February 2004

Grant Results

SUMMARY

The National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention, Washington (the council), a research, advocacy and training organization, reorganized to broaden its leadership and to make it a more efficient and sustainable organization.

While responding to growing requests from the mainstream tobacco control movement to provide culturally competent perspectives on tobacco control, the council found itself struggling to meet the needs of the Latino community and to manage its rapid growth.

Key Results

  • Two 'Leadership Fellows' assisted the executive director as deputies to achieve administrative and program-related goals. By the end of the grant, the council consolidated these positions to hire a deputy director.
  • The council took several steps to strengthen its work in the area of human resources, accounting, legal and technical consultants.
  • The council developed the Hispanic/Latino Action Network and Leadership Development Summit, a leadership training model for the Latino community.
  • The council used this model to train 70 Fellows at the 2002 First National Hispanic/Latino Conference on Tobacco Prevention and Control.
  • Staff and Board strengthening activities included culling inactive members, holding a strategic planning meeting, forming a nominating committee, electing six new board members, and selecting a new executive director, Felix Lopez.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided a $187,500 grant to support the project from December 2001 to December 2002.

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THE PROBLEM

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of disease and death in the United States, and racial/ethnic minority groups bear a disproportionate share of this burden. Few national organizations focus on combating tobacco use in culturally diverse communities.

Founded in 1996 as a one-person office, the council grew rapidly and received funding from multiple sources, including a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to build a National Latino Tobacco Control Network. While responding to growing requests from the mainstream tobacco control movement to provide culturally competent perspectives on tobacco control, the council found itself struggling to meet the needs of the Latino community and to manage its rapid growth.

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RWJF STRATEGY

This grant was part of a broader RWJF effort to strengthen the organizational capacity and leadership of national minority organizations that combat tobacco use in order to eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in tobacco use.

Beginning in 1998, RWJF awarded multi-year grants to the council (Grant ID#s 031963 and 038645, see Grant Results on ID# 038645) and other organizations to help mobilize communities of color to combat alcohol and tobacco use (see Grant Results on ID# 031989 to the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations and Grant Results on ID# 032938 to the National Association of African Americans for Positive Imagery; RWJF also supported the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network grant with ID# 039947).

A mid-point assessment of the grantees' progress led RWJF to award some small additional grants to some organizations to address leadership and organizational development needs. Among them are this grant to the council and others to the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (see Grant Results on ID# 040827); the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (ID# 040826); and the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (ID# 040828).

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THE PROJECT

The council created new leadership positions, built institutional systems to manage programs and promote tobacco control policies more efficiently and developed a program to train and provide technical assistance to leaders in the Latino community.

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RESULTS

  • Two 'Leadership Fellows' assisted the executive director as deputies to achieve administrative and program-related goals. By the end of the grant, the council consolidated these positions to hire a deputy director.
  • In the area of human resources, accounting, legal and technical consultants, the council:
    • Created job descriptions and personnel manuals; evaluated staff morale and organizational culture; made recommendations to improve staff selection, hiring and retention and established protocols for various administrative procedures.
    • Reviewed and revised the council' financial procedures.
    • Reviewed corporate documents to determine that the council complied with District of Columbia and federal regulations for non-profits.
    • Designed the council's web site and taught staff to maintain it.
  • With assistance from the Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment and Leadership, the council developed the Hispanic/Latino Action Network and Leadership Development Summit, a leadership training model for the Latino community. The council used this model to train 70 Fellows at the 2002 First National Hispanic/Latino Conference on Tobacco Prevention and Control (sponsored by the CDC, RWJF, the American Legacy Foundation, the National Cancer Institute and others).
  • Staff and Board strengthening activities included culling inactive members, holding a strategic planning meeting, forming a nominating committee, electing six new board members, and selecting a new executive director, Felix Lopez.

Communications

Although this grant did not focus on communications, leadership fellows researched and prepared fact sheets on Latinos and tobacco, which the council disseminated at conferences and workshops. (See the Bibliography for details.) The council's Web site provides information on Latinos and tobacco and alcohol use.

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LESSONS LEARNED

Project directors cited the following lessons learned:

  1. Coalition building requires working face to face. Leaders of minority organizations must convey a commitment to the issues through attendance at conferences and coalition meetings. (Project Director, Lopez)
  2. Minority organizations may need to stop growing for a time to stabilize their operations, allowing opportunities to define policies, procedures and structures. The burden of managing multiple grants spread the council's resources "too thin." (former Project Director Noltenius and RWJF Program Officer)
  3. As organizations grow, their boards should become more active in fund raising and policy change, and less involved in day-to-day operations. To sustain organizational growth and stability, Board development is critical. (Project Director Lopez and RWJF Program Officer)

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AFTER THE GRANT

In 2001, the council received a five-year, $2.5 million grant from RWJF (ID# 041040) to continue its work in the tobacco field as part of a larger RWJF-funded effort, Voices in the Debate: Minority Action for Tobacco Policy Change.

RWJF awarded related grants to the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (ID# 042226); and the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (ID# 042227). The Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium, which is supported by RWJF, the American Legacy Foundation and the CDC, provided $42,000 to the council for ongoing board and organizational development.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Enhancing Minority Organizations' Involvement in Tobacco Control

Grantee

National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention (Washington,  DC)

  • Amount: $ 187,500
    Dates: December 2000 to November 2002
    ID#:  040824

Contact

Felix Lopez, J.D.
(202) 257-2761
flopez@nlcatp.org

Web Site

http://www.nlcatp.org

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Reports

Courtney B and Minano C. "Latinos and Tobacco," Washington: National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention, 2001.

Courtney B and Minano C. "Latino Youth and Tobacco," Washington: National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention, 2001.

Courtney B and Minano C. "Pregnant Latinas and Tobacco Use," Washington: National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention, 2001.

DiGrande L and Minano C. "Latina Women and Tobacco," Washington: National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention, 2001.

World Wide Web Sites

www.nlcatp.org provides information on Latinos and tobacco and alcohol use, Council events, a directory of people working in tobacco and alcohol prevention and links to useful web sites on various public health issues. Washington: National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention.

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Report prepared by: Jayme Hannay
Reviewed by: Antonia Sunderland
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Michelle Larkin

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