Philanthropic Foundations in Latin America

Philanthropic Foundations in Latin America

Copyright Date: 1968
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Philanthropic Foundations in Latin America
    Book Description:

    Provides a directory of the rapidly expanding philanthropic foundations in Latin America, identifying over 750 foundations and presenting detailed information on 364 of them. In addition, the directory contains an introduction that analyzes historical data on Latin American foundations, a country-by-country summary of legal processes regarding foundations and pertinent tax laws, two essays by North and South American foundation presidents discussing the organization and management of private foundations, and an appendix with models of bylaws and financial statements of Latin American foundations.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-696-9
    Subjects: Business, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-2)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 3-12)

    The purpose of this study is twofold. First, it provides information on existing Latin American foundations, a subject largely unexplored and undocumented until now. Because of the lack of information the efforts of existing foundations have gone unnoticed, their growth and coordination have been handicapped, and their ability to relate programs to national development has been hampered. This registry will assist the foundations, as well as government agencies and international organizations, in their planning and programming.

    Second, by presenting summaries of relevant legislation, essays on the organization and administration of foundations and on the responsibility of the private sector in...

  4. Descriptive Directory with Legal Résumés by Country
    • Argentina Foundations in Argentina
      (pp. 15-46)

      In Argentina a foundation is an endowed nonprofit institution dedicated to the public welfare. Its statutes should enable it to acquire property and to be self supporting without State subsidies (Civil Code, Art. 33). The governmental agencies which establish general administrative policies governing foundations determine the sufficiency of a foundation’s assets.

      A foundation may be permanent or of limited duration, as stipulated in its statutes. It may pursue one or several goals which may be expressed either restrictively or broadly in its statutes. Once specified in the statutes at the time legal existence is granted by the State, the purposes...

    • Bolivia Foundations in Bolivia
      (pp. 47-48)

      In Bolivia a foundation may obtain legal status, but the details of the Code provisions were unavailable at press time. The only existing foundation, the Simón I. Patiño Foundation, is devoted specifically to educational purposes and exists in perpetuity. It is governed by its own statutes with no specific government office responsible for its regulation. The founder and his descendants have the right to name two of the four members of the Board of Directors.

      Bolivian foundations with educational and social welfare objectives are exempt from payment of all national and local taxes (Law of April 21, 1921). The interest...

    • Brazil Foundations in Brazil
      (pp. 49-72)

      In Brazil foundations may be either public or private. A public foundation is an endowed institution founded by a public body for a specified purpose. It is created by the enactment of a special law, and is subject to the general provisions of law governing administrative agencies. A private foundation can be founded by a private person(s) and is governed by the provisions of the Civil Code (Arts. 24–30). Although permissible foundation purposes are not directly specified by the Civil Code, institutions devoted to educational or social benefit purposes are exempted from taxation by the Constitution.

      A private foundation...

    • Chile Foundations in Chile
      (pp. 73-89)

      In Chile a private foundation is an endowed, nonprofit institution established for the benefit of the general public. A foundation can be created by a duly published document or by will, and is governed by the provisions of the Civil Code (Book I, Title 23) and its regulations. The legal provisions in Chile relating to certain types of nonprofit corporations are similar to those regulating foundations, and a substantial number of rules applies to both.*

      A foundation may acquire legal status by applying to the President of the Republic through the National Ministry of Justice or initially through the Governor...

    • Colombia Foundations in Colombia
      (pp. 90-109)

      The Constitution of Colombia expressly recognizes the legal status of foundations, provided that their purposes are not contrary to the legal or moral order (National Constitution, Art. 44). Foundations are governed by the Law for “Institutions Serving the Public Interest,” provided they fulfill three requisites: they have a specific endowment; the endowment is used for purposes beneficial to society; they are nonprofit (Law 93, Art. 1, of 1938).

      Foundations are subject to governmental inspection and supervision designed to assure compliance with the founders’ intent as stated in their statutes. The nonprofit nature of the organization is inferred from the text...

    • Costa Rica Foundations in Costa Rica
      (pp. 110-111)

      Costa Rican law has no general provisions regarding the procedures and requirements for establishing foundations. The two foundations that exist in the country were created by testament and accorded legal status by special legislative decree. They are governed by their own statutes, which had to be submitted to the President of the Republic for approval.

      Absent specific legislative provisions, the ad hoc provisions that apply to existing foundations indicate that a foundation may be of indefinite duration, that the founder may be a member of the governing board, and that the budget and its application are subject to approval by...

    • Dominican Republic Foundations in the Dominican Republic
      (pp. 112-114)

      Foundations in the Dominican Republic are regulated by the statutes governing all nonprofit associations without differentiation (Executive Order 520 of the Military Government of Santo Domingo, July 26, 1920). A foundation may be formed by five or more persons, who may present an application to the Ministry of Justice, which will submit it for Presidential approval (Ibid., Arts. 1, 4, and 5 [e]).

      No specific governmental supervision or control is provided for. The membership and financial records, however, must be certified by the mayor of the community where the foundation is domiciled. Annual reports of finances and activities must be...

    • Ecuador Foundations in Ecuador
      (pp. 115-120)

      In the Civil Code of Ecuador, foundations are recognized specifically as public welfare institutions. They are accorded legal status by virtue of a law or upon the approval of the President of the Republic (Civil Code, Art. 588). The two legal requirements for their establishment are submission of the charter and statutes for approval, and an endowment for which no specified minimum amount has been established. Under the terms of the Code, there are no legal restrictions on the activities of a foundation established for the public welfare, provided that its statutes contain no provisions contrary to public order (Ibid.,...

    • El Salvador Foundations in El Salvador
      (pp. 121-124)

      Foundations created in the public interest are expressly recognized in the Civil Code of El Salvador (Articles 540–559). The Code contains no specific definition of purposes considered in the public interest; interpretation is made by the governmental authority approving the statutes. The Internal Revenue Code, however, does contain a definition of approved fields of activity which would be relevant (see below). Government regulation is limited to the approval of the charter and statutes; thereafter the foundation must conform to general legislation governing the existence of corporate entities.

      Dissolution can be effected by the foundation’s Board, or by law if...

    • Guatemala Foundations in Guatemala
      (pp. 125-127)

      In Guatemala a foundation may be granted legal status as an entity serving the public interest (Civil Code, Art. 15 [3]).

      A foundation may be established by will or a duly published inter vivos transfer of assets. The founding document should indicate the assets, objectives, and administrative form of the foundation (Ibid., Art. 20). The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit approves the application for establishment of the foundation if it conforms to legal requirements and contains provisions necessary to fulfill the intent of the founder (Ibid., Art. 20). The Public Ministry supervises the utilization of the foundation’s assets to...

    • Honduras Foundations in Honduras
      (pp. 128-128)

      Although it has been impossible to identify any foundations in Honduras in the sense of endowed philanthropic institutions, the following information, supplied by the Secretary of the Treasury, would pertain to such organizations:

      Foundations are recognized under the Civil Code of Honduras, although there are no special provisions explicitly governing their operations. They would be treated under the same code provisions that govern the operations of corporations and associations.

      The statutes and internal regulations of foundations and such institutions define and govern their activities; government regulation relates to the proper execution of the statutes once they have been approved by...

    • Mexico Foundations in Mexico
      (pp. 129-140)

      Foundations domiciled in the Federal District and federal territories of Mexico are governed by a comprehensive statute which controls permanent institutions serving the public interest (Law of Private Welfare Institutions, Jan. 2, 1943). A foundation is considered to be a nonprofit institution formed by the irrevocable transfer of private property to be used for humanitarian purposes without specifically designating the individual beneficiaries (Ibid., Art. 1, 4, and 9).

      Foundations are controlled by the Private Welfare Institutions Board, which is a part of the Ministry of Public Welfare. Applications and proposed statutes of inter vivos or testamentary foundations must be approved...

    • Nicaragua Foundations in Nicaragua
      (pp. 141-141)

      Although no information has been obtained on any existing foundations in Nicaragua, a foundation is recognized by Nicaraguan law as an endowed institution devoted to the public welfare and created or authorized by a special legislative act granting it legal status (Civil Code, Arts. 3 and 76).

      A foundation may be formed by a duly published inter vivos or by will (Ibid., Art. 984), which must be registered with the Ministry of Government, which is responsible for the supervision of foundations. Dissolution must be approved by the same authority which authorized formation, and unless otherwise provided, any remaining assets become...

    • Panama Foundations in Panama
      (pp. 142-143)

      In Panama a foundation may acquire legal status as an institution serving the public good and created or recognized by special decree (Civil Code, Art. 64 [3]). There is, however, no special law which governs the functioning of foundations. The civil capacity of a foundation is regulated by its own statutes which must be approved by the Executive Power (Ibid., Art. 68).

      In Panama religious and beneficent societies, asylums, shelters, orphanages, and similar charitable institutions dedicated to the public welfare are exempt from the payment of income tax (Fiscal Code, Art. 708 [c] and [d]). Legacies and gifts are also...

    • Paraguay Foundations in Paraguay
      (pp. 144-146)

      Although no specific law or provision of the Civil Code of Paraguay expressly relates to foundations, they are considered to come under the general concepts established for institutions which “have the common welfare as their principal objective, possess their own endowment, and are not subsidized by the State” (Civil Code, Art. 33).

      A foundation must be expressly authorized by an executive decree (Ibid., Art. 45), and is supervised by the Secretary of Treasury. Since the law authorizes legally constituted entities to undertake any activities which are not expressly prohibited (Ibid., Art. 35), the scope of operations of a recognized foundation...

    • Peru Foundations in Peru
      (pp. 147-153)

      In Peru foundations are specifically recognized in the Civil Code as institutions authorized to accumulate assets for a specific nonprofit objective (Civil Code, Chapter III, Arts. 44 and 64). A foundation is established by means of a public instrument or testament, and must be registered in the Public Registry (Ibid., Art. 65). Its charter should indicate its organs and administrative procedures; any omission or deficiency is corrected by the government (Ibid., Art. 66; Law 8728, Art. 1, of August 25, 1958).

      The Ministry of Finance is responsible for assuring that the foundation’s assets are utilized in accordance with the approved...

    • Uruguay Foundations in Uruguay
      (pp. 154-156)

      While foundations are not expressly recognized in the Civil Code of Uruguay, they are mentioned in the Code of Civil Procedure (Article 40), and several foundations have been organized and recognized by Uruguayan authorities. An exhaustive study of the status of foundations in Uruguay has been published by Alfredo Paolillo, a Uruguayan jurist.*

      Because they are not defined by law, existing foundations are regulated under the general provisions relating to nonprofit associations. The governmental body responsible for supervising their activities is the Ministry of Culture. The absence of a specific definition of permitted activities apparently leaves the scope of activities...

    • Venezuela Foundations in Venezuela
      (pp. 157-172)

      Foundations in Venezuela may be created to serve the public interest in the fields of the arts, sciences, literature, charity, or social welfare (Civil Code, Art. 20). A foundation may acquire legal status by registering its charter and a certified copy of its statutes at the Oficina Subalterna de Registro (Registry Office) of the department or district in which it has been created. Any change in its statutes should be registered within fifteen days. Testament foundations are considered to have legal status from the date of approval of the will, provided that, following probate, they fulfill the requirement regarding registration....

  5. Articles
    • “The Organization and Management of Private Foundations in the United States,”
      (pp. 175-182)
      J. George Harrar

      Private philanthropy originated as an expression of the humanitarian impulse of man within an increasingly complex and advanced society. This manifestation of man’s concern for his fellow man has been with us in various forms for centuries, but organized private philanthropy, involving a highly sophisticated understanding of the needs of society is a fairly recent phenomenon. Perhaps it has reached its most refined form in the American foundation, which has become one of our most important institutions for private giving.

      Conceived by men of wealth around the turn of the century, the foundation in the United States was based on...

    • “Corporate Responsibility in Social Progress,”
      (pp. 183-188)
      Ivan Lansberg Henriquez

      I am very grateful for the opportunity to express, in this first directory of Latin American foundations, a few thoughts on a subject which, in our continent, is rapidly becoming “Management’s New Frontier.” It is the subject of private enterprise’s responsibility in social progress. May I start with what I consider to be some self-evident truths.

      Private enterprise owes its existence to society which it supplies with goods and services as efficiently as possible, for which society pays it a profit. Although that profit is not the final purpose of private enterprise, it is its livelihood and an indication of...

  6. Appendix:: Model Papers for Foundations
    • Bylaws of the Fundación Hernando Carvajal B., Cali, Colombia
      (pp. 191-197)
    • Bylaws of Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina
      (pp. 198-202)
    • Specimen Financial Statement
      (pp. 203-204)
  7. Alphabetical Index of Foundations
    (pp. 205-215)