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Half Year Impact Highlights
Our work focuses on serving our network by strengthening connections within our ecosystem and expanding philanthropic investments and transformational practices. We do this by holding the needed spaces for the philanthropic sector to be at the forefront of social change on the archipelago and closely in touch with community based organizations. For us it is important to ensure that we continually improve your membership experience program and leverage our network. That’s why we have prepared a Half Year Recap, covering the first six months of 2023.
We design and hold regular spaces to strengthen our relationships, grow our collective intelligence, and explore innovative strategies to take action. We started the year strong with amazing engagement during our open membership period and welcomed new members to our network. Link
On one hand, we seek to serve philanthropic organizations in adopting innovative practices that advance equity. To achieve this, we support the philanthropic infrastructure through our membership program and facilitate meetings designed to foster:
We recognize that to have deep and reflective conversations that align us as a collective, we need to create spaces for members to get to know each other, interact and build relationships at various levels. These spaces are crucial to develop confidence with each other.
For the member brunches this year, we keep on visiting our members to continue exploring how each of us advances equity inside our organizations. Understanding the philanthropic practices of our ecosystem is essential to recognize and make visible each other’s work.
Check out the experiences!
As usual, our members had the opportunity to share and relax from the week’s work while having a good time and good conversations. We had the opportunity to share in two Member Meet Ups without agenda and keep building our relationships.
We sustain an environment that encourages collective learning, active listening, and co-creation of tools that contribute to strategic conversations. Together, we seek to find solutions to common challenges and maintain our network informed on relevant topics.
To advance equity we believe that’s more than having conversations. In our membership design we try to hold different spaces with different perspectives and innovative experiences. That’s why our Learning Journeys are one of our most treasured services. We visit rural projects in communities around the archipelago to learn with and from these people, who live in communities that have been impoverished by a failing economic and political system.
In March 2023 as part of the women’s month, we embarked with our membership to explore equity through our first Learning Journey of the year at the Mutual Aid Center CAM Las Carolinas in Caguas. This women-led organization is dedicated to providing care and relief to its aging and vulnerable population with so much passion that is inspiring.
In June 2023, as part of the pride month, we immersed ourselves in Barriorization in Manatí. We had the opportunity to hear, learn and explore this project that seeks to heal and recuperate the historic memory of the town with a gender and LGBTTQIA+ perspective.
All our events are designed with a purpose, but the end goal is to leverage efforts towards achieving systemic changes that benefit the most affected populations in Puerto Rico. That’s why our strategy building events are key spaces to engage in thought-provoking conversations that align actions.
Our monthly Action Dialogue sessions revolved around participatory practices within grantmaking processes. Our members are very diverse and we recognize the value of each of their practices. This diversity reveals the importance of flexibility and adaptation in making the participation of grant applicants relevant. Undoubtedly, the active participation of our membership in these activities promotes continuity in conversations that deepen the interests and curiosities of our philanthropic ecosystem.
We held five action dialogues, find the highlights in our google shared doc.
There’s no need to say how excited we are to host our 6th annual convening! We’ve been preparing all year for this event designed to unite the philanthropic ecosystem. This year we are designing an experience to recognize that we should expand our individual perspectives and align our collective actions for growth. That’s why we are calling our annual convening: Expand to Align Collective Action. The aim is to create a broader network of participants who can contribute their resources, expertise, and perspectives towards collective action.
We’re actively working on the planning process and you’ll be the first to receive updates, but for now don’t forget to RSVP and save the dates!
We are committed to continuously improving our membership experience by integrating various metrics collections to generate valuable data. Our dashboard allows us to gather feedback from each activity, enabling us to measure event participation and understand the level of engagement. These insights guide us in making informed decisions to enhance our services. We actively measure member engagements during our events and make necessary adjustments as we strive to provide the best possible experience for our members.
Expanding Our Impact
Serving our Members is at the heart of what we do, we also support our membership by expanding the social ecosystem with initiatives that implement infrastructure creation and impact structural changes that advance equity.
Our strategy also focuses on expanding philanthropic resources to advance equity around the archipelago. Through this expansion we believe in launching initiatives that nurture and sustain other organizations within Puerto Rico’s social ecosystem. We understand the importance of creating and facilitating these spaces that ignite conversations and inspire direct actions within the realities of the country.
Some of these initiatives are the Learning to Listen initiative where we convened foundations, non-profit organizations and community leaders to explore first-hand listening practices through a process of participatory philanthropy. Also, as part of our intention to collect and facilitate access to information within the philanthropic ecosystem, we designed a Collective Intelligence initiative that will offer a broad picture of the resources of the sector and the ways in which philanthropy can address the challenges and opportunities in Puerto Rico. Also, our community of practice, Robusteciendo la justicia social is an initiative supporting long-term infrastructure and sustainability of local social justice organizations. From this project, we sustain Compromisos para una recuperación justa, a space that we facilitate for non-profit organizations and state and federal government agencies to meet and commit on housing and recovery issues in the archipelago. Likewise, the FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund is committed to mobilizing investments that will create infrastructure to advance equity in Puerto Rico. This collaborative fund aims to attract funders who invest in long-term systemic change to move Puerto Rico FORWARD.
Growing as an organization
One main achievement this year was to finalize our Strategic Planning process. This was possible thanks to the work we have done together for years and your support as a valued member of this platform.
This path began in November 2022 and it has been an enriching experience to have your feedback throughout the process. Check out our Strategic Plan here!
One of our priorities is to have the Go-To platform for the sector. We continue making our webpage a central resource page for grantmakers in Puerto Rico.
For our members we have a member exclusive Explore your Membership Web. This page holds all member benefits, policies, exclusive events and working
documents. In this page you can find multiple resources such as:
- see what other funders are working on with publications like EL CONVENER
- get a brief overview of what we’ve been working on in our monthly newsletter: the Action Summary.
- get to know your fellow members in OUR NETWORK PAGE
- access tools that serve as a catalyst for amplifying the voice and impact of the social infrastructure and facilitates the connection of data between grantmakers and nonprofit organizations: Research and Tools page and the Puerto Rico Solar + Renewable Energy Landscape page.
This year we welcomed:
To further impact our mission, we have grown our reach with key alliances.
We are part of the Funder Listening Community of Practice (FLCP) that supports
spaces for organizations like us to advance their mission. This community of
practice brought together by Fund for Shared Insight started in 2021. Last year they opened up another round that will take place for the next 2 years (2023-2024) which we are proudly participating in once again. This initiative is working on new ways to support foundations as they build feedback and listening practices that reflect and advance equity. The organizations chosen to participate have the capacity to create high-impact resources and to disseminate them through strong funder networks.
We’re proud to have a team that keeps growing as leaders in the philanthropic sector. We congratulate our Executive Director for forming part as a member of the following Boards: Mentes Puertorriqueñas en Acción, : Grantmakers in the Arts: Rimas Foundation
Also, Anja Paonessa who has been part of our organization since its beginning has now a key role focused on all our membership services and recently was selected to be part of the Emerging Leaders at the United Philanthropy Forum Conference.