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
Looking for scenes of beauty and strength during these challenging times? In early March 2020, several IAF staff members traveled to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Lucia to visit potential grantee partners. Get a peek into community-led innovations in the Caribbean through their photos.
We are living through a historic, global crisis and many wonder how we—especially the most vulnerable among us—will recover and rebuild afterwards. We recently spoke with Steve Vetter, a former IAF leader, who recalled another time in the IAF's history when grantees displayed resilience in the face of disaster.