Published On: Sat, Jan 7th, 2023

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Millions in New Philanthropic Commitments Aligned to Puerto Rico Economic Dialogue


A network of foundations is coming together to align historic investments in Puerto Rico in parallel to the Biden-Harris Administration’s Puerto Rico Economic Dialogue. These commitments will support capacity building in local municipios, promote arts and culture, bolster renewable energy, and ensure sustainable agriculture. Committing organizations include: Ford Foundation, Filantropia Puerto Rico, PolicyLink, the Communities First Infrastructure Alliance, La Liga de Ciudades, Sembrando Sentido, Mellon Foundation, Hispanic Federation, and Rockefeller Foundation.

The Biden-Harris Administration is investing unprecedented resources in Puerto Rico’s economic growth and is committed to working closely with partners across the archipelago—in communities and in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors—to ensure that growth is inclusive, resilient, and sustainable.  

Last week, the federal government and the Puerto Rican government launched the Puerto Rico Economic Dialogue to align on shared policy priorities that benefit all Puerto Rican communities, especially given the recent, unprecedented flow of federal funds to the island. As part of that effort, philanthropic leaders are coming together to support the Puerto Rican government, municipalities, civil sector, and communities, focused on local solutions and systems strengthening. 

In the lead-up to the Economic Dialogue, senior Administration officials and philanthropic, local government, and community-based leaders held a roundtable with over 100 philanthropic partners to discuss how philanthropy can assist Puerto Rico’s municipalities to overcome the challenges facing their communities. This was the first federally-hosted philanthropic convening focused on Puerto Rico, emphasizing the importance of civil society engagement in ensuring private and non-profit sector resources are aligned with federal priorities for equity, economic opportunity, and sustainability in the island’s long-term reconstruction.

Leveraging investments made to strengthen the island’s civic sector since Hurricane Maria, participating foundations expressed their commitment to prioritizing the needs of municipalities and frontline community-based organizations to accelerate the equitable deployment of federal resources to local communities; increase transparency and accountability; and pilot and scale innovative, community-led solutions that promote climate and energy resilience, economic opportunity, and community engagement. Foundations will also continue seeking opportunities to braid philanthropic and federal resources to strengthen the capacities of local municipalities and community-based organizations to more effectively access and deploy billions of dollars in federal funds allocated to Puerto Rico.

Leading national and Puerto Rico foundations as well as philanthropic and civic intermediaries made commitments aligned with the priorities of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Puerto Rico Economic Dialogue, including:

  • Ford Foundation, Filantropia Puerto Rico, PolicyLink, the Communities First Infrastructure Alliance, La Liga de Ciudades, and Sembrando Sentido
    • The partnership has committed over $1 million in seed capital to support the launch of a Municipal Innovation and Civic Engagement Hub designed to strengthen the capacity of local municipalities and community-based organizations to more effectively access and deploy federal resources to serve the needs of the island’s Justice 40 communities. 
  • Mellon Foundation
    • The Mellon Foundation recently granted more than $10 million to support Puerto Rico’s post-Fiona recovery, and is pledging an additional $13 million before the end of the year as part of its ongoing commitment to the arts and humanities sectors– resulting in more than $50 million in total grants from the Foundation to organizations in Puerto Rico and the diaspora since 2018, with more to come in 2023 and beyond.
  • Hispanic Federation
    • In 2023, Hispanic Federation will build on their commitment to Puerto Rico with a pledge of approximately $3 million in philanthropic funding and nearly $5 million in federal funding through a new partnership with the USDA. These funds will support grantmaking for community-based organizations in Puerto Rico and the expansion of renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and other long-term recovery initiatives that promote equitable community development. These new commitments are in addition to the Hispanic Federation’s $51 million in prior philanthropic investments to advance Puerto Rico’s just and sustainable recovery from natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Filantropia Puerto Rico
    • Filantropia Puerto Rico will convene a follow-up “Action Dialogue” to align resources and technical assistance with the federal and Puerto Rico government commitments highlighted in the Puerto Rico Economic Dialogue, in order to maximize coordination of government and philanthropic actions.
  • Rockefeller Foundation
    • The Rockefeller Foundation will continue to support Puerto Rico in their energy resilience goals, focusing on critical facilities throughout the island in 2023.

Together, the Biden-Harris Administration, government of Puerto Rico, and philanthropic partners are laying the foundation for strengthened and sustained collaboration to deliver results for the people of Puerto Rico long into the future.  



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