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
To launch our series on 50 years of grassroots successes, we explore why our grantees consider us one of the best funders of international development, according to the Center for Effective Philanthropy survey on grantees’ perceptions of their funders.
The Inter-American Foundation Launches its First Impact Investment in a Central American Microcredit LenderInter-American Foundation
The IAF launched its first-ever impact investment in Empresa para el Desarrollo (EDESA) in Costa Rica on January 30.
Two years ago today, Mexico was hit by earthquakes that resulted in the loss of more than 365 lives. The Inter-American Foundation and our partners stepped in to support community foundations and strengthen their local leadership.