The U.S.-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership seeks to resolve the inequality along the U.S.-Mexico border by means of binational public policies and mechanisms that allow funds to be gathered and channeled in an increasing and sustainable way.
The BPP, as it is known, functions under the principle that partnering gives value added to each individual organization, since "the voice of the border is much stronger with many programs under the same umbrella working as one," its executive director, Andy Carey, told Efe.
The BPP is made up of more than 64 organizations on both sides of the border, including the Arizona Community Foundation, the El Paso Community Foundation, and for Mexico, FECHAC in Chihuahua state and the Tichi Muñoz Foundation in Sonora, among others.
With the sponsorship of institutions such as the Ford, Annie E. Carey and Charles Stewart Mott foundations, the BPP organizes conferences, helps raise funds to improve the standard of living for local communities while combating the negative image of the border region.
"Our model is one of community philanthropy. Since a lot of organizations are now seeking funds, you have to identify resources and channel them to the less fortunate within the same community," Carey said.
The BPP slogan is "The Border. It matters. It matters now. And it matters to YOU," which, according to Carey, stresses both the influx of goods and people across the border and the challenges and potential of this area for both countries.
He said that almost $1 billion worth of products enter the U.S. from across the border every day, as well as almost 1 million people, with 80 percent of this movement entering through the 35 points of entry from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas.
"We're transnationals, we live on one side and work on the other, which makes this region unique in the world, for the inequalities and the close contact of two countries with such different levels of development," Carey said.
These inequalities also influence the work of philanthropic organizations, the way they can raise money, which tends to be dominated by U.S. organizations, Carey said.
The main difference in philanthropic work is the access to funding. Culturally, it's more common in the United States, and the system of tax exemptions for donations is more formalized. In Mexico the needs are greater, but people tend to either get help individually or through the church. But that paradigm is beginning to change and we're a part of that," he said.