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Puerto Rico gets $10.5M from U.S. charities in ’07-’09

The largest grant awarded by a corporate foundation during the two-year period was a $251,859 award from the Amgen Foundation to the University of Puerto Rico for the Amgen Bruce-Wallace program, which helps deliver biotechnology to high school students in Puerto Rico.

U.S. foundations awarded 263 grants totaling $10.5 million between 2007 and 2009 to recipient organizations in Puerto Rico. But despite the island’s higher poverty rate, stateside foundations gave proportionally less to the territory compared to some states with a similar number of Latinos, according to the “Foundation Funding for Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S. and for Latin America,” study conducted by Hispanics in Philanthropy.

“Consistent with the funding priorities of U.S. foundations overall, larger foundations directed the biggest shares of grant dollars awarded to Puerto Rico for education and health, capturing 30 percent and 22 percent, respectively,” the study noted. “Education also led by share of number of grants (25 percent), followed by human services (25 percent).”

Total grant dollars targeting Latinos in the U.S. between 2007 and 2009, averaged about $206 million per year, while funding for Latin America averaged roughly $350 million per year. Human services (27 percent) and health (26 percent) captured the largest shares of grant dollars awarded for Latinos in the U.S. Of the grants targeting Latin America, Mexico and Brazil received the largest shares, the study concluded.

In a departure from overall giving trends in the United States, corporate foundations dominated the top funder list, capturing six of the top 10 slots. Topping the list was New Jersey–based Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies Contribution Fund, awarding $1.2 million; California–based Amgen Foundation, distributing $1.2 million; and New York–based Citi Foundation, giving $702,500.

The largest grant awarded by a corporate foundation during the two-year period was a $251,859 award from the Amgen Foundation to the University of Puerto Rico for the Amgen Bruce-Wallace program, which helps deliver biotechnology to high school students in Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, the report also notes that nine nonprofits made out with the lion’s share of the funding. The Angel Ramos Foundation awarded $9.8 million in grants from 2007 to 2009, more than eight times the amount awarded by the top U.S.–based funder.

The Banco Popular Foundation came in second, receiving more than $7 million, while the Puerto Rico Community Foundation rounded out the top three beneficiaries, with a little more than $4 million in awards. The other organizations that also benefited were: the FNZ Foundation, with $2.6 million; the Davis-Villamil Family Foundation, with a little more than $1 million; the Flamboyán Foundation, with $942,000; the Unanue López Family Foundation, with $831,258; the Harvey Foundation, with $275,500; and the Miranda Foundation, with $120,356.

The results of the comprehensive study were unveiled during a gathering last week, when Puerto Rico Community Foundation President Nelson I. Colón-Tarrats said the study shows the capacity the island has had to increase philanthropic investment.

Puerto Rico Community Foundation President Nelson I. Colón-Tarrats

“I’m proud that we were able to present this important study in Puerto Rico, not only because we represent an important group within the Latino community in the United States, but because we are a strategic bridge between the U.S. mainland and Latin America,” he said. “Furthermore, the study demonstrates the ability we had in Puerto Rico to increase philanthropic investment during the period.”

Windfall for Latin American region
The foundations sampled in the study awarded 4,649 grants totaling more than $1 billion targeting Latin America between 2007 and 2009, the study revealed.

The region’s top 10 funders provided 77 percent, or $805.4 million, of grant dollars awarded for Latin America. Among the top funders were the Washington State–based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, distributing $228.9 million; California–based Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, awarding $167.2 million; and New York–based Ford Foundation, allocating $151.6 million.

“The largest grant awarded for Latin America during this time was a $50 million grant from the Gates Foundation to the DC–based Inter-American Development Bank to support the adoption and scale-up of proven cost-effective interventions in maternal, neonatal, and reproductive health, nutrition, and immunization to improve the health of the poorest women and children in Mesoamerica,” the study concluded.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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