Press Release

Six Puerto Rico nonprofits chosen for inaugural Puerto Rico Leadership Development Initiative Cohort

Grantees will receive funds, technical assistance, mentoring and peer learning from Enterprise Community Partners, NeighborWorks America and Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico to build long-term capacity

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (June 4, 2020) – The Puerto Rico Nonprofit Capacity Building Network, a collaboration among Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise), NeighborWorks America and Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico (FCPR), today announced the six Puerto Rico nonprofits selected for the inaugural cohort of the Puerto Rico Leadership Development Initiative. The six nonprofits, representing all major regions across the island, will each receive a $35,000 grant, technical assistance, one-to-one staff mentoring, peer learning with other grantees and help with capacity building to ensure they are prepared to support their communities over the long term.

The members of the class of 2020 are:

“We’re launching the Puerto Rico Leadership Development Initiative to offer targeted assistance to nonprofits and create a peer learning network that will benefit communities throughout the island,” said Priscilla Almodovar, chief executive officer, Enterprise Community Partners. “I have deep respect for organizations that work tirelessly to support their communities despite limited funds and few training opportunities. This program will support these organizations for years to come.”

The Puerto Rico Leadership Development Initiative was initially designed as a six-month program beginning in June 2020 and continuing throughout the year. A key component of the program is the creation of a peer learning network, which would bring the grantees together in person to form a support group that would continue long after the grant period. As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold across the world, Enterprise, NeighborWorks America and the FCPR quickly adapted to ensure the same level of support and connection when in-person gatherings are not possible. The partners committed to not eliminating any program components, and are instead offering a range of ways for grantees to connect, including through mobile devices, especially in parts of the island that lack reliable Internet access for videoconferencing.

“We feel confident that the grants and capacity building these organizations are going to receive will allow them to grow and have a meaningful impact in the human, social and financial capitals of their serving communities. We thank Enterprise Community Partners and NeighborWorks America for allowing us to become a part of this initiative that supports the continuous renovation of our communities,” said the president of the FCPR, Nelson I. Colón Tarrats.

At today’s launch, the participating organizations met one another to set goals and discuss what the program will look like over the next six months. Grantees joined virtual breakout rooms to discuss and refine their technical assistance (TA) needs, which will be used to pair them with a mentor and design an individual TA plan for each organization.

“Puerto Rico non-profits have been on the front line working with individuals, families, and communities for years and they are critical to the rebuilding process,” said Marietta Rodriguez, president and CEO of NeighborWorks America. “It has been our honor to have supported this important work for the past 30 years and we remain committed to helping the citizens of Puerto Rico rebuild their homes and communities by providing $210,000 in grant funding to these dedicated non-profits in Leadership Development Initiative Cohort.”

“The critical role of this group of non-profits play became even more prevalent in the wake of Hurricane Maria, when they became first responders, providing basic necessities and emotional support,” said Joanie Straussman Brandon, northeast regional vice president at NeighborWorks America.  “These non-profits have since faced the aftermath of earthquakes and now the impact of COVID-19. That impact changes, varies and becomes more widespread frequently but we are confident that the cohort will adapt and provide tremendous support.”

The Puerto Rico Leadership Development Initiative is also receiving support from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed). The New York Fed will be supporting the development of technical assistance workshops, one-to-one staff mentoring, and peer learning for grantees. The New York Fed is deeply committed to the people of Puerto Rico and to its growth and prosperity. This partnership with Enterprise, NeighborWorks and the FCPR builds upon its previous effort to support the flow of resources and build the capacity of the nonprofit sector in Puerto Rico, such as the Investment Connection Program held in Puerto Rico earlier this year. The New York Fed closely monitors and analyzes economic conditions of the Island; its banking supervisors work to strengthen the financial system so it can readily supply credit to families and businesses, while its research economists monitor and analyze local economic conditions. Its Outreach & Education team also frequently partners with local organizations in Puerto Rico to conduct programming related to economic inclusion, small businesses, CDFIs, and impact investing. The New York Fed was not involved in the grantee selection process.

About Enterprise Community Partners
Enterprise is a proven and powerful nonprofit that improves communities and people’s lives by making well-designed homes affordable and connected to opportunity. As a social enterprise, we bring together the nationwide know-how, policy leadership, partners, donors and investors to multiply the impact of local affordable housing development. Over more than 35 years, Enterprise has created 662,000 homes, invested more than $52.9 billion and touched millions of lives. 

About NeighborWorks America
For more than 40 years, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., a national, nonpartisan nonprofit known as NeighborWorks America, has strived to make every community a place of opportunity. Our network of excellence includes nearly 250 members in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. NeighborWorks America offers grant funding, peer-exchange, technical assistance, evaluation tools and access to training, as the nation’s leading trainer of housing and community development professionals. NeighborWorks network organizations provide residents in their communities with affordable homes, owned and rented; financial counseling and coaching; community building through resident engagement; and collaboration in the areas of health, employment and education. In the last five years, our organizations have generated more than $40 billion in investment across the country. Learn more at www.NeighborWorks.org.

About Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico
FCPR is a non-profit organization 501c(3) with 35 years of experience that has provided consulting services to individuals, families, corporations and foundations, both in Puerto Rico and abroad, regarding the best way to channel their philanthropic concerns. They want donors’ contributions to have an impact in the self-development of Puerto Ricans. In addition, PRCF has a programmatic area for annual projects that address the current needs of our communities. It is the first foundation of this nature in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and, as of today, the only one in Puerto Rico.

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