Ana Maria Guerrero Carvajal, president of the Board of Directors of her family’s Fundación Carvajal, recognises the considerable challenges the charitable foundation currently confronts. In response, Fundación Carvajal, an organisation dedicated to helping Colombia’s most vulnerable overcome poverty, has remodelled its strategy, promoting a holistic approach aimed at addressing the elements of poverty on many fronts. The organisation primarily focuses on its home city of Cali, which has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We spoke to Ana Maria about her family’s unwavering commitment to its community, why social impact has to be redefined in a rapidly changing context, and how her journey led to her role in the foundation.
-Despite the Foundation’s 60 years of experience supporting education and other social initiatives, the global pandemic, which led to widespread rioting in Colombia, prompted the organisation to reevaluate its philanthropic approach. The Carvajal Foundation adopted a more holistic strategy that focused on specific geographic regions with several strategies that complement each other for greater impact.
-Keeping newer generations engaged in the Foundation’s work can be challenging, but critical to its future success. The organisation provides several programs designed to get next gen family members involved in the business at a senior decision-making level, providing them access to board meetings and giving them a window into the obstacles the company must confront. Family members can also work on specific tasks in different programs implemented by the foundation to gain insight into its work and objectives.
-Communication and the ability to connect with community members are vital for determining the barriers that keep people from prosperity. Gaining confidence and trust is the basis for everything the Carvajal Foundation does and also enables them to establish the kinds of partnerships and international cooperation needed to quickly scale their activities in line with growing social urgencies.