Serving the nation's underserved communities can be demanding even in the best of times. With an economy still struggling to recover from the recession, the pressures on nonprofits to provide needed services can prove daunting. Despite the challenges, Hispanic nonprofits have continued to find ways to raise revenues and continue to provide their core services.
Each May, HispanicBusiness magazine profiles the top 25 Hispanic nonprofits to provide a snapshot of dedicated organizations helping minority communities and the nation.
For 2010, the nonprofits reached a milestone -- $1 billion in revenues. That allowed them to spend a collective $988 million, a 13.75 percent increase from 2009.
In a sign that things had improved in 2010, only four nonprofits saw a decreases in expenditures, compared to eight that declined in 2009. The bottom line for the top 25 nonprofits increased from $8.4 million in 2009 to $10.2 million in 2010.
Three new comers made the list this year: Comunilife Inc. of New York (No. 13 with $23.7 million in expenditures), Congreso de Latinos Unidos Inc. of Philadelphia (No. 14 with $19.5 million in expenditures) and Clinica Sierra Vista of Bakersfield, Calif. (No. 23 with $13.6 million in expenditures).
For the sixth year in a row, AltaMed Health Services of Los Angeles topped the nonprofit directory. Expenditures rose to $172 million, a 32.6-percent increase. Castulo de la Rocha, president and CEO, has been with AltaMed since 1967. "We've seen growth in the number of people treated in our facilities," he said in a phone interview with HispanicBusiness magazine. "We had 850,000 patient visits (in 2010), which accounted for a 44 percent to 46 percent increase in fees and reimbursements."
He also noted that the grants and development departments of AltaMed do better each year. Much of this comes from good planning, he said. You have to have "foresight, plan carefully and manage the business."
AltaMed had a surplus of $11 million in 2010.
"You run it as a business, both for profit and nonprofit," he said. "You have to have two, three or four months of reserves."
AltaMed has provided health and human services to Hispanic, multiethnic and underserved communities in Southern California for more than four decades.
Uncertainty Still Ahead
While the trend looks good, there are still signs the nonprofit sector might be in for a rocky time ahead. Asked if there had been any reduction in public funding because of state or federal budget shortfalls, 24 of the 25 top nonprofits answered yes.
"It's been a very tough year," Nilda Ruiz, president and CEO of Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha Inc. (APM), said in a phone interview with HispanicBusiness magazine. APM, located in Philadelphia, came in at No. 25, down from No. 23 in 2010.
APM's expenditures dropped 10.7 percent in 2010 to $10.2 million. "Pennsylvania was one of the last states in the union to pass its budget," Ms. Ruiz explained. APM had to provide services while waiting for the late funding. Of course, the funding did not accrue interest. Also, APM didn't use all the funding it received, so the new grants were pared back.
AMP gets 70 percent of its funding from government and the rest from fundraisers and developer's fees. The nonprofit rehabilitates older housing and develops new housing projects for low-income residents.
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