During its Annual Conference in Miami Beach, Florida, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) launched the "Empowering An American Community Campaign," an historic fundraising initiative that will enable NCLR to make a major difference in the lives of Hispanic Americans as they strive to achieve the American Dream - today and for generations to come.
NCLR is at a critical point in its work. In order to make the kind of long-lasting impact and positive change needed to assist Hispanic Americans, the leadership of NCLR has determined that the organization must expand its capabilities and services and grow strategically and very quickly. It is clear that acquiring an infusion of funds designated for long-term programmatic use and establishing a permanent center of operation in Washington, D.C. are critical to NCLR's future effectiveness.
With a minimum goal of raising $20 million over the next five years, the campaign calls for the creation of a permanent Endowment Fund, which will provide a solid foundation for the organization through times of growth when there is a need to commit organizational resources to emerging priorities. NCLR will also purchase a centrally-located building in Washington, D.C. to serve its growing staff and the organizations and individuals who interact with NCLR.
During the past seven months, Raul Yzaguirre, President and CEO of NCLR, and José Villarreal, NCLR Board Chair, have been working with a select group of key corporations and distinguished individuals to develop the campaign. As the campaign launches today, it has already reached 75% of its goal - an impressive $15 million from the first 47 gifts.
The PepsiCo Foundation committed the first leadership gift of $5 million over five years. "We at PepsiCo would like to salute President Raul Yzaguirre for his outstanding leadership of NCLR," said Steve Reinemund, PepsiCo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "And we believe NCLR can be an even greater force for good in the future. So we are very proud and honored to be a leader in supporting NCLR on two critical fronts: establishing a permanent home for the organization and expanding the very important education programs it promotes in major urban centers. We see this partnership as a wonderful way to provide lasting benefits to the Latino community, and to promote the diversity and cultural richness of our country."
The campaign received another historic commitment and vote of confidence from State Farm Insurance Companies and Edward B. Rust, Jr., Chairman and CEO, who joined PepsiCo in making a leadership gift. "At State Farm we are proud of our relationship with the National Council of La Raza. We are honored to partner with an organization whose work parallels our own commitment to empowering communities to achieve economic success through education, leadership, and a strong foundation of good-neighbor values."
With regard to these two cornerstone gifts, Yzaguirre said, "NCLR values and respects the strong relationships it has established with our nation's leading corporations. I deeply appreciate the vision and genuine heartfelt investment made by both PepsiCo and State Farm and their leaders.
In addition to these two cornerstone gifts, W. Roger Haughton, Chairman and CEO of The PMI Group, contributed $1 million on behalf of the company. "The National Council of La Raza is an outstanding organization that PMI is proud to be associated with," said Haughton. "Having recently been elected to the NCLR Board, I look forward to working with NCLR to expand opportunities within the Hispanic community, particularly homeownership opportunities, an effort that is especially important to PMI.
For more information at http://www.nclr.org