September 16, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Patrick Salazar
Latino Leadership Initiative Secures Funding
Grants Spur Pilot Project: Training and Recruiting Latinos for Nonprofit Boards
Los Angeles – Four private foundations have awarded a combined $115,000 in grants since January to catalyze the programs and operations of Latinos LEAD, a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase Latino representation on charitable sector boards of directors.
On September 10, 2019 the Ford Foundation made a two-year grant to Latinos LEAD (Latinos for Leadership Excellence And Diversity), effectively culminating the leadership development group’s crucial pilot phase.
This is the fourth grant received by Latinos LEAD since the organization launched programming in January 2019.
Earlier this year, The Ahmanson Foundation and an anonymous donor fund underwrote programming and a training and outreach initiative targeting the environmental movement. These grants were followed in May with an unrestricted operating support grant from the Weingart Foundation.
Patrick Salazar, Latinos LEAD Founder and Board Chair, said “The nation’s leading philanthropies understand the importance of building stronger and more diverse nonprofit leadership teams. We are inspired by their vision and humbled by their confidence in our work.”
In its biennial study of board diversity, BoardSource reported in 2017 that Latinos made up fewer than 7% of nonprofit board members among responding organizations. i The study found that while the proportion of people of color on nonprofit boards had increased from 16% in 2010 to 20% in 2015, this positive trend was reversed by 2017, as the percentage of White board members grew from 80% to 84%. Perhaps even more alarming, the study found that a quarter of respondents’ boards were exclusively White in 2015 —a proportion that shifted upward to 27% in 2017ii.
“Our emphasis now shifts to securing additional funds to expand program implementation and evaluation,” said Stephanie Medina, the Secretary-Treasurer of Latinos LEAD. “This pilot funding affirms the validity of our model, and we are eager to demonstrate its impact.”
Latinos LEAD seeks to increase the ranks of talented and qualified Latinos serving on the governing boards of nonprofit organizations. During its pilot phase, Latinos LEAD conducted a nonprofit board member recruiting search and a board inclusion blueprint workshop for two different Los Angeles-based nonprofit clients. Its inaugural board member training for Latino professionals will be held in Los Angeles on September 20th and 21st.
More information about Latinos LEAD and its programming can be found at www.latinosleadnow.org
i BoardSource: “Leading with Intent: 2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices” p. 12
ii Ibid, p. 11