in small countries or where they assumed that it was not going to happen. The key to success in most cases is that each organization's work sees what works for it, how to improve what they are doing and looks more carefully at what fails in campaigns when they do not work as expected. 

One clear trend is that individual donors are increasing in the region. While some studies indicate, for example, that in Argentina 1 in 10 people donate to a cause, it is in this country where NGOs from international sources such as UNICEF, Greenpeace, Doctors Without Borders or the Red Cross, for example, have their largest individual donor base, higher even than in Mexico or Brazil. Adding donors from national organizations active in getting individual donors, as Sales Foundation, Obra del Padre Mario or CILSA, in Argentina there are now more than 500,000 donors. That means that more than half a million people every month contribute via credit or debit card to a cause. Individual giving can still grow much more, but it's already a significant number.

But in the region there are also cases of religious organizations that reach more than 600,000 individual donors (Hogar de Cristo in Chile), and some even more than one million (eg., Comunidade Catolica Cancaonova and Sagrada Familia in Brazil).

In short, Norma says that in Latin America and in our country, philanthropy is growing day by day and many prejudices have been overcome. If we analyze all sources of funding of NGOs, from the sale of services to individual donors, corporations and foundations, it can be seen that donations have increased in almost all countries. The number of NGOs is also increasing in the region, and this has been accompanied by processes of return to democracy in many of our countries in recent decades. Slowly the sector is becoming more professional and so does fundraising, where there is also more competition.

One of the most important challenges in all countries is to find people who can carry out good fundraising strategies in NGOs, and so the role of professional associations, such as AEDROS in Argentina, ABCR in Brazil or AFP in Mexico, is essential for NGOs to become more sustainable and thus carry out the mission for which they were created.

Perhaps the last point to note is the great creativity and innovation present in many of the campaigns. Even if our region is one of the newest in professional fundraising, and there was almost no tradition nor books on fundraising to follow, NGOs and professionals have been very creative and were able to write their own book.