Grantee Spotlight: El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services

El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services in Winston-Salem, NC, now knows what it is like to have a sure footing, thanks to a very generous $100,000 gift in memory of Helen Hall Clinard, a local champion of early childhood education and Parent Effectiveness Training.

The nonprofit had been developing, slowly but surely since it was chartered in 2006, thanks in part to capacity-building grants that it has received from the North Carolina site of HIP’s Funders’ Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities, according to Mary Bolton, executive director of El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services. The North Carolina site is one of the largest and most active within HIP’s Funders’ Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities.

“This will give us the operating reserves that we have never had before. This will make our cash flow,” Bolton said of the gift made by David Elwood (Woody) Clinard Jr., in honor of his wife of 52 years. “Our board has decided to set $60,000 aside for an operating reserve.” She said that $20,000 would be used for the Family Literacy Initiative, and the remaining $20,000 would support the nonprofit’s general operations.

Although it is not a faith-based organization, the 501(c)3 nonprofit has a strong partnership with El Buen Pastor Church, which houses it and forms an important source of volunteers for its family literacy program, which includes after-school tutoring for 175 students, from pre-school through high school.

“They’ve grown very significantly in a short time,” said Brittney Gaspari, the Winston-Salem Foundation director of grants and former co-chair of the NC Funders’ Collaborative Site Committee. “That very generous gift gives them more stability and gives us more confidence that they’ll be able to make it in the long run, because their programs are wonderful”

Gaspari added that Bolton and one of the program’s students will be among the individuals expected to address the foundation’s donors at its annual Legacy Society dinner on Nov. 5.

“I think El Buen Pastor is a great example of how the Collaborative can benefit organizations, because they have good ideas and are willing to do the work, but need that extra help,” Gaspari added.

Bolton said that the $100,000 gift came as a surprise because the nonprofit had suggested a $20,000 donation to expand its Family Literacy Initiative. But the effort that led to obtaining the donation resulted from the capacity-building training that the staff had received through the Funders’ Collaborative grant rounds.

She said that, while the most recent grant was to work on staff development and data tracking to be able to evaluate programs and analyze participation, a previous round had emphasized the need to address cash-flow issues, diversify funding to obtain a steady income, and involve the board in fundraising.

“The donation from Mr. Clinard was initiated by a board member who knew him,” she said. “It was board member Judy Davis that had the idea that we give him this opportunity to honor his wife.” Davis is a former elementary school administrator who knew Helen Clinard. The gift, Bolton said, diversifies the nonprofit’s funding, as well as the board member’s involvement.

Helen Clinard, in addition to being a family education pioneer, co-founded the Association for the Benefit of Child Development, which in the late 1960s offered pre-school with research-based educational approaches to low-income Winston-Salem families. She passed away last January.