Mission & History

The mission of Latinos LEAD (Latinos for Leadership Excellence And Diversity) is to train Latinos for nonprofit governing board service while collaborating with the nonprofit sector to recruit and retain Latino governing board members—actions we believe will significantly advance Latino professional and community development, improve charitable sector outcomes, and contribute to a better quality of life for all Americans. 

Latinos LEAD was founded in April 2017 following several months of issue research and competitive analysis, a process that formed a theory of change focused on three pilot programs: 1) Nonprofit governance training for Latino professionals (Ready to LEAD); 2) Recruiting Latino nonprofit governing board members (Pathways to LEAD); and, 3) Sustaining nonprofit governing board inclusion and retention (LEAD with Intent: Inclusion Blueprint).  During its demonstration phase (through 2022), Latinos LEAD is focusing on those Southern California nonprofits that have a high degree of impact on the Latino community’s wellbeing, but are led by governing boards that do not reflect the Latino communities they serve.  Targeted nonprofit sector fields include: Arts & Culture, Environment & Conservation, Health & Human Services, and K-12+ (after-school and school-based programming).

In September 2018, Latinos LEAD established a national Executive Advisory Council (EAC) of prominent leaders and experts in education, philanthropy, and the private sector.  The EAC was instrumental in framing and achieving initial strategic goals.  During 2018 and 2019, Latinos LEAD began implementing programs, completed social media outreach and website development, and launched its Salesforce data management system—resulting in the compilation of more than 10,000 contract prospects, board candidates, and partner organizations.  By early 2019, Latinos LEAD had opened a business banking account, secured liability/D&O insurance coverage, and completed all regulatory compliance filings.  By early 2020, the founding board of directors had evolved to a more institutional growth profile; its two newest members are Cindy Montanez, CEO of TreePeople, and Domenika Lynch, former CEO of the U.S. Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute.