semillas and Fundación banorte: PARTNERING TO strengthen grassroots women’s organizations through art and COMMUNICATION 

Early Engagement

Semillas - a women’s fund in Mexico - and Fundación Banorte- the non-profit arm of the Banorte Bank - have been working in partnership since 2011. The initial engagement was driven by the former Director of Fundación Banorte, who was interested in supporting women’s empowerment projects, and sought a partnership with Semillas. Fundación Banorte decided to fund individual grants for existing projects addressing the urgent needs of women in Mexico.

In 2014, following a shift in the strategic focus and staff of Fundación Banorte, Semillas was invited to present an evaluation of its previous projects with the bank, and to discuss possibilities for future partnership. In this meeting, Semillas staff demonstrated the depth and reach of their work, while Fundación Banorte explained its new funding strategy. As a result, the Semillas and Fundación Banorte established a deeper understanding of each other’s methods and goals,

New Partnership

Semillas agreed to support Fundación Banorte in its strategic outreach by sharing its internal strategies on evaluation procedures and fundraising. This supported the Bank to enhance its social impact programs for women in Mexico. The exchange of learning and practice created mutual trust, and provided a foundation for bigger engagement.

At the end of 2014, Fundación Banorte invited Semillas to co-design a new project. Working together with Semillas staff, the director and manager of Fundación Banorte supported Semillas in preparing a proposal that addressed the bank’s focus on women’s social impact as well as the fund’s needs and mission. This co-creation process resulted in the bank funding an innovative project that aims to strengthen grassroots women’s organizations using art and communication to advance women’s rights.

Win-Win

Semillas had long been interested in funding initiatives at the nexus of art and communication for women’s rights, but had previously lacked the funding for such a niche initiative. Partnering with Banorte enabled Semillas to expand its grant portfolio and fund organizations working in this area. In teaming up with Semillas, Fundación Banorte was able to enhance its outreach strategy and access the Fund’s rich network to reach 3,000 female clients.

This partnership also allowed Semillas to approach Fundación Banorte with a proposal for a $50,000 peso donation for its 25th anniversary fundraising event, La Gala de la Sandía. In exchange for this donation, the Bank received five tickets and the inclusion of their logo on the event banners. Semillas also acknowledged the support of Fundación Banorte in front of all of the guests. This donation, in combination with others sponsorships, meant that Semillas was able to cover the full cost of the event and donate 100% of ticket sales directly to grassroots women’s organizations. 

The project was completed in December 2015. Deliverables included an interim report that was presented on June 22, 2015 and a final report that was presented in mid-December. Both of these reports include narrative and financial reports, as well as photographic evidence of the project’s impact. In addition, Semillas produced a short final report on the fundraising and visibility results of the 25th anniversary Gala. This report included a detailed presentation of the results of Semillas’ visibility on social networks and new contacts with key allied public figures it established through the event. 

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