‘Collective Remittances’ Help Migrants Settle, Send Funds Home

Flags of many nations, shot from above, with their shadows on a blue-gray background
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ALBANY, N.Y. (March 14, 2024) — Immigrants around the world send a collective $860 billion back to their home countries each year in what are known as remittances – money that helps relatives and friends back home pay for food, shelter, clothing and school.

Susan Appe
Susan Appe

In a new article published in The Conversation, Susan Appe, associate professor of public administration and policy at UAlbany’s Rockefeller College, writes about “collective remittances” raised by hometown associations. These associations are nonprofits formed by immigrants from the same country, and serve as a way to channel and pool charitable gifts. The funds raised by hometown associations support two important objectives: They aid new immigrants settling in a new country and, by way of collective remittances, send funds to communities back in the countries of origin.

Appe, who studies philanthropy, says that while Mexican hometown associations are the most common, immigrants from other countries – including Turkey, India, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador and Ethiopia – have formed similar nonprofits.

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