Creating impact in the Americas.

Author:Westervelt, Drew

A paradigm shift in philanthropy and corporate social responsibility has occurred in Latin America over the course of the last several decades. Corporate foundations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments and private donors have increasingly been improving ways in which social programs are measured in an effort to create the highest impact possible.

Analyzing effectiveness and forming strategic partnerships were topics under discussion at the second annual Latin America Philanthropy Initiative (LAPI), a program by Latin Trade Group and Worldfund, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and hosted at the New York offices of J.P. Morgan.

Alejandro Ramirez Magana, CEO of Cinepolis, contextualized the current state of social responsibility and philanthropy in Latin America by explaining the evolution of corporate giving in the region. For the majority of the 20th century, philanthropic efforts by companies were done on the individual level of executives interested in particular causes. In "the late 1980s, and especially through the 1990s, the paradigm started to shift," said Ramirez Magana. As multilatinas started to gain prominence and expand in the region, an increasing dedication towards social programs by the private sector occurred.

Philanthropic thought has continued to evolve, and now organizations are focused on creating the highest impact possible while efficiently utilizing the resources available. Carra Cote-Ackah, director of partnerships and strategic initiatives at the Center for...

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