Despite the high expectations of staff hired to raise money, there is a limited understanding of fundraising and the barriers that fundraising professionals face in the Latin American philanthropic environment. This was the theme addressed by the Second Hemispheric Congress on Fundraising in Latin America, held on 26–28 January in Mexico City.
The conference, organized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and Resource Alliance, was attended by fundraisers from a number of sectors including health, housing and education. Participants identified the following needs: to develop an adequate regulatory framework for the sector; to establish the fundraiser as a professional; to strengthen the sector by networking and improving information flow; and to stimulate a change of organizational culture in order to create the conditions under which fundraising can flourish. Particular stress was laid on the need for professional development among fundraisers, and the importance of their working both collectively among themselves and in collaboration with other organizations to overcome the challenges they face.