This past year was characterized by agility and adaptability as we worked together to continue to deliver important services and support to our members.
Filantropía Puerto Rico (FiPR) continued to assert its role as a convener and as the amplifier of the impact of philanthropy in Puerto Rico, enabling philanthropic entities and civil society groups to work together for the benefit of the people of the island.
We led and facilitated numerous efforts to address ongoing crises and new challenges impacting Puerto Rico’s Third Sector and lives in historically marginalized populations. Some of those efforts originated in FiPR, others were requested by philanthropic or nonprofit entities, and the rest were collaborations with peer organizations.
As we continue on our day-to-day grind, it is important to pause and reflect on the work done in the past twelve months.
Here are some highlights:
- COVID-19 resource page: a gathering of news, information and government requests from Puerto Rico’s third sector
- Proyecto de Protección: Comunidad y Organizaciones de Impacto Social y Económico: a proposal supported by 125 organizations that sought the allocation of $334,169,539 in CARES Act funds to protect nonprofits from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help them continue servicing vulnerable populations.
- A Philanthropic Call to Action Towards a Just and Resilient Puerto Rico: 26 local and national grantmakers and philanthropic leaders pledged their commitment to the 3.2MM US citizens of Puerto Rico as the island continues to recover from 2017’s hurricanes, ongoing natural disasters, and the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.
- Philanthropic investment guides: Worked with 63 nonprofits and individuals to develop six investment guides (arts & culture, education, environment, housing, transparency & governance, and just recovery) to help grantmakers be more effective in advancing equity and social justice in Puerto Rico. The guides, to be published in 2021, feature policy and other recommendations from those directly addressing issues on the ground.
- Reduction in non-profit donations: FiPR advocated against a proposed reduction in non-profit contributions that tax-exempt corporations are required to make.
- Participated of the Environmental Grantmakers Association’s 2020 Winter Briefing held in Puerto Rico in the spring
- Supported Grantmakers in the Arts in the planning of their 2021 annual convening which will take place on the island.
- Advised the Fund for Shared Insight in their participatory grantmaking initiative that included people gravely affected by climate change.
Members & Board of Directors
Our membership continues to expand and diversify, this year with six new local and US-based grant making organizations ranging in staff size from two people to 100+, and with multiple operations around the World. This resulted in an increase in the size (from seven to ten) and diversity (local and US-based) of our board of directors.
Staff & Internal Processes
Our staff grew with a program coordinator and two interns, one in the summer and another who is currently in his fourth month of a one-year tenure. This influx of new people enriches FiPR’s organizational culture and decision-making with new perspectives and energy.
To be more effective in a growing organization, we have begun to streamline and standardize internal processes, particularly in the face of unforeseen events. We have tackled these challenges with the help of technological and traditional organization tools, with staff feedback sessions and with clearer and more consistent communications. We also continue to iterate and better define FiPR’s purpose and role within Puerto Rico’s third sector and are beginning to communicate it to our members and partners.