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Panel: “ Global Transformations: Opportunities for supranational articulation” A perspective on philanthropy and social field in Mexico Salvador, Bahia , Brazil. April 4, 2008. Lourdes Sanz Moguel Effectiveness and Services Director.

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Panel: “Global Transformations: Opportunities for supranational articulation”

A perspective on philanthropy and social field in Mexico

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. April 4, 2008.

Lourdes Sanz Moguel

Effectiveness and Services Director


600 million inhabitants300 millionliving in povertyBrazil, Mexico and Argentina among 20 major economies in the world; 4.3% constantannual growth until 2015 is needed to reduce poverty in the region by 50%.In spite of economical growth during the last five years, extreme poverty has not been reverted.

Latin America in numbers

Fuente: Cepal, 2006

Almost 2 million Km2

104 million inhabitants

15 million inrural areas

25 million do not have access to basic services

45 millionliving in poverty

17 million in extreme poverty;

180,000 communities with under 500 inhabitants each, concentrate extreme poverty.

Only 20% pay taxes properly

22,000 million USD were sent into the country in 2007 by Mexican residents in US.

Mexico in numbers

Fuente: Cemefi


Non profit field in Mexico: in numbers

  • 20 000 non profits working in social causes
  • 85% of CSOs´ income comes from fees and services provided, 9% comes from government and only 6% from philanthropy
  • 5 752 Organizations endorsed by the SHCP (Tax Office) as “Deductible Gift Recipients (2006)
  • 250 Grantmaking foundations.
  • 461 000 people working in the field (includes volunteers and employees)

Fuente: Cemefi

tendencies on the growth of organizations endorsed by shcp tax office as deductible gift recipients
Tendencies on the growth of organizations endorsed by SHCP (Tax Office) as “Deductible Gift Recipients”

Fuente: Cemefi


Deductible Gift Recipients 2006 in each State

Fuente: Diario Oficial de la Federación 2007

giving in mexico
Giving in Mexico
  • National Survey on Philanthropy and Civil Society (ITAM - 2005) found out giving habits in Mexico are as follows:
  • 77% give to beggers,
  • 82% give to the church and other religious organizations
  • 91% reports that at least once, has given to an organization;
  • 79% prefer to give to a person in need rather than to an institution.
  • Fuente: Encuesta Nacional Sobre Filantropía y Sociedad Civil. Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (Proyecto sobre Filantropía y Sociedad Civil), 2005.
grants in mexico
Grants in Mexico

Fuente: Cemefi

grantmaking foundations role
Grantmaking Foundations Role
  • To support and strengthen innovative ideas and strategies
    • Mobilize and develop leaderships
    • Widen perception and increase information about what can be done
    • Provide practical know how and tools for action
  • Focused strategic philanthropic action,
  • Flexibility and capacity to provide proper response to needs
  • Social investment for public good
  • Sustained support to effective CSOs and CSOs programs and projects
  • Credibility and legitimacy as a basis to promote and mobilize participation, resources, interest, as well as convene people from different sectors in the community
  • Collaboration and synergic action in order to increase impact

First Period: 1521-1860,

Colonial Period, Independence and Reform

  • Strong presence of Catholic Church in the creation of charities
  • Church funded charities with its own wealth and with the gifts form filigrees
  • Church´s charities were mainly: attention to the poor, hospitals and schools.

Second Period: 1861-1960

  • Strong presence of Government in social issues, particularly after the nationalization of ecclesiastic goods during the Reform.
  • In 1899 a decentralized government entity is created: JAP, to supervise and guarantee the use of gifts and legacies for the community, in the donor\'s intended social causes
  • With Mexican Revolution, State consolidates public welfare policies: schooling, health, social security, homing.

Third Period: 1961-1985

  • Increased citizenship awareness of social needs
  • Increased participation in social issues
  • New social causes are identified and supported
  • Increased number of civil society organizations working in social causes, both for majorities and minorities
  • Philanthropic civil society organizations emergence as a field

Fourth Period: 1986- up to date

  • Promotion of philanthropy and voluntary work
  • Promotion of corporate social responsibility
  • Creation of new grantmaking foundations
  • Increased participation in social causes
  • New federal legislation approved recognizing social value of civil society organizations´ action and promoting government support for their activities. (2004)
  • Fiscal Reform (2007).- Establishing a limit for tax deductible gifts (unlimited before, thus, step back)


  • There is an important tradition on social help, mainly for humanitarian reasons, closely related to religious motivations.
  • This tradition is expressed throughout society in every level, and is present also in legal framework.
  • In Mexico there is not a tradition of institutionalized philanthropy, understanding it as:
    • social help linked to business or corporate giving to public good additionally to taxes
    • endowed funds under the responsibility of Boards, managed by professionals and protected by specific frameworks


There is still not enough development of legal and fiscal frameworks that stimulate philanthropy or reflect comprehension of the field\'s relevance in the construction of public good.

Until recently, culture of philanthropy, social responsibility and voluntarism is being promoted.

Currently foundations´ grants are mainly applied to urgent needs rather than to development strategies.

Traditionally corporations tend to give through government institutions



Media promote charity more than grants or social investment.

Even though governments state they want civil society participation in the construction of public good, they fear opening the door to real growth and consolidation of a strong wide civil society field.

There is a surprising increase in the number of CSO and grantmaking foundations.

There is a strong debate on grantmaking effectiveness and transparency.



  • Increase culture of citizenship: value the role of citizen participation in public matters;
  • Revalue and recognize the important role of civil society organizations as well as the need of their presence and contribution in democratic societies;
  • Strengthen corporate social responsibility
  • Recognition of private philanthropy role in the provision of private resources, additional to taxes, that contribute to public good.
  • Creation and adaptation of legal and fiscal frameworks to promote CSOs field growth and respond to current needs

Who should be involved?

  • Community: Citizens´paticipation, commitment, action
  • Schools, universities, academic field: research, information and analysis
  • Civil Society Organizations: increased number, impact, accountability, quality services
  • Corporate field: increased, effective and strategically directed corporate social responsibility actions and programs
  • Grantmakers: increased strategic social investment
  • Governments: recognition, promotion and support
  • Congress: Legal and fiscal frameworks

El Centro Mexicano para la Filantropía, A.C. CEMEFI

Membership Association created in 1988

  • 656 Members:
    • 187 Associates (84 foundations and associations, 67 corporations y 36 individuals)
    • 449 Afiliattes (mainly operative CSOs)
    • 18 Users (government entities interested in getting Cemefi´s services)

Thank you

Maria de Lourdes Sanz Moguel

Effectiveness and Services Director

Centro Mexicano para la Filantropía, A.C.

Cda. De Salvador Alvarado # 7, Col. Escandón

México D.F. CP11800 México

Tel.: (52) 5277-6111 Fax: (52) 5515-5448

e-mail: [email protected] / [email protected]