Letter from HF President: Our Historic Year
One of the things I most enjoy about this time of the year is the chance to reflect. Things slow down just enough during the Holiday Season, that I can take a few moments to take stock of the year soon to be done. As I look back on our months of work and accomplishments, I am so grateful to be able to share that 2016 was a watershed year for the Hispanic Federation.
In the face of growing community needs, we rose up and carried out a historic expansion of our philanthropy, geographic reach, advocacy and community programs. From strengthening Latino nonprofits to advancing a Latino agenda, our impact was broad and profound. We begin our look back by noting that our direct social services to the Latino community more than doubled from the year before as HF touched the lives of more than 150,000 individuals and families with educational programming, hunger-relief assistance, health insurance enrollment, immigration assistance and much more. We also took unprecedented action to advance Latino civic engagement this year – helping to educate, register and mobilize over 275,000 Latinos for the general elections.
As always, our support for and from our network of Latino community-based organizations was at the heart of our work this year. HF’s commitment to its network grew to a record $2.6 million in grants to 130 Latino nonprofits.
On the policy end, we moved strategically to expand our policy and program efforts in sixteen states. What’s more, we organized large-scale public education campaigns that reached tens of millions and convened 385 community briefings, trainings and events to inform and develop a Latino agenda.
And when crisis struck our community with the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando in June, we responded as few could by partnering with key community leaders to create Proyecto Somos Orlando – a hub providing mental health and other needed services for more than 300 individuals impacted by this tragedy.
What made this year even more unforgettable was how many individuals and institutions came together to support our mission. Thanks to our amazing partners, our Annual Gala raised a record $1.6 million. And a new pioneering collaboration with “Hamilton” creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda brought in 36,000 new donors and over $1M in individual donations.
None of this would have been possible without the work of our Board of Directors and our staff. Our Board includes some of the best minds in business and philanthropy and each member’s commitment to our mission make us that much stronger. As for our staff, well, I couldn’t be happier and more honored to lead such talented and deeply committed women and men who work tirelessly to improve our communities.
As we look to 2017 and our country’s changing political landscape, we know it will be a year filled with unprecedented challenges for us all. But we stand ready to reach even greater heights, building on this impressive body of work, to protect and uplift Latino communities nationwide.
¡Felicidades y Abrazos!