A difficult update from Found in Translation

Dear friends and supporters,

We are writing to share difficult news.

Found in Translation is experiencing a significant funding shortfall. We knew that funding can be unpredictable following a leadership transition. And we knew that securing funding for the ongoing operation of a program model that works, no matter how impactful, is a lot harder than securing funding for growth or for piloting new ideas. We prepared for this, and made planful, intentional investments in our fundraising capacity. But despite our best efforts, we ran out of runway before these investments had time to bear fruit.

In order to stay financially viable, we had to make difficult decisions. As a direct service organization, our biggest expense is salaries, and we had no choice but to greatly reduce the size of our team. We are scaling back operations and rapidly restructuring, reallocating resources for what this moment demands of us. Divya Chaturvedi is stepping down as Executive Director, and will be spearheading the launch of Found in Translation’s Advisory Board. Maria Vertkin, Found in Translation’s founder, is returning to the Executive Director role. Together, Divya, Maria and the board will be working to raise funds quickly in order to stabilize financially and rebuild.

Since 2011, we have trained 379 interpreters. Our graduates are employed at every major Boston area hospital and interpreting agency, and in our in-house Interpreting & Translation Services, providing language access in an estimated 60,000 interpreting encounters every year. Some of our graduates are becoming interpreter trainers, and last year, our Medical Interpreter Training faculty consisted of 100% our own graduates. Every year, we’ve refined and strengthened our model, and continued to nurture our powerful community of interpreters and their allies, committed to ending inequities in healthcare and the workforce.

But our work isn’t over. We see a need for a strong, thriving Found in Translation in the years to come. The language access landscape was changed profoundly by the pandemic, and the need for interpreters grows ever more urgent with new waves of migration spurred by wars and crises overseas. Domestically, the threat of a Trump presidency looms, and with it policies that would bring devastating hardships to immigrant communities. In restructuring and scaling back, we hope to use this moment as an opportunity for a strategic reset, a chance to return to the basics and come back stronger, if leaner. We cannot give up now.

The challenges we are facing, both immediately and globally, are unprecedented. But we see a path ahead, and—with your help—a bright future. In the coming days, we will ask for your support. Found in Translation is, and always was, first and foremost a community. Together, we know that we can build back strong. 

With gratitude,

Divya, Maria, and the Board of Directors