Models of Philanthropy in the Latino Community

9, 10, 11, 12

The learners will investigate the roles of contemporary and historic Latino philanthropists. They will look at a creative approach to "capacity building" in Latino organizations as created by the 2003 winners of the Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking: Aida Rodriguez, Barbara A. Taveras, Luz A. Vega-Marquis, and Magui Rubalcava, and by looking at the work of César Chávez and Dolores Huerta in the farm labor movement within the historical context of Latino activism in the United States.

PrintThree or Four Fifty-Five Minute Class Periods (if the Assessment is done in class)

The learners will:

  • research the work of contemporary Latino philanthropists.
  • explain and give examples of what is meant by "capacity building."
  • analyze the historic contributions of César E. Chávez, Dolores Huerta and the United Farm Workers as part of the legacy of Latino philanthropy.
  • compare and draw conclusions about two types of action for the common good: volunteering and private resources
  • analyze how the Funders' Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities is a creative response to an important problem in society.
  • recognize examples of good character and civic virtue
  • Looking at Latino Philanthropy (Attachment Two), teacher reference
  • Getting to Know… (Attachment Three)
  • Sample of Funders' Collaborative Grants (Attachment Four)
  • The César E. Chávez Foundation
  • The Donors Steering Committee for the Robert W. Scrivner Award. "The Robert W. Scrivner Award. New York: Council on Foundations Historical Document.
  • The Glass Ceiling: Focus on the Future (Dolores Huerta Biography)
  • Hispanics in Philanthropy, Funders' Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities 
  • Ramos, Henry A. J., "Latino Philanthropy: Expanding U.S. Models of Giving and Civic Participation" (Council on Foundations)


  1. Background information about the two works by Latino artists:

    Humanscape NO.65" by Melesia Casas at . The red flag has a black Aztec eagle on it and the words, "!Si Se Puede!" meaning, "Yes We Can!" César Chávez said about the flag, "A symbol is an important thing. That is why we chose an Aztec eagle. It gives pride . . . When people see it they know it means dignity."

    "A Matter of Trust" by Maria Castagliola at or Cuban-born Maria Castagliola contributes "A Matter of Trust," a study in intimacy and confidentiality within relationships. Concern for community is important to our society. Community is the place, people, and ideals from which we draw our identity. A strong connection to community is what inspires people to help others and to resolve problems. María Castagliola starts in the community to create her art. For the work (a quilt made of fabric, envelopes, and fiberglass screens), she asked family members and friends to seal deeply personal secrets inside an envelope. To ensure they would never be opened, Castagliola arranged the envelopes in a quilt-like pattern and secured them between window screens. By bringing attention to social issues such as domestic violence, homelessness, and civic duty, she has a positive impact on people's lives.

    Anticipatory Set:

    Show the class the two works of art described above to introduce the work of César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, and the United Farm Workers.Move thelearners into small groups to brainstorm answers to the followingquestions about the works of art:

    • What do they think these works of art may be about?
    • What problem is being addressed?
    • What ethnic group is involved?
    • What philanthropists/activists do they know about who were involved in addressing the problem portrayed in "Humanscape NO.65 by Casas?
  2. Bring the class back together and ask the groups to share the information by completing a KWL chart on the board (Attachment One)Do not title the chart at this time. Put the title "Latino Philanthropy: Issues and Heroes" at the top of the chart and complete the second column, What do we want to know?, with the title in mind.

  3. Distribute and go over the information on Looking at Latino Philanthropy. Ask the class if they would like to add anything in the second column of the KWL chart.

  4. Tell the class that to answer some of their "wonderings," they will be studying the contributions of Latino philanthropists and a nonprofit organization in history: César Chávez, Dolores Huerta,and the United Farm Workers.

  5. Each year, in memory of Scrivner's work, the Council on Foundations names the winner of the Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking. It is given to a grantmaker who has demonstrated outstanding creativity; and who, with a combination of vision, principle and personal commitment, is making a critical difference in a critical way. For 2003, the winners of the Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking are four Latinas who, in 2000, launched the Funders' Collaborative For Strong Latino Communities. See article here Some contemporary Latino philanthropists/nonprofit organizations the students may study include Aida Rodriquez, Magui Rubalcava, Barbara A Taveras, Luz A. Vega-Marquis, and the Funders' Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities. They may also findothers by searchingthe Internet by"Hispanic philanthropy" or "Latinophilanthropy."

  6. Divide the class into eight research groups. Distribute Getting to Know to six of the groups. Assign a philanthropist from the list (or another contemporary Hispanic philanthropist) to each group and have them write the name of the person at the top of the research guide. Give Funders' Collaborative for a Strong Latino Community and United Farm Workers to the other two groups as research guides. Share the following website for research: Hispanics in Philanthropy (look up HIP Headlines)

    Give each group a copy of Presentation Suggestions. The research may be done in class or assigned as homework. To save time, specific portions of the chart may be assigned to different groups for completion.

  7. Day Two

    Research and creation of the group presentations.

  8. Day Three

    Ask each group to present the results of their research to the whole class. See Presentation Suggestions. Each group presentation should end with a question and answer opportunity to ascertain that the class has complete information about the six individuals and the two organizations.

    Teacher Note: Multiple blank copies of Getting to Knowmay be distributed to each class member for note taking purposes prior to the presentations.

  9. Display the adage "If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day; if you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime." Ask students to write or create a mind map (for five minutes) on how the work of the Latino philanthropists/nonprofit organizations illustrates this saying. Ask for volunteers to share their thoughts.


(This may be assigned as homework or in class or as a fourth class session.) In an essay of three or four paragraphs write your opinion of the statement, "Americans have models of philanthropy in the Latino community, both past and present." Use three or more of the following persons as examples: Aida Rodriguez Magui Rubalcava. Barbara A. Taveras Luz A. Vega-Marquis other contemporary Hispanic philanthropist César E. Chávez Dolores Huerta Give examples of what they did and explain how these were examples of philanthropy.

Essay Rubric Score Requirements: Essay contains three or four paragraphs; describes what three or more listed persons did; explains how these are examples of philanthropy. 

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Identify and discuss examples of philanthropy and charity in modern culture.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.6 Describe how the civil society sector is often the origin of new ideas, projects and innovation and social renewal.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.
      2. Benchmark HS.5 Describe civil society advocacy organizations and their relationship to human rights.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Analyze philanthropic traditions of diverse cultural groups and their contributions to civil society.
      2. Benchmark HS.7 Identify and give examples of the important roles women and minorities have played in the civil society sector in history.
    3. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Give examples of how civil society sector giving by individuals and corporations can impact communities.
    4. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark HS.11 Discuss why organizations in the civil society sector work to protect minority voices.
      2. Benchmark HS.12 Explain why private action is important to the protection of minority voices.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.10 Identify reasons why historic figures acted for the common good.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Provide a needed service.