CreArte Latino Cultural Center participated in our first Giving Challenge in 2022. Our patrons, volunteers, and leadership are mostly native Spanish speakers, many of whom immigrated to the United States. Nonprofits and community donations are not typical in Latin communities. The 2022 Giving Challenge was the first experience for many of us in a community-wide fundraising event held in English.
To be successful, CreArte Latino had to first educate about the Giving Challenge. We educated in two ways. First, we reached out to our volunteers and explained the concepts of community foundations, sponsorships, and matching funds. We asked our volunteers to be ambassadors for the eventand to explain it to others. Second, we reached out to both Latinx and non-Latinx businesses to be sponsors. CreArte Latino was thrilled that both Latinx and non-Latinx businesses who were not previously aware of us became Giving Challenge sponsors. We were also happy that so many native Spanish speakers worked together by making small donations as they could. Through the Giving Challenge outreach, we significantly increased our recognition in the native Spanish-speaking community.
At first, some volunteers were hesitant to fully engage with this unfamiliar opportunity. As CreArte thanked each new business sponsor on our volunteeer chat page, volunteers' enthusiasm grew. Our newsletters prominently featured the Giving Challenge with descriptions in both Englishand Spanish. By the beginning of the Challenge, volunteers were ready to text friends and family to ask for their donations. During the Facebook Live event, one could hear the cries of "Vamos, vamos, vamos!", which means "Go, go, go!" in Spanish.
CreArte Latino received almost $30,000 through Giving Challenge donations, which was a huge amount for us. But perhaps more importantly, CreArte Latino was able to strengthen connections to both the Latinx and non-Latinx communities through the Challenge and to better orient our volunteers to the arger community.