A great number of people experience difficulties related to financial issues such as insurance or mortgage being an obstacle for these individuals to live in adequate living conditions instead of thinking about methods that can be used to save their houses or other property.
In this respect, financial literacy can be considered one of the most appropriate methods to improve the literacy of population in financial issues related to accounting, budgeting, and taxes. The Qualitas of Life Foundation is a non-governmental non-profit organization that deals with immigrants that live in the United States of America.
The main function of this organization consists in helping Hispanic immigrants and their families to adjust to the financial policies and prevent scams towards these people. In other words, people should be aware of their rights and duties and should be able to act in accordance with numerous laws and acts in different areas of the financial sector.
Qualitas Of Life Foundation: A Brief Overview
The organization that should be described in this section was founded by a philanthropist Marcela O. de Rovzar, a Mexican individual with an “extensive career in capacity building and fundraising”1.
The skills and talents of this person and her desire to help immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries enabled her to arrange the operation of this program. Every step in this organization is taken to improve the living condition of people that are not aware of peculiarities of financial issues I the United States of America.
Classes are conducted in English and in Spanish though Spanish is the prevailing direction as most immigrants speak Spanish outside their primary job including educational environment. In this respect, staff members of this organization are requested to be fluent in English as well as in Spanish to convey the message effectively and be adequate representatives of the organization in the business environment.
Speaking and writing activities are conducted in order to explain financial concepts to people and make them practice their newly-acquired skills and knowledge. Accounting and budgeting can help them to arrange their finances in terms of family income and numerous bills to be paid.
As the organization’s main function is closely related to the branch of financial education, the Qualitas of Life Foundation conduct classes and provides Hispanic immigrants with opportunities to obtain knowledge necessary for adequate organization of family finances.
Besides, the organization is actively performing building and sustaining functions as a community member establishing relations with community-based organizations and making agreements to various financial institutions.2
Every member of the community can take part in the educational activities aimed at “bring[ing] together diverse groups of Mexicans and Hispanics in support of the immigrant community”3 in order to “financial literacy for Mexican and Hispanic immigrants.”4
In other words, the organization has built connections with related institutions including the immigrant community that provides immigrants with high degree of support and counseling.
Financial literacy is the basic concern for Hispanic immigrants though there are many other difficulties; so, people have to take every chance to improve their skills and raise competitive advantage to be able to get a god job and provide their families with adequate financial support and education.
The Way Of Governing
CEO and his/her functions
The organization is ran by a board of this organization and an Executive Director whose major functions include “management, accounting and administrative duties, as well as implementing fundraising strategy set by the Board President”.5
In other words, the managerial duties are prevailing for the CEO in this organization. As the Qualitas of Life Foundation is a non-profit organization, the accounting includes investments and arrangement of funds in terms of financial literacy programs and attending of immigrants in financial workshops.
Moreover, the CEO can be considered the major person to report to the Board President and Board of Directors. In this respect, all initiatives suggested by the board are to be fulfilled and supervised by the Executive Director.
As the primary functions of the CEO of this organization concern the financial workshops activities, this person has to be knowledgeable in financing and education as well as possess good interpersonal skills. Adrián Franco is the person that currently obtains the position of the Executive Director at the Qualitas of Life Foundation. He is knowledgeable in administration and accounting as well as in educational issues.
However, the organization is searching for a person to obtain this position instead of Adrián Franco while the start date is the January 2011.6 Besides, one of the functions of the new CEO will include the fundraising duties and other activities for mobilizing resources.7 In this respect, administration and management are of primary importance for the executive director of a non-profit organization like the Qualitas of Life Foundation.
Size of the governing board
The current members of the governing board are President and founder Marcela Orvañanos de Rovzar, secretary Mariel Creo, and board members Alexis Rovzar, Gregorio Schneider, Jose Luis y Eugenia Guerrero.8 Though the size of the board might have been changed, the change was helpful because of a number of factors.
The first factor concerns the operation of the board and its functions: As the main function of the organization includes the educational workshops related to financial literacy of Hispanic immigrants, it is necessary to organize the work of literacy seminars and classes and establish relations with other financial institutions and educational nonprofits as a part of the cooperation program.
The next function of the board includes building and sustaining of the reputation of the organization in order people could rely on the results of the program. Moreover, the CEO reports directly to the board while he is also able to introduce certain changes to the board.9
As a rule, the changes are introduced into the organization in rare cases, mainly due to global changes in the market that can shift the priorities and alter some new vision of the problem hence presenting new ideas for solving new problems.
In this respect, another function of the board is supervision of the work performed by the CEO and approval of his/her activities in terms of granting permission for introduction of changes or other strategic initiatives into organization.
So, as the organization works mostly with people that need to improve their financial literacy, they should be ready to take into account the factor of people that includes many aspects. Most of these aspects concern job opportunities, income level, level of education, and general perspectives for employment and further work in the United States of America for Hispanic immigrants.
Changes in the governing board
Though changes in the Board of Directors can happen in future, it is necessary to take into account that the peculiar features of the organization require certain skills and abilities from people that can be appointed to managerial positions.
In this respect, the person that can be a member of the Board of Directors in the Qualitas of Life Foundation should be knowledgeable in administration and accounting, certain financial issues though the basics of financial issues can be sufficient for the member of the board, educational issues, and bilingual approach.
It is more likely that the changes in the governing board are not happening due to the fact that the founder remains the Board Director of the organization whereas all other positions are obtained by people who know their business and can contribute greatly to the overall success of the organization.
Challenges And Weaknesses
Potential weaknesses for the organization include the risk management in terms of the global financial crisis and other circumstances that can shift the priorities with regard to employment opportunities and necessity for providing people with financial education. Moreover, experienced administrators who know English as well as Spanish can turn out to be inexperienced in accounting and financial issues.
In this respect, lack of efficient staff members can become a real threat for the organization as the most experienced financial expert can fail to acquire Spanish in order to be able to convey the message to the class.
This weakness becomes more threatening with regard to the rising number of immigrants that may want to learn financial literacy to maintain their families adequately. As a result, the organization can face difficulties with hiring appropriate employees who are engaged in education and accounting at the same time.
Another potential weakness of the organization concerns the investments that include funding of the Qualitas of Life Foundation by the government though it is a non-governmental organization.
The major part of the educational materials is the donation of other educational and financial institutions such as Banamex (Citigroup), “Little Sisters of the Assumption in East Harlem, Adelante Alliance in Brooklyn, HANDS and Mercy Center in South Bronx, and El Centro and the Jewish Community Center in Staten Island”.10
Besides, the organization works with other nonprofits on the territory of the United States and Mexico. This means that the alliances are closely related and some difficulties encountered by one organization can be faced by others.
Finally, the organization should be more concerned about leadership competences that are of primary importance for the organization that deals with people and educational issues. In this respect, managers have to focus more on the development of leadership competencies so that people were encouraged to acquire knowledge and improve their financial literacy.
The potential weakness of this concept concerns the ability of the immigrant community to provide its members with adequate encouragement and counseling in case of certain difficulties.
In other words, the organization should monitor the activities of the program members to know the difficulties and be able to predict some changes to respond to those adequately. However, the same aspect can be successfully transferred to the competitive advantage.
Existing challenges that are relevant to the work of the organization include lack of connections with community members and insufficient support of Hispanic immigrants from other community members in terms of their financial education activities.
In this respect, all connections that have been established till the current moment have to be sustained in order to prevent discouragement of people that take part in this program. In other words, members of the organization should monitor and supervise the members of the program so that they could demonstrate their achievements to the full extent.
Encouragement and more active involvement can be achieved through advertising which can be considered one of the existing weaknesses. People can learn about the program and its opportunities from friends and other members of the community if they are active participants of the community life in the United States whereas some immigrants fail to sustain relations with the community after arrival.
Leadership and its development should be of primary importance for the organization with regard to the rising number of people that have appropriate skills for this type of activity though are discouraged from it.
Development of leadership competencies can ensure that all members of the Hispanic immigrant community are active participants of the financial literacy programs. Cultural aspect is very important in terms of the leadership concept.11
Thus, people can fail to adapt to the leadership development policies due to lack of leadership principles in their culture. However, the members of the Hispanic community seem to be very active and ambitious in terms of active participation in the program.
Ways of solving problems
All the problems that exist in the community in the current moment can be solved with the help of adequate policies adopted for improvement that can be reached in the shortest possible time. In this respect, it is necessary to manage the activities of the organization adequately and try to prevent the slightest difficulties that may possible occur.
As prevention is more effective and less harmful than treatment of the developed problem, the manager should adopt the most relevant way for monitoring and surveying the activities typical for this organization.
Besides, the most challenging issues may concern the changes in the global market that can hardly be foreseen by an ordinary manager though risk management and appropriate policies can help the organization in managing similar issues.
Choosing more adequate style of leadership can be rather helpful in the situation of the global competition. “Today, people frequently discuss leadership style, which shifts the emphasis from character, which is internal and, to a large extent, inborn, to behavior, which is external and learnable.”12
In this respect, the manager can introduce certain practices that are aimed at examination and identification of the leadership more appropriate for this or that person. Developing leadership competencies in Hispanic immigrants, the members of the organization can find future employees that will adequately provide other generations and waves of Hispanic immigrants with financial literacy services.
Moreover, a problem should be defined before being approached; so, the organization can invite an independent expert who is knowledgeable in risk management and similar issues to identify the problem and suggest some ways for solving it.
Models of work
The primary issue that should be discussed with regard to the current situation in the organization concerns the funding of the project as the organization can fail to operate effectively relying only on the governmental fees as the source of funding. So, the organization can be invested by educational organizations.
Besides, companies interested in financial education of their employees can make agreements with this organization for providing them with adequate services. This means that the organization can become partially nonprofit and partially for-profit. In this case, the organization can continue to provide Hispanic immigrants with services aimed at improving their financial literacy for free as it is a nonprofit organization.
At the same time, members of the organization can provide other organizations with similar services for some costs. For instance, the Qualitas of Life Foundation can provide ordinary people with the same services requiring fixed costs to be paid. This option can be interesting for individuals and organizations.
Though the organization works in accordance with ordinary class activity model, it is necessary to emphasize its effectiveness because it enables people engaged into this activity to ask certain questions and re-ask if they do not understand something.
In this respect, Hispanic immigrants do not only gain knowledge important for their financial issues in family and budgeting but can also be used to improve the existing knowledge in the area of finances and accounting.
Adaptation to increase likelihood success
The success of the organization is obvious though it can be increased as well as all other benefits of the Qualitas of Life Foundation. Thus, “…understanding and cultivating leadership”13 can be used to increase the success of the organization after thorough analysis of changes that can be potentially implemented and considered beneficial for the organization.
In other words, all policies that might be implemented to the organization should be approved by the Board of Directors.14 After endorsement of changes and various beneficial methods and models, it is necessary to plan the implementation of those practices so that the operation was not ruined with application of the previous and new techniques simultaneously.
Adaptive capacity is reported as highly important for the organization in case of implementation of various changes.15 The changes should be adjusted to the organization in terms of strategies and methods used in various areas of the organizational activity resulting in success.
If the manager fails to apply innovation effectively to the organization, it should be changed because the innovations can be inappropriate for certain sectors of human activity including nonprofit educational organization working with Hispanic immigrants illiterate in financial issues.
To conclude, it is necessary to overview the general principles of the Qualitas of Life Foundation. This organization is a non-governmental and nonprofit one. It provides Hispanic immigrants with financial education services aimed at increasing the level o living of immigrant population that inhabits the territory of the United States.
In other words, the competitive advantage of this organization is that it provides people that are members of the immigrant community with financial literacy services aimed at improving the level of living and preventing scams that can be faced by immigrants due to differences in financial issues, accounting, and taxes.
Every member of the community can obtain the financial education for free because the organization is funded by nonprofit funds such as the governmental fees and programs. Development of leadership competencies and adequate implementation of innovative practices and methods can help the organization to sustain success with regard to changing priorities all over the globe and instability of financial issues because of the financial crisis.
Crutchfield, Leslie R., Heather McLeod Grant, Fuqua School of Business (Duke University), and Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship. Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2008. Print.
Dees, J. Gregory, Jed Emerson, and Peter Economy. Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2001. Print.
Dym, Barry, and Harry Hutson. Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2005. Print.
Qualitas of Life Foundation, 2008. Web.
1 Qualitas of Life Foundation, 2008.
2 Qualitas of Life Foundation, 2008. Op. cit.
5 Qualitas of Life Foundation, 2008. Op. cit.
7 Dees, J. Gregory, Jed Emerson, and Peter Economy. Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2001. Print, 63-65.
8 Qualitas of Life Foundation, 2008. Op. cit.
10 Qualitas of Life Foundation, 2008. Op. cit.
11 Dym, Barry, and Harry Hutson. Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2005. Print, 35-36.
12 Dym and Hutson, Op. cit., 37.
13 Crutchfield, Leslie R., Heather McLeod Grant, Fuqua School of Business (Duke University), and Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship. Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2008. Print, 212.
14 Dees et al., Op. cit., 41.
15 Crutchfield et al., Op. cit., 131.