This February, the Hispanic Federation—the largest Latinx umbrella organization in the United States—hosted a first-ever summit on the state of Latinx nonprofits. The event celebrated how far Latinx-led and Latinx-serving nonprofits have come in recent decades and a call to action for the philanthropic community, which has left many Latinx nonprofits underfunded and underrecognized.

The Hispanic Federation, based in New York, has grown to represent over 650 organizations across 42 US states and territories. Those organizations, of course, range in size, scope, and mission. Yet the Hispanic Federation president and CEO Frankie Miranda says that many share similar accomplishments and challenges.

Speaking at the summit, Miranda described Latinx nonprofits as the backbone of Latinx communities across the country.

“We are always rooted in communities. We understand that these organizations are the experts. They are the people that understand what is needed in their community,” said Miranda, making a case that these organizations are often overlooked by the wider philanthropic community.

“Everybody has their rightful place in the ecosystem of philanthropy,” said Miranda. “But at the end of the day, we need to listen to our community-based organizations to know what exactly they need, because they are the ones that have the pulse of the community.”

Many Latinx-led and Latinx-serving nonprofits are small, lean organizations on the “front line” of communities where they operate, to use a phrase that came to prominence during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Throughout the COVID crisis, these nonprofits rallied to serve their communities in myriad ways—often without any additional or special support, including federal funds made available to larger, more robust nonprofits.

Being overlooked, the Hispanic Federation’s Miranda tells NPQ, is an all-too-common problem for Latinx nonprofits, which tend to fly under the radar of philanthropic and federal grantmakers.

“They have the population, they have the expertise, they have the cultural competency. But often what we hear is that they are left out of many grant opportunities because they don’t look the way that many of these funders are looking at organizations.”

Miranda notes that many Latinx nonprofits made new inroads with the communities they serve through the pandemic, increasing their reach and strengthening their connection to those communities.

“These organizations have fed people, kept people in their homes, kept people working to keep people healthy. But now, what are we going to do with that network of care?” asks Miranda. “What we’re seeing [in] the state of Latino nonprofits right now is that we’re ready to go for the next level, but we need support from everybody.”

Standing between funders and often-overlooked Latinx nonprofits is the Hispanic Federation, whose mission includes helping connect the former with the latter, and elevating the profiles of grassroots organizations that struggle to access philanthropic resources and opportunities.

Read the full article about Latinx nonprofits by Isaiah Thompson at Nonprofit Quarterly .