The Shift: How Nonprofits can Engage a changing U.S. population

3 11 2011

2011 is the year of The Shift. We’re seeing a lot of changes happening in Austin, throughout Texas and America. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know the population trends are changing in every community across our nation and forming the New America. An America that is younger, growing and more diverse. This year, with the support of TANO, Austin Community Foundation, Sooch Foundation and others, I’ve had the opportunity to launch Engage501 and connect with many nonprofit leaders across Texas and equip them with strategies that will help them build relationships with Latino and Multicultural communities that will ultimately create fundraisers, board members, volunteers and advocates within these communities. It’s been a great experience connecting with nonprofits, learning about their successes and areas where they need help, and I look forward to continuing the conversation.

Want to get started? Read my article on The Shift.

The Shift: What nonprofits can do to engage a changing U.S. population

By Mando Rayo

In case you’ve been under a rock, you should know that right now we’re on the verge of a major population shift, and your organization may not be ready.

The shift is this: According to the most recent Census brief, “Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin 2010,” both the Hispanic and Asian populations grew by 43 percent. Consider the fact that “America’s minorities account for an estimated 85 percent of U.S. population growth over the last decade” and more than half of the increase is due to the Latino population, which is now at 50.5 Million. (*U.S. Census) These numbers tell the story of a new America; America that is becoming more multicultural and interweaving our histories, traditions, cultures and people into a new nation.

To say that nonprofits aren’t ready for this shift implies that nonprofits don’t already engage this population, at least not as donors, board members, volunteers and advocates. For many nonprofits, it’s hard to visualize more minorities on this side of the table. But at the same time, we must also questions whether we’re serving these populations as best we can. If we’re not connecting with those who can help us, why would we assume we’re reaching all of those who need us?

This is not an obstacle, it’s an enormous opportunity.

By engaging and building trust with Latinos, African-Americans, Asians and all diverse populations, nonprofits stand to benefit from authentic leadership on their board that goes beyond tokenism, fundraising opportunities that have gone untapped by mainstream organizations, increased awareness and engagement with services, programs and volunteer activities and relevance in a growing multicultural America.

In order for nonprofits to truly achieve their missions, they need diverse insights, perspectives, influence, connections, fundraisers, and advocates and by engaging and creating meaningful relationships with these communities, we begin to improve all communities across America.

As we know when we build trust with volunteers and donors, they are more likely to give even more of their time, talent and treasure. A few fundraising examples include $1 Million raised with low wage workers through United Way and local grocer-HEB, $125,000 raised through what might be the first Hispanic giving circle in the country, FuturoFund Austin and nationally, $4.7 Million raised with a Spanish radio telethon with Univision and St. Jude’s Hospital.

Now let’s get practical. What can nonprofits do now to engage with these multicultural communities? Here are some suggestions:

Start today. You don’t have to have a perfect plan, you just to do it; reach out and be authentic in your approach.

Connect with the culture. When you understand and honor peoples’ culture, traditions and histories, you get closer to building trust and connecting with them in meaningful ways.  Take time to understand peoples’ backgrounds, experiences and motivations. Remember, multicultural groups are not monolithic.

Build relationships. If you’re looking for board members, build relationships with formal and informal leaders from these communities. Don’t just go with the usual suspects, reach out to new and upcoming leaders. Connect and collaborate with cultural groups and organizations that are deep-rooted in these communities.

Be a resource. Think about how your organization can be a resource to these communities. Take time to understand their needs, wants and aspirations. It’s about meeting their needs, your organizations’ needs and meeting in the middle or reaching the sweet spot. Once you hit the sweet spot, you can move forward together.

Understand your market. Be clear on whom you’re trying to engage and the best strategies to reach them. To reach young professionals, use leadership opportunities, social events and online networks; to reach families, be flexible and utilize family friendly activities and to reach new immigrants, utilize church networks and Spanish language media.

Make your organizational brand multicultural friendly. Show the diversity of your organization, leaders and people you serve through your marketing materials. It’s important to balance how you showcase the people you serve and your organization’s leadership; show how multicultural communities are contributing to your mission; don’t just show them as recipients of services. Understand that your organization might have to go through a change to become more multicultural friendly. You might have to implement changes in your board structure or in how you deliver your services.

Go to the people. It’s an age-old approach that works. Find out where people formally and informally gather. Sometimes it’ll be online via social networks and other times it’ll be at local community center or church. At first they’ll ask “what are they doing here” and as you build the trust, they’re going to be asking “why aren’t they here?”

Be committed. Show up often and when it matters. Be committed for the long-haul and show you have their best interest at heart. Don’t just outreach; engage people in the process. Be authentic and show that you care and you’ll be on your way to recruiting the biggest advocates with these communities.


Mando Rayo is vp of engagement at Cultural Strategies and board member and founder of Engage 501, a multicultural engagement initiative at Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations (TANO).

The New Philanthropists: Fundraising with Diverse Populations

12 08 2011
This week I was at a GivingCity gathering. We were discussing all things nonprofit and of course, the hot topics were fundraising and board diversity. Well, we were also giving props to Monica Williams for another amazing issue of GivingCity Magazine. She makes philanthropy look good! So back to “the opportunity.” If you know my work, I’m all about opening doors; in this case, doors to passionate people that aren’t normally asked to give. There are a lot of assumptions out there about Latinos and African-Americans and their take on philanthropy and as most of us know, if you don’t ask, you’re not going to get it. One of the reasons why communities of color may not give to “mainstream” nonprofits is because they do not have relationships with these organizations. So, there is the opportunity; the opportunity to start forming relationships and find ways to cultivate donors within Latino and African-American communities. Start today and join us for our next Engage501 learning session!
The New Philanthropists: Fundraising with Diverse Populations 
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
9:00am – 12:00pm
Sponsored by Austin Community Foundation
4315 Guadalupe, Suite 300
Austin, TX 78751
In partnership with:
Session Descripton:
The face of philanthropy is changing. The New Philanthropists are innovative, creative, and multi-generational; they have strong cultural identities, and they are ready to invest in causes, issues and nonprofit organizations. They are the future workforce, consumers and community leaders of Texas. According to Selig Center/Multicultural Economy Report, Hispanic/Latino ($181 billion), African-American ($72 billion), and Asian ($34 billion) buying power is well over $287 billion combined, creating a wealth of fundraising opportunities for organizations throughout Texas. In order for nonprofit organizations to remain relevant with these diverse populations, they need to understand, engage and create relationships with these communities. Learn ways to create meaningful relationships with the New Philanthropists.  Gain greater understanding of their motivations, culture and giving patterns, while learning to identify influencers (individuals and groups), opportunities and barriers.
Featured presenters include:
Celeste Guzman, Fundraiser, University of Texas at Austin
MaryBeth Gasman, Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Mando Rayo, VP, Engagement at Cultural Strategies
Nelson Bowman, Director of Development at                   Prairie View A&M


No Digital Divide Here: RISE Multicultural Series Tech Sessions

4 03 2011

Well, we still have some work to do but maybe the RISE Multicultural Series tech session hosts can help! Meanwhile, check out the sessions in full color! 😉

The 2011 Multicultural Series features a great line up of session hosts from the Latino, African-American, Asian and many diverse communities. The Series opens doors to diverse communities in a welcoming, engaging and inclusive environment.

Click here to learn more about the Multicultural Series!

Technology sessions:

Cindy Casares: How to manage bloggers including yourself

Chin Chang: Building a united website

Magaly Chocano: Marketing your business in the mobile landscape

Lisa Goddard: Mapping the Un-mappable: Using infographics to inspire social change

Ricardo Guererro: How to use social media effectively for your business

Elias Hermida: Use Technology to Reach Hispanics

Vid Luther: How to hack your startup without writing a single line of code

Quamrul Mina: Building a cloud-based Online/OnDemand TV broadcast platform

Thomas Miranda: Innovation – What’s the Big Idea

Jette Momant: Socialize and localize your business

Jennifer Navarette: Business on the Go: Smartphones, iPads and Apps, OH MY!

Pablo Reyna : What is this cloud stuff?

Luis Sandoval: Diversifying your integrated media strategy

Nicole Torres-Cooke: The Strategy of Being Social Online

Jikku Venkat: Product Development & Technology Innovation in a Startup Environment: Doing it Cost-effectively

Donate Anywhere for FuturoFund

20 10 2010

Si Se Puede..donate anywhere! I’m part of a national online fundraising effort to make giving easier through Razoo’s DonateAnywhere widget. See the link on the side bar—->

Razoo and the ‘zooGooders Council, a group of nonprofit and philanthropy leaders across the U.S. are joining forces to use the widget to raise money for their favorite charity. I’ll be helping FuturoFund Austin.

Por Que FuturoFund? Latinos are the fastest growing population in the U.S. and are the future philanthropic and civic leaders in communities across America. I want to help Latinos do their part in giving back to ALL communities. Futuro Fund Austin will inspire and help Latinos step up, lead and give to their communities.

Por que Razoo? They’ve raised millions of dollars nationwide and the DonateAnywhere widget is new and innovative tool that will make giving a lot easier.

Ready to help FuturoFund Austin? Click on the DonateAnywhere button!






















Check out the press release here.

Here’s the zooGooder Council…

The ’zooGooders ( include the following organizations and thought leaders:

Andre Blackman of Pulse and Signal at

Tom Dawkins of Out There and Back Again at

Nicole D’Alonzo of Niki’s Notes,

Abby Flottemesch of Atlas Corps at http://

John Haydon of his eponymous blog,

Jessica Kirkwood of Hands on Network at

Rachel Matthews of A Southern Fairy Tale at

Armando Rayo of Cultural Strategies/El Mundo de Mando,

Jennifer Roccanti of Miriam’s Kitchen at

Amber Rodriguez of Noah’s Kitchen at

Jenna Sauber at Lagniappe at

Andy Sternberg of his eponymous blog,

Andrea Weckerle of CiviliNation at

Jennifer Windrum of WTF Lung Cancer at

Proyecto Mosaico: 500 years of American Latino contributions

6 04 2010

Today the Austin American-Statesman published a story on Proyecto Mosaico. There’s a group in Austin that wants to bring a National Museum of the American Latino to Austin. Would that be a good fit for Austin? The group that is advocating for the museum seems to think so! Luckily, I have insider’s knowledge. Our friends at Hahn, Texas are working on the project along with a very impressive leadership committee. You may also be wondering why Austin? We’re not San Antonio, Chicago or L.A. Well, I went right to the source and asked. Here’s the information I gathered on Proyecto Mosaico.

There’s a group in Austin on a mission to locate the potential National Museum of the American Latino in Austin, Texas.

The Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino (National Museum) was signed into law (Public Law 110-229 [S.2739]) in 2008. The Commission members are tasked with studying the feasibility of creating this museum in the nation’s capital, but the National Mall is physically full.

The National Museum would provide a home for the historical artifacts, images and personal stories documenting over 500 years of American Latino contributions to the United States and it would serve as an educational tool for the thousands of anticipated visitors and instill a sense of pride in the Latino community today and in the future.

The big question is why Austin, Texas?

Nearly one in five U.S. Latinos lives in Texas—more than 8.5 million people. Eight of the nation’s top 25 counties for Latino population are in Texas, with each having more than 300,000 Latino residents; and Travis County, where Austin is located, is one of those counties. Austin is the capital of Texas and lies just west of the historic El Camino Real de los Tejas Trail, the “Crossroads of Cultures” and is on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Highway.

Austin and the Hill Country draw visitors from around the globe to its natural, cultural and lifestyle landmarks like the State Capitol, Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, Blanton Museum of Art, Texas Memorial Museum, Barton Springs, Highland Lakes, SXSW, ACL Festival and many others. Austin also is a globally recognized center of scholarship, innovation and creativity with the University of Texas and it’s renowned Teresa Lozano Long Institute Latin American Studies program, the Mexican American Cultural Center, Mexic-Arte Museum, among others. And, Austin has a wonderfully blended Latino culture and demographic—a complete Latino mosaic.

Several influential leaders and academics have committed to participate in the National Museum recruitment effort.

  • The Honorable Mike Martinez, Austin Mayor Pro Tem (Chair)
  • Dr. Francisco de la Teja: Texas State University (Co-Chair)
  • Dr. Jose Limon: University of Texas (Co-Chair)
  • Robert Hicks Navarro: Camino Real
  • Andy Martinez: Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber
  • Anna Sanchez: Wells Fargo Bank
  • Luis Patino: Univision-Austin
  • Patty Gonzales: Public Affairs Director – Hahn, Texas

The group will make a presentation to the Commission in the next few weeks. We invite you to join the cause by following Proyecto Mosaico on Facebook or visit the website at

To read the story on the Austin American Statesman, click on the link below…

Could Austin be home to a national Latino Museum?


vp, engagement

Cultural Strategies

Arriba con RISE! Platicas en Español

2 03 2010

Do you speak English but think in Spanish? Quieres lanzar tu propio negocio? Hablas Español, Spanglish (como yo!) or English and want to attend the RISE Series in Español? Tenemos algo para todos! For the second year, RISE is introducing a series for Spanish speaking entrepreneurs.  Porque todos tenemos ideas!

RISE es del Martes hasta el Viernes, 2-5 de Marzo.  Aqui esta la informacion. Para mas detalles llame al 1-800-Hispano.



Aprende cómo abrir y crecer tu propio negocio

Pláticas Gratis en Español Abiertas a todo el Público

Te vamos a decir cuales son los primeros pasos para abrir un negocio y como conseguir más clientes para que puedas vender más.

2-5 de Marzo durante el dia.

Si quieres saber más sobre estas pláticas llama al Centro de Información en Español  1800HISPANO, (1-800-447-7266) o manda un mensaje de texto con la palabra hispano al 84444.

***Las 5 Lecciones de como atacar el mercado hispano (Para organizaciones y empresas)

Martes 2 de marzo de 4-5:30pm

Elías Hermida de 1800HISPANO

Esta sesión está dirigida a aquellas organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro, empresas y mercadólogos multiculturales que saben reconocer la existencia de un Mercado Hispano en ebullición pero que carecen de las herramientas conceptuales para conectar con él y comunicar cualquier tipo de mensaje.

Se trata de una sesión que profundiza sobre los rasgos característicos del mercado hispano y la forma en que podemos abordarlos para conseguir mejores resultados.

Tendremos una presentación dinámica en las que compartiré lecciones sobre mis experiencias, desatinos y aciertos con este fascinante mercado.

En la Ronald McDonald House: 1315 Barbara Jordan Boulevard, Austin, TX

***Cómo lanzar un negocio trans-nacional usando los medios sociales y tus habilidades bilingües

Martes 2 de marzo de 4-5:30pm

Fernando Labastida de Latin IT Marketing

Consejos para hispano-parlantes sobre cómo hacer negocios entre Estados Unidos y Latinoamérica aprovechando el  auge en los medios sociales y el crecimiento en la industria del software latinoamericano.

Esquina Tango, 209 Pedernales Street, Austin, TX‎ 78702

***Social Media en Español: cual es el punto?”

Miércoles 3 de marzo de 4-5:00pm

Carlos Borberg de Pyrat Republik

A menos que hayas vivido los últimos 5 años en una cueva sin salir, estoy más que seguro que de alguna forma has escuchado del termino “Social Media” o de los medios sociales (twitter, facebook, hi5) en algún sitio. Estos medios sociales se han convertido en un fenómeno enorme que ha revolucionado la forma de comunicación entre las personas. Esta sesión se trata de compartir mi conocimiento de los medios sociales con ustedes y ayudarlos a pensar o empezar su propia estrategia digital para sus negocios y servicios.

Algunos de los temas que cubriré, son:

-Qué carrizo son los medios sociales?

-Cómo se usan los medios sociales?

-Medios Sociales para ti y tu negocio

-Latinos y los medios sociales

Esquina Tango, 209 Pedernales Street, Austin, TX‎ 78702

***La Inversión en Mercadotecnia

Miércoles 3 de marzo de 4-5:30pm

Frank Garza de Vamos Marketing

La mercadotecnia debe de tratarse como una inversión, y no como un gasto del negocio. Y como cualquier otra inversión, es importante saber cuánto nos reditúa. Durante esta sesión, compartiré maneras en las cuales usted podrá ver cuánto le ha redituado su inversión en los diferentes medios de mercadotecnia que esté utilizando (o pensando utilizar) como son los productos promocionales, eventos especiales, televisión, radio, publicaciones y en-línea.

Mercury Mambo: 1107 S. 8th Street, Austin, Texas 78704

***Como iniciar su propia Empresa

Miércoles 3 de marzo de 4-5:30pm

Helena Escalante de All Things Mexico

En esta presentación, Helena Escalante lo guiará paso a paso para entender los requerimientos económicos, administrativos y de liderazgo para iniciar una empresa.  Si ud esta pensando seriamente en convertirse en su propio jefe, venga a escuchar esta ilustradora plática para tener una mejor visión global acerca de las virtudes y los retos de tener un negocio propio.

Conjunctured Coworking: 1309 East 7th Street, Austin, TX 78702

***Piensa como un banquero

Viernes 5 de marzo de 2-3:30pm

Anna Sanchez/Luisa Gavino Martinez de Wells Fargo

Aprenda diez de los mas importantes preparativos antes de acudir a un prestamista.  Escuche sobre las prácticas de crédito más recomendadas y sobre opciones para financiar cada etapa de su negocio.

Moster Wynne: 620 Congress Avenue, Third Floor, Suite 320Austin, Texas 78701

***¿Cómo y por qué ser un certificado de propiedad de mujeres minorías Negocios (WMBE) y DBE?

Viernes 5 de marzo de 4:00-5:30pm

Elizabeth Quintanilla de EQ Consultoria

Un paso importante que tomé para mi negocio el año pasado fue para conseguir mi certificaciones de empresa (WMBE and DBE). Me gustaría compartir mi experiencia sobre cómo obtener la certificación y por qué lo hice. Este es un gran programa y la Ciudad de Austin del oficina SMBR representantes también estará allí para ayudarle con sus preguntas.

United States Art Authority: 510 West 29th Street, Texas 78705

Si quieres saber más sobre estas pláticas llama al Centro de Información en Español  1800HISPANO, (1-800-447-7266) o manda un mensaje de texto con la palabra hispano al 84444.

RISE Multicultural Entreprenuers Series

24 02 2010

Imagine yourself being surrounded by creative ideas, innovative people and the inspiration to work on something your passionate about! Yeah, that’s pretty much where I’ve been in the last two months. I’ve been engaging, reaching out, brainstorming and connecting with Austin’s most talented and creative people, and now you get to experience that with the RISE Multicultural Entrepreneurs Series. The series is part of the 2010 RISE Entrepreneurship Conference that takes place next week, March 1-5th. RISE is a conference for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs; it is intimate, relevant and inclusive. And it really is inclusive! I’ not just saying that because I happen to work on the project, well, maybe I am. The Multicultural Series brings entrepreneurs from different communities including Latinos, African-Americans, Asians – South Asians y mas. We have 60+ session hosts kickin’ real world knowledge via social media, start-ups, marketing, philanthropy, politics, life lessons and culture. I’m so appreciative for having the opportunity to work with these amazing people.

Ready to engage in learning and building relationships? Sign up at for sessions in the Multicultural Entrepreneurs Series.

2010 Multicultural Entrepreneurs Series session highlights

Can Political Engagement Help Your Business Succeed?

Ann del Llano, Southern Shift

Think Like a Banker

Piensa como un banquero

Anna Sanchez/Luisa Gavino Martinez, Wells Fargo

Best Bet: Why You Should Go All-In With Content Marketing

Ben Van Horn, Talk Back Media

Create and Hustle: How to make it as a grass roots promoter

Brandon Badillo, Bembe Entertainment

Media Incubator 2.0

Carl Settles, Texas Diversity Council

YouFM: Podcasting your Business and Yourself

Social Media en Español: cual es el punto?

Carlos Borberg, Pyrat Republik

You don’t know me but you should!

How to Use Public Relations Tools to Build and Manage Your Personal Brand

Christine Moline, Jane Doe Ink

Blogging for Cash and Prizes: How I left corporate America and got to work in my pajamas.

Cindy Casares, Guanabee Media

Don’t Quit Your Day Job: And Other Fairy Tales My Mother Told Me

Dr. Moe Anderson, TyMAC Books

Las 5 Lecciones de como atacar el mercado hispano (Para organizaciones y empresas)

Elias Hermida, 1800Hispano

What Makes Marketing go Viral

Elijah May, Encompass PR

From Strangers to Community

How and Why be a Certified Woman Minority Owned Business (WMBE) and DBE Elizabeth Quintanilla, EQ

How to launch a trans-national services business using social media and bi-lingual skills

Cómo lanzar un negocio trans-nacional usando los medios sociales y tus habilidades bilingues

Fernando Labastida, Latin IT Marketing

The Marketing Investment

La Inversión en Mercadotecnia

Frank Garza, Vamos Marketing

Eight Points

Gary Hoover, Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship/UT

Como Iniciar Su Propia Empresa

Helena Escalante, All Things Mexico

People Over Process: An Approach to Small Business Hiring and Partnerships

Jason Villarreal, Villa Consulting Group

Stay lean, stay multifaceted, stay in business – An introduction to a freelancing, self employed and entrepreneurial mentality

Jay B Sauceda, Photographer

Hacking Online Cultures with Offline Behaviors: How to Turn Negative Feedback into Cheerleaders

Jennie Y. Chen, MisoHungry, Keep Austin Dog Friendly, Austin Drive Clean

Social Media Jam: A Hands-On Experience

Jennifer Navarette, Social Media Consultant

Cultural Competence: Leading diverse teams and engaging clients across cultures

Jeremy Solomon, Jeremy Solomon & Associates

Building a Solid Foundation – Liability Issues Facing All Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs

Jerry Rios, Law Office of Jerry Rios, P.C.

Marketing to the Federal Government

Joyce Scott, Superb Speakers and Trainers Bureau

Entrepreneurship for Baby Boomers

Juan Carlos Mercado, 360 Solutions

Social meets Media: How today’s collaborative technologies are shaping the future of media.

Juan Garcia, New Media Producer, The University of Texas

The Changing Face of Philanthropy

Leo Ramirez, MiniDonations

Cause Related Marketing: How to incorporate your community and nonprofit collaboration into your marketing strategy

Lisa Goddard, Capital Area Food Bank

Building a Visible and Profitable Brand Online

Luis Sandoval Jr., Brand Evangelist/Speaker/Media

The First 2 Years: From Ideas to a Funded, Viable Start-up

Manoj Saxena, IBM Global Business Services, Vice President and Global Solutions Leader

Essential tools to start a social enterprise. (a practical workshop)

Martin Montero, SOLVE L3C

Twitter? Who has time for Twitter?

Maura Thomas, Regain Your Time

Trick or Tweet – Taking the Scary Out of Using Social Media to Promote Your

Food Business

Michelle Cheng, Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees & Cheng, P.C.

Passion Test for Entrepreneurs

Why Vanilla is the best thing in the World

Monica Peraza, MexNet Alliance

Latinas Want More: How to Market to this Growing Segment & Why It Matters!

Rebecca Trevino, Dell


Ricardo Guerrero, Stwittergy


Rich Vasquez, David Neff, Aaron Bramley, Lights.Camera.Help

How to promote your company through PR

Roberto Hernandez, LatinWorks

Design Your Value Proposition to Separate Yourself from Competitors

Roy Nieto, SureScore, Educational Consulting

Social Media Marketing Lessons Learned from Politics

Shaine Mata, Shaine Mata & Associates

From Idea to Product in 60 minutes

Subramanian Rama, Intel Corp

Subliminal Branding: Make It Work for You. 7 Tips to Branding Success

Tina Balderrama Kubicek, B.S., M.Ed., Ph.D., Author, Speaker, Consultant

Un pueblo unido jamás será vencido! Latinos & giving back on 9/11 on !Ahora Si! (English/Spanish)

10 09 2009

!Ahora Si! – Austin American-Statesman’s Spanish newspaper just published an opinion piece I wrote for 9/11 United We Serve and Latinos giving back. Si Se Puede, right? Check it out…

Un pueblo Unido, jamas sera vencidoahorasi

“Un pueblo unido, jamas sera vencido,” We all know the rallying cry; it’s part of our history, our culture – it’s what gives us the ganas to fight for our rights, opportunities and our freedoms. It’s as old as Latin American revolutions to ‘Yes We can’ campaigns of today. We know it, a lot of us live it and we need to not only continue the mantra but take action!

And we must because our community needs our help. We have families living in poverty, managing two or more jobs and trying to put food on the table; our workers are earning non-livable wages; our kids aren’t prepared for school and dropping out; families are living with out health insurance and benefits. Yes, these are daunting problems but what we have in common is our Si Se Puede attitudes, ganas y el pueblo unido! It is for these reasons; we’ve been able to overcome many obstacles in our history.

Today is no different, in fact, we might have tougher battles to fight but we can do it if we come together as a community. We can make things better for our families, neighbors and generations to come. We can reach out to our neighbors & stay connected and we can volunteer and inspire our friends & family members to give back. As director of community engagement at United Way, I’ve seen what Latinos can do when they give back. We started with VIVIR UNIDOS this summer and can continue with United We Serve – Austin.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have announced a nationwide service initiative, United We Serve, spanning 81 days, culminating with a National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11. These 81 days will be the beginning of a sustained, collaborative, and focused effort to meet community needs and make service a way of life for everyone.

So why don’t you join me! Answer the call – Help your community & become a volunteer! At United Way, we have volunteer projects and trainings that will help you get started. Call 2-1-1 or go to

Help make Austin, un pueblo unido!

By Armando Rayo

Director, Community Engagement

Hands On Central Texas – United Way Capital Area

Opinión: Si te conviertes en voluntario, serás la solución

Picture 4

“Un pueblo unido jamás será vencido”. Todos hemos escuchado la consigna, es parte de nuestra historia y cultura.

Es lo que nos da las ganas de luchar por nuestros derechos, oportunidades y libertades. Ha sido tan popular durante las revoluciones latinoamericanas como las campañas de hoy y su “Sí se puede”. La conocemos, muchos la vivimos y ahora sólo falta pasar del dicho a los hechos.

Debemos actuar porque nuestra comunidad necesita de nuestra ayuda. Tenemos familias que viven en la pobreza y que trabajan dos o tres turnos para poner comida en la mesa. Nuestros trabajadores ganan sueldos que no alcanzan para cubrir las necesidades básicas. Nuestros hijos no están preparados para la escuela y desertan.

Hay familias que no tienen seguro de salud ni beneficios laborales. Cierto, estos problemas graves ¡pero tenemos en común la actitud positiva del “sí se puede”, las ganas y el pueblo unido! Es por esto que hemos logrado sobrepasar muchos obstáculos en nuestra historia.

Hoy no es muy distinto. De hecho, quizá tendremos que luchar batallas más duras pero podremos hacerlo si logramos unirnos como una comunidad.

Podemos aliviar la situación de nuestras familias, vecinos y futuras generaciones. Podemos conectarnos con nuestros vecinos y podemos convertirnos en voluntarios e inspirar a nuestros amigos y parientes a devolverle una mano a la comunidad.

Como director de participación comunitaria de United Way, he visto lo que los latinos pueden hacer cuando trabajar por el prójimo. Empezamos con “Vivir Juntos” este verano y continuaremos con “Juntos Servimos” (o “United We Serve” en inglés) en Austin.

El presidente Barack Obama y la primera dama Michelle Obama anunciaron una iniciativa de servicio nacional, “Juntos Servimos”, que durará 81 días y terminará con un Día Nacional de Servicio y el 11 de septiembre.

Estos 81 días son el comienzo de un esfuerzo sostenido, colaborativo y focalizado para satisfacer las necesidades de la comunidad y hacer del servicio una forma de vida para todos.

¿Por qué no te nos unes? ¡Atiende la llamada, ayuda a tu comunidad y ofrécete como voluntario! En United Way tenemos proyectos de voluntariado y capacitación que te permitirán empezar este camino. Llama al 2-1-1 o visita

¡Ayuda a que Austin sea un pueblo unido!

Armando Rayo es director de Participación Comunitaria, Vivir Unidos – United Way Capital Area