How We Work

How We Work

How We Work

How We Work

How We Work

How We Work

Focus Areas

All of our focus areas are interconnected and reinforce each other. Good governance and rule of law is pivotal for SIF, because in striving for it, we impede inequity and forced migration.

Although, to get there, equity will ensure all members of society, especially those in more vulnerable situations, fully participate and are represented in their governments. It will also drive the creation and implementation of laws to guarantee inclusion and non-discrimination at all levels and in all sectors, by encouraging strong public services and stimulating opportunities and privileges for all.

A strong civil society can act as watchdogs and advocates to maintain an accountable and transparent government. This creates healthy dialogue and a space for civil society to provide input and public policy recommendations to establish a system of ongoing improvement of public institutions.

And by achieving all the previous goals, the drivers of migration will be recognized and prevented, and people being forced to migrate will be protected.

Good Governance and Rule of Law

Despite legal and institutional advances, young Central American democracies continue to face worrisome challenges, such as corruption and inequality. SIF pursues strategies that strengthen rule of law and foster more transparent and effective governments and institutions to lay the groundwork for societies to develop people’s potential within the country.


SIF promotes the participation of underrepresented sectors of society, especially indigenous peoples, women, and youth. Using an intersectional approach, SIF promotes equity, inclusion, and the representation of these groups in decision-making processes in the public and private sector.

Migration and Displacement

Migration and displacement from Central America to the United States has become one of the greatest challenges of today, on both sides of every border. SIF seeks to reduce high levels of migration by addressing the impact of push factors on populations living under vulnerable circumstances. We aim to protect the rights of migrants and deportees, to research the social phenomenon of migration, to create an active network of local change agents focused on migration, and to connect policymakers in the US with the migrant community.

Civil Society

SIF provides grants, promotes capacity building for social leaders in Central America, and establishes space for civil society organizations to forge alliances with the public and private sectors and their peers across the region. A robust and organized civil society can serve as a powerful vehicle to express the demands of the people and deliver their public policy agendas.



We convene key stakeholders committed to the region to facilitate conversation, promote collaboration and build networks that drive positive and lasting political, economic and social change.


We commit sustained funding directly to organizations in Central America and Mexico that address pervasive challenges in the region.


We advocate for effective financial and political investment in solutions that create systemic and long- lasting change.

Leadership Development

We invest in and facilitate leadership and skills training, mentorship and peer-to-peer learning opportunities to empower emerging and seasoned change-makers.


We conduct and support relevant research that encourages dialogue, promotes further analysis, and informs social action.


The Seattle International Foundation provides intermediary services to philanthropists and organizations who wish to take advantage of our knowledge, networks and expertise in Central America & Mexico, as well as our expertise with the expenditure responsibility process.

Expenditure responsibility (ER) is the federally mandated procedure that a foundation must follow for any grant made to an entity that is not a 501(c)(3) organization (with few exceptions). Completing the ER process ensures that foundation funds are used for exclusively charitable purposes.

In addition to intermediary services for donors who already know exactly which organization they want to support, we also offer advising services to philanthropists and organizations who need help creating a strategy or finding the right partner to support causes in Central America & Mexico they care about.

SIF is a supporting organization to Seattle Foundation.

Impact Services & Advising clients include:

…and numerous individual philanthropists and donor collaboratives.


Bringing more resources to Central America and Mexico is something that is important to us. We offer Model C fiscal sponsorship to projects that are improving lives in this region but do not yet have tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).

The fiscal sponsorship arrangement offers a way for a project to attract donors even when it is not yet recognized as tax-exempt. In essence, we serve as the administrative “home” of the project, working closely with legally-registered locally-based organizations in the region who implement the work on the ground. Donors make tax-deductible charitable contributions to SIF as the fiscal sponsor, and we make grants to local organizations to support the project.

Current and past fiscal sponsees include the Caballero Fund, Campamento Esperanza, Football for Sinaloa, the Roberto Carcelén Foundation and Global Women-Partners in Philanthropy.

For more information on SIF’s Intermediary Services or Fiscal Sponsorship Services, please contact Sarah Pease, Director of Development and Fundraising.