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Fundraising targets Latino causes

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By Todd Cohen

Home to what is believed to be the fastest-growing Latino population in the U.S., North Carolina also has generated the most charitable dollars in a international initiative to address Latino needs.

Now, in a new round of fundraising, North Carolina wants to raise another $1.2 million.

Launched in 2000 by San Francisco-based Hispanics in Philanthropy, the Funders’ Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities has raised over $29 million from 148 donors in 18 sites in the United States and Latin America.

With funds from national donors matching funds contributed by local donors to the local sites, the collaborative has made grants to 348 nonprofits led by Latinos to build their internal operations, or “capacity.”

North Carolina foundations contributed nearly $1 million in the first round of fundraising, the most for any site in the collaborative.

Those dollars, matched with $1 million from Hispanics in Philanthropy, have been used to make nearly $1.3 million in grants to 28 Latino organizations in the state.

Now, the national collaborative has set a goal of raising $50 million more over five years, including $25 million from local donors and foundations, and $25 million from national donors and foundations to match those local dollars.

As part of that effort, North Carolina aims to raise $1.2 million over three years that will be matched, dollar for dollar, by Hispanics in Philanthropy, says Ilana Dubester, the collaborative’s program director for the state.

The North Carolina drive already has raised $775,000, including $500,000 committed by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem.

The Reynolds contribution will include $250,000 that will be used to match, 50 cents to the dollar, other donors’ and foundations’ combined donations of up to $50,000 each that are earmarked for the Triangle, Forsyth County, Guilford County, Western North Carolina and, possibly, the Charlotte area.

A $10,000 contribution by a Triangle foundation, for example, would generate $5,000 through the Reynolds match and, in combination with that match, would generate $15,000 in national matching funds.

The Reynolds contribution also will include $100,000 to be pooled with donations from national foundations to match contributions from other North Carolina funds that will be used for grants to Latino groups in the state, and $150,000 to support Latino groups in parts of the state outside the regions for which local funders have earmarked contributions.

Dubester, who is based in Pittsboro, says the Funders Collaborative makes grants through a process that involves national, regional and local funders.

The collaborative makes multi-year grants to small-to-medium Latino-led nonprofits to help them develop and put into effect plans for strengthening their organizations.

It also aims to help funders and donors understand Latino nonprofits, the communities they serve, and the role they play in civil society, and to increase the flow of philanthropic dollars they receive, and to foster their leadership.

In 2004, more than 600,000 Latinos lived in North Carolina, or 7 percent of the state’s population, and contributed over $9 billion to the state’s economy, according to a study released in January by the Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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