Corporate Foundations in Latin America

  • Marta Rey-GarciaEmail author
  • Michael D. Layton
  • Javier Martin-Cavanna
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)


This chapter provides an overview of the evolution, context, current characteristics, and future perspectives of corporate foundations in Latin America (Central and South America). The number of corporate foundations has grown considerably during the last three decades, against a backdrop of historical prevalence of informal expressions of generosity under the clout of Catholic charity and State paternalism and of a mostly unfavorable legal and fiscal framework for philanthropy. This growth has run in tandem with the advances of CSR and civil society in the region under the forces of democratization and economic liberalization, and with the encouragement of foreign donors, particularly from the USA. Due to a scarcity of data and the lack of a single legal or fiscal definition for corporate foundations, we first offer a definition reflective of regional traits and then approach corporate foundations through three case studies of Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia – the region’s most populated countries – constructed from multiple sources, including our own database of 262 corporate foundations. We identify six regional commonalities and also important variations between countries, including Brazil leading in terms of sector institutionalization, Mexico staying in close proximity to the US grantmaking model, and an idiosyncratic Colombian pattern of involvement in community development. We close the chapter with practical and research implications.


Corporate foundations Latin America Corporate social responsibility Quantitative research Desk research Institutional environment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta Rey-Garcia
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael D. Layton
    • 2
  • Javier Martin-Cavanna
    • 3
  1. 1.University of A CoruñaA CoruñaSpain
  2. 2.Inter-American FoundationWashington, DCUSA
  3. 3.Fundacion Compromiso y TransparenciaMadridSpain

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