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Latino boost – $16.5M goal

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By Todd Cohen

Helping Latino nonprofits do a better job is the focus of a new initiative of Hispanics in Philanthropy.

The Council on Foundations affinity group, based in Emeryville, Calif., near San Francisco, wants to raise $16.5 million over five years to increase to boost giving to Latino communities and nonprofits by organized philanthropy.

So far, the group has raised $7.2 million from 34 funders.

Most of the money raised by the initiative, the Funders Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities, goes to strengthen the internal operations of Latino nonprofits in the U.S., with some support in five Latin American countries.

“We’re focused completely on organizational development,” says Magui Rubalcava, director of programs for Hispanics in Philanthropy.

The mission of the affinity group is to expand Latino philanthropy and the number of Latinos working in philanthropy.

The collaborative uses funds from national foundations — with major support from Ford, Kellogg and Rockefeller — to match funds for the project raised by local foundations.

Committees representing local and national funders oversee the process of requesting and approving grant proposals from Latino nonprofits, which must have annual operating budgets of less than $1 million.

Rubalcava, based in St. Paul, Minn., says the initiative aims to better connect Latinos and funders.

“If you don’t have access to philanthropy, if you’re a nonprofit and you don’t now how to approach foundations, it’s very hard to get funding.”

The initiative is particularly interested in foundations that don’t yet fund Latino causes, she says.

“The goal is not just to bring more money to the Latino community,” she says, “but also to educate funders.”

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