September 13, 2023

Showing Pride and Support Through Philanthropy During Hispanic Heritage Month

Author Aly Semigran, Content Specialist

From September 15 to October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized as a time to celebrate the history, culture and contributions of Latinx Americans whose families have hailed from Mexico, Central America, South America, the islands of the Caribbean and Spain. For some, Hispanic pride can mean recognizing the “presence and influence of Latinx culture in our society,” and for others it may look like a time to reflect on one’s roots and the long-honored traditions of their ancestors.

With over 62.6 million Hispanics living in the United States today, the Census Bureau estimates this group makes up 19% of the nation’s population, a new high. As the diverse and far-reaching Hispanic population has grown, so has the reporting of hate crimes against Latinos. (In 2021, the FBI reported “two-thirds of recorded crimes involve racial or ethnic hate” with over 9,000 reported hate crime incidents, the highest number in the U.S. since 1990.)

Honoring both the past and present, as well as lifting voices and raising awareness on behalf of these vital communities, can be a call to action for philanthropists, particularly during Hispanic Heritage Month. National Philanthropic Trust has compiled a non-exhaustive list of nonprofit organizations whose work and missions directly reflect the spirit at the core of Hispanic heritage and pride. (We also encourage donors to research all organizations prior to entering a grant recommendation.)

For donors interested in arts and culture

Ballet Hispanico

Dance is a significant part of Hispanic culture, and Ballet Hispanico works towards bringing communities together through the power of performing arts, including dance productions and dance training. While they have year-round programming in New York City, the company also hosts special events specifically for Hispanic Heritage Month.

GALA Hispanic Theater

Located in the nation’s capital, GALA (which stands for Grupo de Artistas LatinoAmericanos) is a hub for Latino artists. In addition to their slate of live performances, GALA also offers the Abel Lopez Leadership Award in Latino Arts, which acknowledges individuals and/or organizations that have made an impact on the Latinx arts community.

Hoa Hora Latina

The city of Knoxville, TN is home to HoLa Hora Latina, a grassroots arts and culture and nonprofit organization. HoLa Hora Latina has put Latino communities at the forefront of the greater Knoxville region through education, partnership and leadership, including their annual Hola Festival, which celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month.

For donors interested in education

Charlotte Bilingual Preschool

For the Spanish-speaking children and families of Charlotte, North Carolina, this unique school provides dual-language, multi-cultural early childhood education. With early learning programs for children as young as 3-years-old, the Charlotte Bilingual Preschool also offers the parents of students free online ESL classes.

Hispanic Federation

Priding itself as the “nation’s premier Latino nonprofit membership organization,” the New York City-based Hispanic Federation focuses on numerous ways to help communities through economic empowerment, civic engagement and education. Their educational programs and advocacy work includes the Hispanic Education Summit, which focuses on Latino education advocacy in the Northeast.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Established in 1975 and headquartered in New York City, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) has awarded over $500 million in scholarships to more than 65,000 scholars to date. With their tagline, “a diploma is forever,” HSF works towards giving students and their families the resources and support needed to be successful in higher education.

For donors interested in community resources

Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment Through Research

The St. Paul-based nonprofit organization Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment Through Research (HACER) aims to provide the Latinx community in the Minnesota region with the opportunity to affect public policy and institutional decision making. HACER’s areas of focus for the community include, among others, information regarding COVID-19.

Latino Network

For the Hispanic members of the Portland, OR area and beyond, the Latino Network provides community events and programming with a focus on improving the lives of Latino youth and their families.” From violence prevention to volunteer opportunities, the foundation of the Latino-led organization’s work is that self-determination is the core of the community.

Sociedad Latina

Since 1975, this Boston-based nonprofit has served over 5,000 Latinos in the region each year focusing on areas like workforce development, civic engagement, education and culture. The organization’s strategies for success including bilingualism and “strong community ties.”

For donors interested immigration/voting rights


Previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), UnidosUS is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization. With an affiliate network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS works towards challenging the various barriers that impact Latinos at national and local levels.

United We Dream

As the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country, United We Dream focuses its efforts on the rights and dignity of immigrants. From sharing up-to-date news on DACA to providing an online resource library (with information on issues like deportation and citizenship), one of the group’s guiding principles is: “We believe in being democratic and accountable.”

Voto Latino

Since 2005, Voto Latino has been working towards giving Latinx citizens a voice at the polls and beyond. Through civic engagement, the organization focuses on educating and empowering Latin voters, including information on when and where they can register to vote, as well as diving deeper into prominent issues like healthcare and immigration.

While Latino communities across the U.S. continue to be underfunded, this is a chance for donors to make their voices heard. With “donors of color changing the fabric of philanthropy in this country,” giving towards organizations that focus on the people and places that make Latino communities thrive can send a powerful message of both pride and perseverance.