Seventh Issue 2012
President's Message

Dear Arizona Readers,

Encouraging philanthropy among the members of Phoenix's growing and prospering Latino community is important to Phoenix's future, and I am proud to say that one of our organization's longtime leaders is playing an important role in that effort.

Belen Gonzalez, a program officer with the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust for the past 13 years, was honored this month at a reception at the Arizona Community Foundation for her work in creating the Latina Giving Circle.

Under Belen's leadership, the first-of-its-kind Arizona group inspired similar organizations in San Francisco and Mexico City.

Belen says that people know about Latino nonprofit organizations, but they do not think of Latinos as philanthropists. But, the rise of professional Hispanic women led Belen in 2009 to create a group to connect them with philanthropy. Her inspiration for taking on this project came from her involvement in the National Hispana Leadership Institute, and the Trust was happy to support her participation.

The 25-member Arizona giving circle is now 3 years old. Members commit to give a minimum of $1,000 annually. The group has raised about $80,000 and awarded grants to three nonprofits.

The mission of the Latina Giving Circle, Belen says, is to use its members "time, talents and treasures" to support Arizona's communities. The vision is a multimillion-dollar endowment.

"One of the goals of the Latina Giving Circle is to change the view of the Latino community from one of receivers of community resources to one of givers," Belen says.

Trust leader connecting Latinas to philanthropy

Arizona Community Foundation Philanthropic Advisor Tony Banegas, left, and Steven G. Seleznow, President and Chief Executive Officer, present a plaque to Belen Gonzalez, honoring her work in creating the Latina Giving Circle, which is part of the Latinos Unidos, a philanthropic initiative of the comunity foundation. (Photo by Johnny Lozoya)

"The way that Latinos support their families, churches, schools and neighborhoods through volunteering, bake sales, even car washes, are all forms of philanthropy," Belen says. "But it is not typically a Latino experience to plan bequests or endowments, donor-designated funds, or a giving circle."

The Arizona Community Foundation is the home base for the Latina Giving Circle, helping to manage and grow its funds.

"Belen is a strong and visible leader in our community, specifically in the area of Latino giving," said Steven G. Seleznow, president and chief executive officer of the Arizona Community Foundation. "She is committed to engaging Latinas in organized philanthropy as a means of empowering individuals to work together to achieve real change."

At the Trust, Belen brings a deep understanding of the Latino community to our work. We applaud her leadership. If you want to learn about this program, please visit the group's website at

And, let me take this opportunity to wish you and your circle of family and friends, a very blessed and happy holiday season.



Trust announces new 2013 Guidelines

In 2013, the grant review process will be much more compact from start to finish. Previously the process took approximately seven months and involved a two-step application. The new process will shorten the time between the request and funding to four months by having applicants complete one application for funding.

Critical to the process, nonprofit organizations seeking funds from the Trust are required to consult with a Trust program officer prior to submitting a proposal. If the Trust determines the request to be of interest, it will send instructions and application materials to the prospective grantee organization.

Please visit our website at for more information.

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