Latino-oriented funds hoping to help communities long-term

The Associated Press
Monday December 31, 2001

CAMARILLO – The 5-year-old Destino 2000 fund is nearing its goal of building a $400,000 endowment to assist Ventura County charities that serve the Hispanic community. 

It is also leading the way as Latino-oriented funds attempt to establish long-term money sources, instead of immediately distributing the funds they raise. 

Destino 2000 is one of just three funds in California established to aid nonprofit organizations that perform social work in Latino communities. The other two are the United Latino Fund in Los Angeles and the Hispanic Community Foundation in San Francisco. 

The Hispanic Community Foundation has an endowment of $200,000, while the United Latino Fund aims to establish one. 

Destino 2000 “has developed something like a model of what might happen in other communities,” said Henry Ramos, principal in New York-based Mauer Kunst Consulting, who has studied the emerging Latino funds. 

The Ventura County Community Foundation, based in Camarillo, helped create and administers the fund, formally called Destino 2000: The Hispanic Legacy Fund. 

Destino has distributed $187,000 to community groups that have served 9,000 children and adults, according to the organization. Reaching the $400,000 goal – a year earlier than expected – will guarantee that the fund grants at least $20,000 a year.