Who are we?
COMUNALIA is the Mexican nonprofit organization Alianza de Fundaciones Comunitarias de México, Asociación Civil. Incorporated in August 2011, Comunalia is a joint effort to bring about transformation in the country, with a focus on local development and strategic social investment.
The aim is to strengthen the collective work of community foundations to help their programs achieve greater scope, impact and transcendence. It seeks to strengthen the power of citizens, influence public policy, develop leadership, foster representation and collective dialog, and to replicate and strengthen the Mexican model of community foundations. Comunalia represents a group of Mexican community foundations, each with its own history and experience to share; to consolidate as a group that has the opportunity to raise awareness in local societies about the importance of citizen participation in benefit of the country and of each Mexican man and woman.
Our work focuses on creating spaces for coordination, alliances and the management of opportunities, strengthening each of our members through collaborative learning, positioning the Mexican community foundation model, and highlighting the work performed by each of the community foundations that make up our Alliance.
We operate in fifteen states throughout the country, from north to south, east to west: Baja California, Chihuahua, State of Mexico, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Puebla, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Torreón and Yucatán.
Our name and image:
COMUNALIA is a unique word that characterizes our mystique: “COMÚN” in reference to the characteristics that we share and the common language we speak: the language of development and participation, “UNA” because we come together as a single entity, and “ALIA” due to our alliance, our union.
Our colors represent the earth, the people and diversity. Community foundations owe themselves to our land and we work for our people. We accept diversity and differences as a constant and we are inclusive; therefore, our image has different and infinite colors. We organize ourselves and draw inspiration from quality and perfection, such as the hexagon arrangement of honeycomb, where groups support one another and together form a powerhouse.
To strengthen the community foundation movement in order to contribute to Mexico’s transformation toward sustainable, equitable and participative development.
We are an alliance of community foundations with national presence and international projection. The different sectors linked to development recognize us as a reference entity of civil society. We have contributed to the empowerment and coordination of the OSC, as well as the creation of alliances between sectors. We are influencing public policies and strengthening a culture of co-responsibility in Mexico. Drawing on the strength of an active citizen, we are transforming the diverse issues that the country faces.
- COMMITMENT: We accept our social co-responsibility for the needs of the community with great conviction and dedication.
- INNOVATION: We foster individual and collective creativity in the search for new and different ways to do things, creating advanced strategies to meet our objectives in constant pursuit of better results.
- CONSISTENCY: Our actions are a product of the collective decisions that we make according to the range of principles that underpin our alliance.
- TRANSPARENCY: We are a solid group that works for community development; we are convinced that our actions must be reflected in society both honestly and fairly.
- RESPECT: We are considerate of the differences of our members, partners and beneficiaries.
- UNITY: We are connected, which is a fundamental characteristic of our day to day tasks.
- EQUALITY: We promote social change by fostering participation and representation without distinction of any the members of the alliance.
- SUBSIDIARITY: We integrate the strengths and areas of opportunity that the group represents as a whole.
COMUNALIA has a short history started in 2009 with a collective effort of unity and representation which, through strategy and organization, was consolidated after two years of work, in August 2011, to become what we know today as the Alliance of Mexican Community Foundations, Comunalia. However, there are several decades of work that come before the efforts in their communities.
In 1985, conditions in Mexico started to provide “fertile ground” for the creation of community foundations. The first of them, which were initially created as funds, included Fondo Córdoba, Fondo Social del Empresariado Chihuahuense and Fondo Cozumel. The first community foundation born as such was Fundación Comunitaria Oaxaca in 1996.
The majority of COMUNALIA’s partner community foundations arose at the end of the nineties and beginning of 2000s: Fundación del Empresariado Chihuahuense (FECHAC), Fundación Comunitaria Cozumel, Fundación Comunidad, Fundación Comunitaria del Bajío, Fundación Comunitaria Puebla; Fundación del Empresariado Sonorense (FESAC), Corporativa de Fundaciones, Fundación Internacional de la Comunidad, Fundación Comunitaria Querétaro, Fundación Comunitaria de la Frontera Norte, Fundación Comunitaria Matamoros, Fundación Merced Coahuila, Fundación Merced Querétaro and the most recent: Fundación Punta de Mita and Fundación Comunitaria Malinalco. Fundación Comunidar and Fundación del Empresariado Yucateco (FEYAC).
Today, COMUNALIA is a civil association made up of 15 partner community foundations with a presence in 14 states and a head office in Mexico City. One significant achievement is that its operating costs are met by a fund created out of the annual contribution of each of its members.