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By Estevan Delgado

Austin Community Foundation established the Hispanic Impact Fund in 2017 with the express purpose of supporting the economic security and advancement of Latino families in Central Texas. We pledged this work would be data-informed and community-led.  With four years under our belt and enormous changes in our region, we agreed that it was time to take stock of our work and make plans for the future.

Our data-informed investments have been focused on three impact areas where Latinos face the greatest inequities to access: early childhood education, health & wellness, and job skills & entrepreneurship.

Strategy Labs, hosted earlier this year, dug into current data in these impact areas and forced us to ask the question: are we still meeting the community’s needs?

Led by local and national Latino consultants from designEDengagement, PBC, approximately 120 Hispanic Impact Fund investors, stakeholders, and Latino community members participated in Strategy Lab sessions to shape the grantmaking focus of the Fund. Through a review of current trends, interactive workshops, and robust dialogues, our Strategy Labs help determine the agenda for the next 3-5 years of Hispanic Impact Fund work.

So what were the results? 

Data analysis and Strategy Lab conversations revealed two big insights: (1) We’re generally on the right track and (2) representation matters. The updated strategy reflects these insights—including changes to better articulate impact and additional focus on leadership development to be piloted this year. The impact statements listed below guide the grantmaking of the Hispanic Impact Fund and inform nonprofits as they consider applying to the Fund.

Early Childhood Education: Kindergarten-readiness is essential for improving long-term academic outcomes for Latino children. The Fund will invest in organizations that provide access to affordable, high-quality Pre-K and early childhood education starting at age 3, building the pipeline from cradle to career for Latino families.

Health & Wellness: Access to affordable, preventative health care is a key factor in helping Latino families avoid unexpected health crises and resultant financial ruin. The Fund will invest in organizations that provide preventative, culturally competent health education and access to quality mental and physical health services.​

Job Skills & Entrepreneurship: Many Latinos are confined to minimal incomes, accelerating the racial wealth divide. To combat this, the Fund will invest in organizations that train and equip Latinos with the skills needed to obtain high-demand, living-wage jobs with opportunities for advancement. The Fund will also invest in organizations that assist Latino entrepreneurs in gaining the knowledge and skills needed to expand their businesses.

Leadership Development: Latino leadership matters. Although Latinos in Central Texas represent a third of the population, they are not proportionately reflected in key leadership positions across all sectors. The Fund will invest in organizations advancing Latino leadership and creating pipelines of youth, emerging, and established Latino talent, which are critical to building a thriving Central Texas.

You can learn more about the data and community perspectives that informed our strategy refinement by reading the new report, Building a Thriving Central Texas: Advancing Latino Futures.

What’s Next?

In 2022, the Hispanic Impact Fund will award $355,000 to 28 Latino-serving nonprofits in Central Texas—reaching a major milestone of putting $1 million into the community over the Fund’s four-year history. The grants cycle will be chaired by steering committee member, Stephanie Bazan.

    • The application opens Monday, November 29, 2021. Details coming soon.
    • Applications are due Friday, December 17, 2021
    • Grants committee convenes mid-January 2022
    • Announcements of grantees by Thursday, March 17, 2022