Adriana Loson-Ceballos is an evaluation consultant and one of seven co-founders of Colmena-Consulting, a social venture startup created to offer an innovative professional services model for social change actors. Colmena supports organizations, institutions, and individuals seeking to mobilize resources and people to create change, repair harm, and build power in marginalized communities. Adriana offers her services to clients as an evaluator and critical researcher. She serves as the embedded evaluator for Philanthropy Together and is evaluating the LatinXCEL Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. She has recently closed out an additional evaluation for the Latino Community Foundation’s (LCF) Latino Giving Circle Network (LGCN). She is working with Philanthropy Together and Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy to conduct a national landscape of giving circles to improve practice and enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in national reports of philanthropy. Adriana designs evaluations and research that are participatory and rooted in critical theories, by bringing the “nothing about us without us” commitment from emancipatory research to center community voices often ignored when determining the successes or challenges in collective action efforts.
Adriana’s lived experience within a Latino immigrant family with transnational connections and growing up on the most transited land border in the world, along with her work, led her to discover giving circles as a form of collective philanthropy in service of the groups’ well being, particularly for women. It led her back to school and to focus her research on people-powered philanthropic movements. Over the last decade, Adriana has pursued graduate degrees in human rights and leadership studies, while conducting research on philanthropy and social movements among Latinos throughout the U.S., as well as Latin America and the Caribbean. She recently defended her doctoral dissertation. The dissertation focuses on how members of Latino giving circles make sense of their philanthropic engagement, and how participation affects their well-being, civic engagement, and philanthropic giving. The dissertation uses an emancipatory research paradigm with a Latino-focused critical race theory, LatCrit, to study the LGCN based in California and hosted by the LCF.
Adriana volunteers by serving on two global philanthropy boards, the Women’s Funding Network and Social Venture Partners International. Born in Mexico, raised in Chula Vista California, Adriana resides on the US-Mexico border.