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Hispanics Voices in the Nonprofit Sector

Are you a Latina considering opening a nonprofit? This is for you! Hispanics have been making their mark in philanthropy. We are givers. While the average income for Latino households has remained relatively stagnant, the Hispanic community has shown a remarkable inclination toward giving back. The rates of Hispanics contributing to support others through informal means, such as crowdfunding for a neighbor's medical expenses, financing a relative's education, and remitting money to family members in different countries, surpass those of other demographics (Source: AP News). 


Amigas, it's time to lift our voices, join, and get involved. The nonprofit sector is vast, with ample space for everyone to contribute. We bring unique qualities and perspectives that can drive meaningful change. However, breaking into the industry and showcasing our impact requires strategic planning and perseverance. Let’s get ourselves in the room or build our own. 

Key Considerations for Starting a Nonprofit


Before Starting

Consider working with a Fiscal Sponsor, an established nonprofit organization that provides financial and administrative support to individuals or groups who want to carry out charitable activities but do not have their own tax-exempt status. Keep in mind, that they might charge a fee over the donations/grants they receive on your behalf. 


Partnering with an already-established organization. Before you go all in opening your own 501(c)3, which can cost thousands of dollars, consider researching if anyone in your community already does work similar to what you want to do. Collaborate with an existing entity to leverage their resources, expertise, and networks for mutual benefit. 



Strong Foundation - Building Your Board

If you're considering starting a nonprofit, surround yourself with a diverse and knowledgeable board. While it may be tempting to involve family members o la “prima,” prioritize professionals and community leaders who can provide valuable insights. Understand the financial commitments involved and ensure your board comprehends the financial responsibilities from the beginning.


Mission Clarity and Pilot Programs

A clear mission statement and pilot program are essential for laying the foundation of your nonprofit. The first year may involve trial and error (it might fail), but it's crucial to start collecting data to support your initiatives and attract potential funders. The second year is about refining your approach based on lessons learned and expanding your reach.


Embracing Technology

Investing in technology from the outset can streamline operations and enhance efficiency. Platforms like Google Workspace, Salesforce, and Canva offer special rates or free services for nonprofits. Just as our ancestors built strong foundations for our communities, we must make a solid technological infrastructure to support our philanthropic endeavors.


The Hispanic market is the future. Hispanics now represent 20% of the total U.S. population. They are also one of the fastest-growing population segments, with 89% growth between 2000 and 2023 (Source: Advertising Week). Whether first- or second-generation immigrants, the hustle is part of our DNA. We can leverage these qualities to thrive in the nonprofit sector. Our ability to turn challenges into opportunities, creativity, and networking skills positions us to build powerful movements for change. Showcasing our impact in numbers and data will be key to our success. We are vecinas, chingonas, berracas, and our creativity and ability to network will help us create movements.


We understand our issues and culture better than anyone else, uniquely positioning us to drive change. Let's move forward, Palante Nonprofits! Together, we can create a more equitable and vibrant future for all.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Andrea Ortega, MNM, CNP

Founder/CEO


Andrea Ortega, MNM, CNP, is the Founder and CEO of Palante Nonprofits, LLC, a nonprofit consulting practice specializing in strategic planning, implementation guidance, and tailored training programs in English and Spanish. With a Master's degree in Nonprofit Management from the University of Central Florida, Andrea is also pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Affairs. Previously, she was the Senior Curriculum Development Manager at Resilia, designing and curating over 200 courses and building a diverse team. Andrea has extensive experience developing curriculums and teaching in the nonprofit sector, covering public and nonprofit accounting and finance, strategic alliances, and urban affairs. Committed to the nonprofit community, she enjoys volunteering and spending time with her family. She can speak on various topics, including compliance and tech for nonprofits. Andrea is a proud #Gator, #Knight, and Colombian-American.


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