August 20, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Patrick Salazar 310.720.8228

New group to increase Latino Representation on Nonprofit Boards

IRS confers tax-exempt status on new Latino leadership organization

Los Angeles—A new organization has been formed to reverse the chronic under-representation of Latinos on governing boards in the nonprofit industry.  Founders of Latinos LEAD (Latinos for Leadership Excellence And Diversity) announced today that the organization has received official notification from the Internal Revenue Service approving their application for tax-exempt status under chapter 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

“More Latinos are needed in leadership positions to help nonprofit organizations improve the quality of life for all Americans.” asserted Patrick Salazar, Founder and Board Chair of Latinos LEAD.  “We have studied this problem for more than a year, and our strategy is shaped by the priorities of large and small nonprofit organizations in every sector across the nation.”    

Under its newly granted tax-exempt status, Latinos LEAD is launching an array of initiatives to address findings from numerous studies showing low Latino representation on nonprofit boards of directors.  Chief among Latinos LEAD tactics will be active board member recruiting for nonprofit organizations, followed by a year of formal mentoring for the newly appointed board members.  Latinos LEAD is also conducting regular workshops for board candidates, where they will learn the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit industry leaders.  Nonprofit organizations that recruit Latinos LEAD candidates will be provided leadership inclusion services and resources.

Recent findings support the urgent need for Latino service in leadership roles in the nonprofit industry:

  • In its biennial study of board diversity, BoardSource reported in 2017 that Latinos made up fewer than 7% of nonprofit board members among responding organizations.
  • The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges found in 2010 that Latinos made up 4.1% of public institution board members, and 2.4% of board members at private institutions.
  • In 2007, the Urban Institute study reported “…among nonprofits whose clientele is over 50 percent Hispanic/Latino, 32 percent have no Hispanic/Latino members, and the figure climbs to 52 percent among those whose clientele is 25 to 49 percent Hispanic/Latino.”
  • University of Michigan study in January 2018 showed that Latinos made up 9.4% of environmental nonprofit board members—although this figure is likely far lower, as less than four percent of environmental groups surveyed were willing to share data on board ethnicity.

Latinos LEAD plans to recruit candidates from a variety of sources, including professional member associations, Hispanic chambers of commerce, and the national community of Latino organizations.  “There is no shortage of qualified Latinos eager to serve on boards,” Salazar said.  “And nonprofit organizations are clamoring for talented Latino nominees—what’s been lacking is an effective pipeline.”

Sylvia V. Baca, another Latinos LEAD founding board member, pointed out that those nonprofit organizations with ethnically diverse boards can benefit from the dramatic market and demographic changes seen in the U.S.  “Whether in the arts, education, health care, or the environmental movement, nonprofits need diverse leadership to successfully engage and serve the growing Latino community,” Baca said.  “It’s just good business.”

More information about Latinos LEAD and its programming can be found at