Latino Justice – PRLDEF

Social services

Boosting An Annual Fund

LatinoJustice (formerly PRLDF) partnered with LAPA Fundraising to conduct a planning study to assess their board of directors and to research their ability to retire a $6 million office mortgage.

LatinoJustice (LJP) works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable, and accessible justice; by empowering the Latinx community and their allies; and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education.

For more than 40 years, LJP has acted as an advocate against injustices throughout New York and beyond, and they have established a legacy of defending Latinx rights.

One example of this legacy is the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. While Sotomayor was still a judge, she served as a member of the LJP Board of Directors from 1980 to 1992.   In 2009, when Sotomayor was nominated as a justice for the Supreme Court, LJP was instrumental in warding off extremist charges against her during her Senate confirmation hearings. In part, thanks to these efforts, Justice Sotomayor was confirmed in 2009 as the first Latinx to ever serve on the nation’s highest court.

The Challenge

LJP had three challenges: they wanted to develop a stronger board; they wanted to pay off their office mortgage, and thirdly they needed to strengthen their donor pipeline.

We knew at the start that asking for support to pay off a mortgage would not be appealing to donors. Instead, LAPA designed a case for support about how LJP would be better positioned to succeed at their mission if they were capitalized appropriately and debt-free. The case for support we proposed and wrote described a 10-year vision for advancing LJP’s work. We asked funders and donors to invest in LJP in order for that vision to materialize.

In addition, LJP’s Board of Directors wanted to grow and to know how it could lead more effectively.

LJP also lacked sufficient institutional funding and a major gift pipeline for raising unrestricted support.


  • Planned and facilitated a board and staff weekend retreat.
  • A compelling case for support was developed with the goal of raising $6 million to pay off the office mortgage.
  • Board of Directors giving achieved 100% participation.
  • We conducted the most significant foundation and major gift research in LatinoJustice’s history.
  • We developed Gift Acceptance Policies.

The Solution

To address these challenges, LAPA planned and facilitated a weekend board and staff retreat to learn more about their vision. To learn more about our dynamic board retreats, click here.

We wrote a dynamic case for support that showed what LJP’s next decade would look like if it was properly capitalized.

LAPA identified new value-aligned donors and institutional funders using advanced prospect research methods.

We delivered a comprehensive Gift Acceptance Policies document that was reviewed by LJP’s Board of Directors and attorney and approved as part of their operational policies.

The Impact

The board and staff retreat generated recommendations for immediate improvements. LAPA calendarized those recommendations and created a roll-out plan.

A gift acceptance policy was adopted by the board a proactive step to give the donor guidance about what type of gifts LJP accepted, and to protect LJP from unnecessary liability.

$6 million was raised over two years, a $25 return for every dollar spent on fundraising. The office mortgage was retired.

An ongoing fundraising method and process was institutionalized for securing unrestricted support from major donors.