Community development from the bottom up
We use 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.
As funders of sustainable development, we offer small investments directly to civil society organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Because many of these groups are at the beginning stages of their growth, we also facilitate opportunities for building capacity and organizational strength.
Additionally, our approach to foreign assistance is distinct among U.S. Government agencies. Having worked with more than 5,000 community partners across the region, our credibility and contacts among civil society groups are a valuable resource for the U.S. and other development organizations.
Multiplying our impact
We multiply impact with peer-to-peer learning, grantee exchanges, networks, capacity building and community asset mobilization.
Flexible, effective U.S. foreign assistance
Our distinct model of foreign assistance incentivizes community ownership and leadership of development solutions, implementation and sustainability in important ways.
Talk about community-led development!
Recent News and Stories
The Inter-American Foundation’s board of directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Simone Gourguechon, global sustainability strategy manager for McDonald’s Corporation, to its advisory council.
By sustainably harvesting forests, Mexican community organizations are stemming deforestation and ensuring opportunities for all people to thrive in their home communities.
Few would have imagined in the early days that former IAF grantee partner Fundación Defensores del Chaco would become a youth-led powerhouse mobilizing entire towns to advocate for themselves. But what started as a street soccer team became a space where young people and their communities could bring their problems and find solutions together.