About Latinos LEAD
Latinos LEAD (Latinos for Leadership Excellence And Diversity) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in California in 2017. The Latinos LEAD concept was developed primarily by Patrick Salazar, after months of research and consultation with Latino community leaders and senior private foundation officers. The Latinos LEAD theory of change is straightforward: We remove the obstacles between talented Latinos and the opportunity to lead nonprofit organizations. Our program design is informed by peer-reviewed empirical evidence which shows that nonprofit organizations are more effective when led by diverse, inclusive boards. Research findings shaped our four essential strategic tenets: 1) Create a pipeline of qualified talent; 2) Actively fill board vacancies with Latinos; 3) Collaborate with the sector to promote inclusive institutions; and, 4) Provide resources to retain successful board members. We believe that this work will strengthen the charitable sector, and will contribute to an improved quality of life for all Americans.
Why Board Diversity Matters
America’s charitable sector is impaired by its pervasive lack of Latino leaders. A 2017 BoardSource study found that Latinos made up just 5% of the board members at the 1,759 nonprofit organizations surveyed--while 27% of these boards were all white (an increase from 25% in 2015). The report summarized: “Boards are no more diverse than they were two years ago and current recruitment priorities indicate this is unlikely to change.” This dearth of Latino board members persists—despite the oft-stated commitment of nonprofit organizations to address board diversity. Latinos LEAD believes now is the time change this situation, and will do so by collaborating with the sector to achieve two fundamental outcomes: 1) Recruit and retain highly-qualified Latino board members; and, 2) Foster sustained inclusiveness on boards.
Our work is evidence-based: Studies consistently show that nonprofit organizations have a greater impact when their boards authentically represent their service constituents and geographic population.
There exists a large cohort of talented, qualified Latinos that is willing and able to serve as nonprofit board leaders; our work builds a pipeline between this talent pool and the nonprofit sector.
Latinos are more likely to succeed as board members at nonprofit organizations that develop inclusive institutional cultures.
Greater Latino representation on nonprofit boards will strengthen the charitable sector, advance individual Latino professional development, and fortify Latino community leadership.