By |2020-01-03T11:13:11-05:00May 3, 2018|

active projects
January 2020


IAF investment


people benefiting

Program areas

Projects in Brazil

ordered by most recently awarded



Caritas Brasileira Regional Nordeste (CBNE), is developing a training program for Venezuelan migrants in the state of Pernambuco that will equip them for local employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. 

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2019 – RFJS

Rede de Fundos para Justiça Social (RFJS), is a network of community foundations committed to investing in social and economic development and to strengthening community philanthropy in Brazil.

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2019 – CMN

Casa da Mulher do Nordeste (CMN), supports a multifaceted program to empower women and young people in the Passarinho community of Recife. The program provides training and income generation opportunities as well as increases participants' ability to engage with local officials and increase public transparency in order to improve socioeconomic conditions. 

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2019 – GTP+

Grupo de Trabalhos em Prevenção Posithivo (GTP+), offers training in civic and human rights and in food production and marketing to support individuals in Recife to gain the skills and confidence to improve their living conditions and, in the process, their engagement in the broader political, economic, and social life of their community.

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Instituto Comradio do Brasil (COMRADIO), empowers blind and visually impaired women in Piauí through vocational training, preparing them to access a variety of income-generating opportunities.

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Caritas Brasileira Regional do Maranhão (CBMA) works to strengthen a grassroots network that connects rural and urban agricultural producers to create new markets for traditional crops.

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Associação Movimento Mecenas da Vida (MMV) works with small farmers to organize a participatory organic agricultural certification, establish new markets, and conserve natural resources.

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Associação Quilombola do Povoado Patioba (AQUIPP) provides a series of workshops for young people to strengthen their Afro-Brazilian cultural identity and develop leadership and employable skills.

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2017-Rede Bartô

Associação Rede Rio São Bartolomeu de Mútua Cooperação (Rede Bartô) works with young people in rural community associations in the Federal District to improve the production, processing, and marketing of vegetables, fruits, and small animals and to contribute to the conservation of natural resources.

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Frequently asked questions

Who governs the IAF?2018-08-17T13:44:23-04:00

The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) is governed by a nine-person board of directors appointed by the president of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. Six members of the board are drawn from the private sector and three from the federal government. The board appoints a president who serves as the IAF’s chief executive officer.

How is the IAF funded?2018-08-17T13:44:22-04:00

Congress annually appropriates funds for use by the IAF pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1969, as amended. The IAF’s other primary funding source is the Social Progress Trust Fund administered by the Inter-American Development Bank and consisting of repayments of loans originally made by the U.S. government under the Alliance for Progress to various Latin American and Caribbean governments. The IAF accepts donations for projects in the region.

How is the IAF different?2018-08-17T13:44:21-04:00
  • A value-driven mandate allows the IAF to support programs that promote entrepreneurship, self-reliance and democratic principles as well as economic progress for the poor.
  • Responsiveness to the ideas of organized people drives IAF’s work.
  • A focus on innovation and experimentation makes the IAF a pioneer in the development assistance community.
  • A bipartisan public-private governing structure assures the IAF benefits from entrepreneurial experience and works toward the long-term national interest.
  • A lean operating structure keeps overhead to a minimum and maximizes program returns.
What is grassroots development?2018-08-17T13:44:21-04:00

The IAF uses the term “grassroots development” to describe the process by which disadvantaged people organize themselves to improve the social, cultural and economic well-being of their families, communities and societies. This concept is based on the premise that the key to sustainable democracies, equitable societies and prosperous economies is a people-oriented strategy that stresses participation, organizational development and networking.

What are IAF’s guiding principles?2018-08-17T13:44:21-04:00
  • Support people, organizations and processes.
  • Channel funds directly to nongovernmental organizations.
  • Promote entrepreneurship, innovation and self-reliance.
  • Strengthen democratic principles.
  • Empower poor people to take the initiative in solving their problems.
  • Treat partners with respect and dignity.
What has the IAF done?2018-08-17T13:44:20-04:00

The IAF has been a leader in helping grassroots initiatives gain recognition as a critical factor in the sustainable development of Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 1972, the IAF has awarded more than 5,200 grants totaling about $730 million to support more than 4,000 organizations. Many grants went to grassroots organizations such as agricultural cooperatives or small urban enterprises; others were awarded to larger intermediary organizations that provided community groups with credit, technical assistance, training and marketing assistance. The largest portion of IAF funding has been invested in enterprise development, followed by food production and agriculture, education, training, and eco-development. Together the IAF and its grantees have tested cost-effective, participatory models for social and economic development. These models have been replicated and expanded by government and larger donor agencies improving conditions for hundreds of thousands of poor families throughout the hemisphere.

What are the results of IAF funding?2018-08-17T13:44:20-04:00

Grassroots development works. It not only engages poor people in improving their conditions but also fosters responsible citizenship. To gauge the impact of its investment, the IAF systematically tracks the results of its projects by using a conceptual grassroots development framework. This measures tangible results of projects and assesses the civic capacity of individuals, organizations and communities

How can the IAF do so much with so little?2018-08-17T13:44:20-04:00
  • It knows how to select its partners. The IAF supports grassroots groups with a track record in participatory self-help activities, who are willing to invest and risk their own resources.
  • It responds to local initiatives. The IAF does not design or impose projects; instead, it builds upon the ideas and commitment of local people.
  • It encourages processes that are sustainable, either with revenue generated by grantees or with resources leveraged from private and public sectors.
  • It supports innovative approaches that are replicable, allowing the IAF to increase the impact of activities through a multiplier effect.