This past March, TechSoup hosted its TechSoup Global Network Summit. Some 50 partner organizations, including NGOsource’s nine partners, gathered from all over the world in San Francisco to exchange ideas and start new projects focused on supporting civil society.
We were fortunate to have the opportunity to sit down with Luz Flaviana Castañeda Morales and Lourdes Sanz of our Mexico-based partner, Cemefi, to talk about the great work their organization does. Cemefi assists NGOs in Mexico, across Latin America and Spain with equivalency determinations (EDs) and also supports philanthropy across Mexican civil society.
A Hub for Civil Society
Created 28 years ago by a group of philanthropists led by Mr. Manuel Arango to strengthen civil society in Mexico, Cemefi serves as a membership association, with members including 1,500 NGOs and 1,400 business organizations. Cemefi’s philanthropy program gives NGOs the opportunity to strengthen their management and design better projects to facilitate closer relationships with grantmakers. In line with these objectives, Cemefi joined NGOsource in 2013 as our global partner supporting Spanish-speaking NGOs through the ED process.
Some of the NGOs that Cemefi supports for the ED process are located in rural areas and engage in agricultural work. In many cases, they are not advanced users of information technology. Another common issue is related to understanding concepts which sometimes get lost in translation. Cemefi works to understand each individual organization’s needs and accommodates these potential barriers to enable the NGO to complete the ED process and receive funding.
Leading the Way for Philanthropy in Mexico
In addition to its work with NGOsource, Cemefi strengthens philanthropy infrastructure and serves as a leading philanthropic service provider in Mexico. The organization:
- Hosts programs for corporations engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- Provides NGOs with resources to promote transparency in their operations
- Holds monthly forums related to philanthropy
- Facilitates network-building to help organizations that focus on common causes to strengthen each other
- Promotes volunteering and volunteering programs
- Runs a product donation program as part of the TechSoup Global Network
All of Cemefi’s work is done to foster and connect committed, socially responsible philanthropic participation from citizens, civil society organizations and corporations in order to achieve a more equitable, solidarity and prosperous society.
Cemefi works hard to strengthen civil society, and this shows through the strong partnerships it develops both within Mexico and across the international social sector.
This post was written by Gabby Sharaga, a New Sector Alliance RISE Fellow working as the Marketing and Communications Associate on the NGOsource team.
Photo: Luz Flaviana Castañeda Morales, Cemefi (used with permission of Cemefi ©2017)