Ariel Rodríguez, Ph.D.,
ASU School of Community
Resources & Development
Within the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, the Latino Institute was developed to help address these issues and to serve as a bridge between the City and the Latino community. Today, the Latino Institute produces numerous programs for the community and serves as an outreach specialist that provides special events, networking, and cultural competency expertise to the City and agencies which aim to provide services to the Latino community. Over the past 12 years, the Latino Institute has gained a number of insights which have helped their program to succeed where others have not. These four key insights will be discussed in this blog.
First, the importance of partnerships is paramount. Approximately 80% of the Latino Institute budget is funded via sponsorship and programming fees with the remaining funds coming from the City of Phoenix. Funding through the City has fluctuated over the years, but is often provided in-kind through office space and other resources. During the most difficult financial times at the City of Phoenix, these partners provided the support the Latino Institute needed to survive the most recent economic depression. However, partners help not only through their financial resources, but also through the volunteers they may provide and the added social network value they produce. The Latino Institute produces large special events which draw thousands of participants, such as El Día de los Niños and the City of Phoenix Back to School and Health Fair, and volunteer support, often through these partners, is vital to the implementation of these events.