A BRIEF HISTORY
In the tumultuous days following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the philanthropic professionals and recovery experts recruited by Governor Kathleen Blanco to establish the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation knew that a full and responsible recovery would entail far more than rebuilding what was lost. Amidst the chaos of disaster, the founders had the wisdom and foresight to charter an organization committed to alleviating the man-made disasters of neglect and inequity that have compromised quality of life in Louisiana and the Gulf South since long before the storms.
Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation Founders
Jay Altman * Lisa Amoss * Emary Aronson * Kathleen Babineaux Blanco * Victoria Bjorklund * Emmett Carson * Patty Conley * David Conroy * Kit Conroy * Linetta J. Gilbert * Rannah Gray * Debra Isaacson * Jim Kelly * Diana Lewis * Mark Linton * Valsin Marmillion * Flo Meadows * Peggy Outon * Tony Pipa * John A. Powell * Tony Recasner * Jennifer Eplett Reilly * Lodis Rhodes * Jon Schnur * April Springfield * Sheila Webb * Gwynne Welles * Sherece West
Thanks to our donors, generous foundation support and world-class leadership, the Foundation has been able to invest $41.5M in more than 200 mission-critical nonprofit organizations working across the state towards rebuilding a better Louisiana.
To date, the Foundation has:
- Provided emergency relief to tens of thousands of residents
- Helped thousands of families gain access into safe, affordable housing and provide capital to organizations that continue to advocate for more affordable housing throughout the state
- Assisted thousands of small businesses to re-open after natural and man-made disasters and continue to support minority-owned small businesses through loans and technical support
- Engaged thousands of residents in neighborhood planning and leadership development through neighborhood associations and the foundation’s signature LEAD Program as part of its TOGETHER Initiative.
The Foundation’s high-engagement grant-making practices have strengthened the region’s nonprofit sector by providing both funds and the guidance necessary for small organizations to have their greatest impact. The Foundation’s role as intermediary, convener and policy leader has resulted in a more equitable civic environment in which voices from underserved communities have a meaningful role in shaping the policies and practices that affect quality of life.
In 2010, the Foundation faced a critical juncture. The balance of Louisiana’s recovery priorities were shifting from repairing infrastructure and regaining stability to an intensified focus on addressing historic challenges of poverty and neglect and creating new opportunities for innovation and economic development.
To that end, the Foundation embarked upon a comprehensive planning process, resulting in a pragmatic strategic plan for achieving our ambitious goals for a better Louisiana as well as an updated identity for the Foundation. Our new name, the Foundation for Louisiana, reflects our intent to continue our work of strengthening the state’s foundation for a prosperous, equitable future.
As the Foundation for Louisiana advances the new model of equitable community economic development that has been key to many of our successes thus far, the Foundation will also maintain its hard-won recovery expertise as a resource to assist those most in need in the aftermath of disaster. Standing ready to employ the invaluable lessons we’ve learned over the past five years to build upon the tremendous progress that has already been made, the Foundation for Louisiana embraces this moment of great hope and promise for the years and decades ahead.