meet san juan diego institute

the latino community



San Juan Diego Institute is honored to provide critical support and guidance to Latino organizations and businesses making a difference in their community and beyond. Our approach to uplifting Latino communities in the United States centers on integrated and lasting solutions for nonprofits. We help you mitigate and manage business and organizational problems. 


San Juan Diego Institute (SJDI) was founded over 20 years ago as part of the efforts of Raza Development Fund (RDF) to serve the growing needs of the Latino community. Tom Espinoza and other South Phoenix community leaders sought to unify their efforts to help struggling, largely poor, Hispanic families grow in their spiritual identities as well as economic opportunities. At the time, RDF’s portfolio as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) was expanding nationally and increasing the capacity of Latino-serving organizations. Recognizing the specific needs of faith-based and community-based nonprofits, the San Juan Diego Institute was formed to provide much-needed business consulting, strategic support, and technical assistance to promising organizations making demonstrable impact in their communities. When needed, SDJI can connect our clients to capital through RDF, as well as grants through foundations and targeted capital campaigns. 

Inspired by the story of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, whose faithful response to the Virgencita transformed a nation, SJDI first sought to serve the Roman Catholic Church and Our Lady of Guadalupe’s call to serve the least of God’s children. SJDI assisted Catholic organizations, namely those educating children, serving the poor, and developing future Latino leaders. SJDI provided integrative support to help these nonprofits more effectively fulfill their missions and advance the charitable work of the Church. This work built spiritual communities that assisted individuals in fulfilling their human vocation and strengthened families. Often, this work was assisted through creative partnerships with public and private entities. Today, our clients include other faith-based and community-based nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and schools. 

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The nonprofits and businesses we work with have incredible missions. They come to us when they have reached a turning point that requires careful navigation, additional clarity, and honest counsel. This can include maintaining operations in a crisis, preparing for new opportunities, or preparing for growth or major transition. SJDI serves as more than a consultant: we care as much about our clients fulfilling their missions as they do, providing guidance in overcoming obstacles, so their impactful work isn’t interrupted.


San Juan Diego Institute is honored to provide critical support and formation to Latino organizations making a difference in their community and beyond.


is a guild of professionals that assists organizations more effectively fulfill their mission.

our purpose

Knowing that community- and faith-based nonprofits have the potential to have a deep and enduring effect in their local communities, San Juan Diego Institute provides comprehensive, integrative support so organizations can more effectively fulfill their mission.


Our guild of seasoned professionals with diverse professional and community backgrounds seeks to understand the mission, identity and, therefore, the value proposition of each organization. Together we develop lasting, organizationally sustainable, and high impact solutions that strengthen organizations’ core enterprises and activities to better serve their community.

our core values


enterprise-level solutions that integrate all areas of operation and all aspects of the organization's mission, then ensuring that these solutions have ongoing viability and demonstrated community impact.


to a customized dialogue with staff, board and key stakeholders in search of optimal solutions that provide the client with a clear path to project execution and ongoing support.


social capital of our clients by facilitating introductions to our network of funders and investors, as well as partner organizations with similar missions who can accelerate their learning curve and potentially serve as collaborators.


clients' needs through a diverse group of backgrounds that provide hands-on experience in relevant disciplines that cover the scope of operations for most faith-based and community-based non-profits.

“As an Executive Director, I know I need an outside perspective to really gauge the operations and effectiveness of Fraternus, but there are so many voices that getting trustworthy help can be overwhelming.  Everyone has advice to give you (and consulting contracts to sign) but finding someone who really understands your mission and methods sometimes seems hopeless.  SJDI was just what we needed.  Almost two years out from their original assessment, I can see that their efforts and guidance has helped us reshape our efforts so that we know that the effectiveness of the mission is on par with our zeal for it.  We would not be there without SJDI.” 

Jason Craig

Executive Director, Fraternus USA