Searchable database of donors strengthens Mexico’s social sector

This article originally appeared as a press release on the Foundation Center website on 30 January 2013. The original article can be found here. Watch the Fondos a la Vista video below.

A new searchable database of more than 22,000 Mexican philanthropies, Fondos a la Vista, has been launched by the Foundation Center in New York in partnership with the Mexico-based Alternativas y Capacidades and the Philanthropy and Civil Society Project at ITAM (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México). The online resource provides the Mexican public with reliable, comprehensive information about domestic donors and their philanthropic activity, including the organizations they support.

“The development of Fondos a la Vista represents a leap forward in terms of accessibility and user friendliness,” said Michael D. Layton, Ph.D., director of the philanthropy and civil society project at ITAM. “Never before has such data been available to organizations looking for partners or funders, and to the public seeking to understand the finances of the nonprofit sector.”

Fondos a la Vista (Funds at a Glance) — which aims to foster “a trustworthy and transparent civil society” — can be searched for free and contains information compiled and curated from both the Mexico Tax Administration Service registry and the Mexico National Institute for Social Development registry. It provides users access to the financial data of funders, aiming to empower and strengthen Mexico’s bourgeoning social sector by serving as a mechanism for accountability and transparency of its organizations. Users may include foundations and charities outside the country that engage in cross-border programs, who can use it to gain a greater understanding of philanthropy in Mexico and find partners on the ground.

In addition to the multi-year financial data in Fondos a la Vista, funder profiles provide information on each organization’s purpose, areas of support, target population, and grant recipients. Users can perform detailed queries, compile aggregated results lists, and save and export search results.

“In the long term we hope Fondos a la Vista will play an important role in ushering in an era of enhanced accountability between the nonprofit sector and the general public in Mexico,” said Miguel Ángel de la Vega, executive director of Alternativas y Capacidades. “We expect that organizations will seek to strengthen the mechanisms they employ to ensure that financially and programmatically they are using their resources in a manner that fulfills their mission and improves Mexico.”

The Foundation Center has long been known for its Foundation Directory Online database of U.S. foundations and their grants, which served as a model for the development of Fondos a la Vista. The new platform represents both the Center’s first Spanish-language online database, and also the first developed exclusively with non-U.S. data sets.

“Every country and region is unique, with its own distinctive requirements, and the Foundation Center is well-positioned to help global partners transform raw information into meaningful knowledge resources that support and advance the social sector,” said Bradford K. Smith, president of the Foundation Center. “Fondos a la Vista showcases how the Foundation Center’s expertise and technological savvy can meet the needs of philanthropy worldwide.”

The launch of Fondos a la Vista aligns with the Center’s Foundation Center 2020 strategic plan and reflects its commitment to building the global data platform for philanthropy, connecting nonprofits to the resources they need to succeed, and encouraging greater foundation transparency.

Fondos a la Vista was made possible with support from Fundación Alfredo Harp Helú, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Fundación del Empresariado en México, US-Mexico Foundation, Microsoft, Fundación Rosario Campos de Fernández, and Montepío Luz Savinóñ. It can be found at http://www.fondosalavista.mx.

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