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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hispanics and the Philanthropic Challenge

Hispanics' lower rates of volunteerism is really interesting in light of other previous research (that I cannot locate at present) that Hispanics' philanthropic contributions are significantly larger than that of other groups when measured as a percent of their total income. This should definitely not only be reported but should also be construed as something very positive to build off of in terms of cultivating philanthropic orientations and attitudes. Another factor the should inform this analysis is the extent to which the non-profit sector actually serves Hispanics. So the metric is not simply rates of volunteerism, as board membership, and giving, but also the extent to which the present non-profit infrastructure is dedicated to serving Hispanics' needs. This infrastructure has tremendous implications for Hispanics' attitudes and orientations toward philanthropy and non-profit sector participation. -Angela

Philanthropy in 2020:
Challenges for the Nonprofit World in the Next Decade Hispanics and New Immigrants Grow in Number The Chronicle of Philanthropy

January 14, 2010

During the next 10 years, America's ethnic makeup will begin to change radically, and charities will have a new pool of contributors - if they can recruit them. Depending on the pace of immigration, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2020, Hispanics will make up almost 20 percent of the population, and non-Hispanic whites could be a minority by 2040 or 2050.
Experts say the next few years are crucial to making Hispanics an ally in charitable efforts, a task that the nonprofit world has largely failed to do. Hispanics volunteer at a lower rate compared with whites, blacks, and Asians, according to census data. And in states with large Hispanic populations, most nonprofit organizations have yet to recruit minorities for leadership positions. For example, in California, Hispanics make up 36 percent of the population but hold 6 percent of the executive-director jobs and 9 percent of the board positions, according to the Urban Institute, a think tank in Washington. "Nonprofits serve Hispanics. No question about it," says Armando Rayo, director of community engagement for the United Way Capital Area. "But do they engage them as volunteers, as board members, as donors? I would say there's a fraction that do." By 2020, Mr. Rayo says, more states will grapple with an influx of Hispanic immigrants. "You're going to see increases of Hispanics in parts you didn't think about," he says. This year Mr. Rayo helped the United Way in Austin start bridging what he described as a gap between the local Hispanic population and the venerable charity. The organization paid to run Spanish versions of its "Live United" ads on Spanish-language television and radio and in newspapers. It also surveyed Hispanic Texans about their views and held a summer event with 200 people to introduce Hispanics to the United Way. In the decade ahead, other charities will also need to reach out, says Mr. Rayo, suggesting they work closely with grass-roots Hispanic groups and churches. Next Generation Stephen Goldsmith, the interim board chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees Ameri–Corps, says national-service programs need to do the same, and soon. "It's been kind of a model that well-intentioned young adults, mostly white, help poor communities," says Mr. Goldsmith, a former mayor of Indianapolis. "We ought to be thinking as well about how we engage people not in the mainstream economy, who are increasingly diverse, into service opportunities." While the need to reach Hispanics dominates the 2020 conversation, Robert Egger, executive director of the D.C. Central Kitchen, in Washington, says that charities also need to be working with other immigrant groups, like Southeast Asians. "You've got a wave of new Americans all over," he says. "You're going to have to show an understanding of their culture." Immigrant families are often focused on establishing themselves economically and sending money back to their home countries. But their children will show interest in charitable causes here, predicts Mr. Egger. Says the charity leader: "It's their kids who are the next generation of volunteers." WHATS EXPECTED * By 2020, Hispanics will make up nearly 20 percent of the American population * Charities must aggressively recruit Hispanics as volunteers, trustees, and donors * Young, first-generation Americans will volunteer as part of educational activities 14.4% Percentage of Hispanics who volunteered in 2008, compared with 27.9% of whites, 19.1% of blacks, and 18.7% of Asians. SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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