Community Blog: Walking Towards Strong Latinx-Led Nonprofits and a Capacity Building Network Centered Around Equity

Washington Nonprofits (www.washingtonnonprofits.org) makes sure nonprofits have what they need to succeed. It does this through three core programs: learning, advocacy, and engagement. Washington Nonprofits is invited into communities by local community foundations, networks, and organizations like La Casa Hogar. In 2018, it delivered 152 learning events in 26 counties, including the Central Washington Conference for the Greater Good. Washington Women’s Foundation has provided modest support for this Conference for the past 3 years to increase knowledge about the Foundation among nonprofits operating in Central Washington.

La Casa Hogar received a Pooled Fund Grant from Washington Women’s Foundation in 2018 and also was a Partner Grant recipient in 2017. La Casa Hogar is committed to its mission to connect and educate Latina families to transform lives and the Yakima Valley. It offers three core programs (mentioned above) and is committed to values of equity, justice, authenticity, relationship, trust, family, & empathy. Nearly 25 years old, La Casa is a safe and trusted space for immigrant and farmworking families throughout central Washington to access the education, necessary resources, self-confidence, and like-minded community to navigate systems in daily life and to thrive. La Casa is also a safe bridge for permanent residents on the road to citizenship. Learn more at www.lacasahogar.org.

Nancy Bacon, Associate Director of Washington Nonprofits, shared with us a partnership between Washington Nonprofits and La Casa Hogar that grew out of the Central Washington Conference for Greater Good space.


How can we best expand nonprofit learning opportunities to Latinx-led nonprofits in Yakima and eastern Yakima Valley? How can we support local leaders  and offer nonprofit technical assistance and training in Spanish?

Women of color leaders after speaking on a panel at the Central Washington Conference for Greater Good
Women of color leaders after speaking on a panel at the Central Washington Conference for Greater Good

These were the questions that a local Latina program manager asked Nancy Bacon at Washington Nonprofits. Cecilia was a regular attendee at Central Washington Conference for the Greater Good held in Yakima each spring. Cecilia is a passionate advocate for her community, and she had delivered the first workshop offered in Spanish at that conference. She was an active participant in Washington Nonprofits’ “Train the Trainer” program, traveling to Seattle twice to be a part of this professional cohort. Cecilia saw the range of programs available on nonprofit capacity topics. So she asked: what can we do to adapt these resources to the needs of the Latinx community in Central Washington?

This conversation – and the larger partnership shared between Washington Nonprofits and Cecilia’s organization, La Casa Hogar—unlocked a new initiative funded through the Office of the Secretary of State. La Casa Hogar (www.lacasahogar.org) is a nonprofit in Yakima that partners with its community to offer education, citizenship legal services and pre-school to Latinx immigrant families throughout central Washington. Minerva Pardo, a community advocate, translator, and parent educator working within Cecilia’s community, is linguistically and cultural translating Washington Nonprofits’ nonprofit basics workshop, Tools for Running an Effective Nonprofit. A cohort of local bilingual Latinx leaders with an interest in training will attend the workshop in English being offered on November 16. They will receive a stipend to participate in a customized “train the trainer” program to support their development as teachers. Herramientas para Dirigir una Efectiva Organización sin Fines de Lucro (“Tools for Running an Effective Nonprofit” in Spanish) will run this spring. We imagine this pilot program expanding as we build deeper connections to Heritage University and other potential hosts for regular nonprofit learning.

Cecilia Gonzalez presenting a session in Spanish at the Central Washington Conference in April 2019.
Cecilia Gonzalez presenting a session in Spanish at the Central Washington Conference in April 2019.

This collaboration resulted from at least six years of relationship-building and friendship between Washington Nonprofits, La Casa Hogar, and other local leaders from across the community. It has naturally unfolded as we have “walked together” with a commitment to increasing equity and access among communities in rural areas, holding an open heart, and learning with each other. We have shared resources generously, with Washington Nonprofits underwriting program participation and partners sharing time and knowledge.

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