News Column

Pillars of the Hispanic Community

Sep 1 2000 12:07PM

September 2000 - Change agents don't always grab headlines. That rule applies particularly to the nonprofit sector, where the first HISPANIC BUSINESS Nonprofit 25 directory turns up some organizations with a national profile and plenty without.

In assembling the list, we had to determine what objective criteria indicated the power of an organization. Income doesn't tell the whole story, as many nonprofits sit on big endowments from year to year, watching their investments grow without putting them to use. Likewise, membership numbers can be deceptive because some organizations have many people on the books but fail to mobilize them.

In the end, we decided to use as a measure each group's operating budget the money that goes to fulfill the social mission. On that basis, the Asociacion Nacional Pro Personas Mayores ranks as the largest Hispanic-serving organization in the nation, with expenditures of $19.8 million. Second place goes to the National Council of La Raza, at $15.6 million. Both organizations function as umbrellas, obtaining grant and foundation money and distributing it to dozens of local service organizations in Hispanic neighborhoods.

Traditional human-service groups account for nearly half the list. These organizations serve children and seek to alleviate poverty, as well as playing an advocacy role for the community. Besides these, the list contains four organizations specializing in educational improvement, three in health care, and three that seek to protect Hispanics' civil rights. Three organizations CHARO Community Development Corp., New Jersey-based La Casa de Don Pedro, and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce work primarily on the challenge of economic advancement.

Together, the top 25 Hispanic nonprofits report expenditures of $178 million. That figure represents a major social investment in the Hispanic community and an ongoing work that deserves to grab headlines.

Written by Senior Editor Joel Russell. Nonprofit 25 directory research by Research Associates Mary Lehman, Hillary Leon, and Anthony Saenz.

Nonprofit organizations were identified from Internet database listings of tax-exempt organizations located in the 50 states or the District of Columbia. A list of these organizations was sorted by financial criteria and screened for descriptions related to Hispanic issues. Qualified organizations were sent a survey asking for information. Organizations were ranked on the basis of annual operating budget.

While HISPANIC BUSINESS makes every attempt to locate and include the largest Hispanic nonprofit organizations in the country, we cannot list organizations that do not submit information by our deadline.

To ensure that a nonprofit organization is considered for future directories, please send contact name, organization name, mailing address, phone, fax, and e-mail address via fax to (805) 964-6139 or via e-mail to

Source: Hispanic Business magazine

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