Major Funders Outline Vision for a More Just and Resilient New Orleans

August 28, 2015

Presidents of Six Foundations Discuss Opportunities for Future Investment

New Orleans, LA (August 28, 2015) — As New Orleans marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina,  major foundations active in the region came together on Friday to share their vision for how philanthropic investment can unlock the city’s potential.

As part of a daylong event hosted by the City of New Orleans, the presidents of six foundations investing in the region held a panel discussion to offer their unique perspective on what’s happened in New Orleans over the past decade, and what still needs to happen for New Orleans to become a more just and resilient city. The panel featured The Rockefeller Foundation and members of the Greater New Orleans Funders Network, including the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. In breakout sessions, local and national funders discussed ways New Orleans can adapt to physical and environmental stresses, create prosperity for all residents and promote inclusion, equity and justice.

“Philanthropy has played a major role in moving New Orleans forward since Hurricane Katrina,” said Moira McDonald of the Walton Family Foundation. “We are committed to the region and determined to see New Orleans become stronger, more equitable and more resilient for the long term.”

Together, the foundations that make up the Greater New Orleans Funders Network have invested nearly $570 million since 2005 to support New Orleans’ recovery and growth. They released Making New Orleans A Just And Resilient City Framing Paper on Friday that explores the progress and challenges facing New Orleans in a variety of areas where philanthropy plays an important role, including education, economic development, affordable housing, environmental restoration and public health. The paper highlights the significant public, private and philanthropic investment in the city that will provide a unique opportunity for New Orleans to move forward in those areas, and invites other funders to be a part of the city’s transformation.

“This is a pivotal moment for New Orleans,” said Flozell Daniels of the Foundation for Louisiana. “The unprecedented combination of resident leadership, political will, evidence-based plans and dedicated funding is our best opportunity to deliver on equitable outcomes as the major priority in strengthening New Orleans.”

“Philanthropic investment can be the key that unlocks New Orleans’ potential,” said Jerry Maldonado of the Ford Foundation. “We can make New Orleans a model for cities across the country. But we need more funders to be a part of this effort.

To learn more about New Orleans’ progress since Hurricane Katrina, please visit


About the Greater New Orleans Funders Network

The Greater New Orleans Funders Network is a coalition of local, regional and national grantmakers committed to equity and economic opportunity in the Greater New Orleans region. The network is managed by Grantmakers for Southern Progress, a project of Neighborhood Funders Group. Members of the Greater New Orleans Funders Network include: Baptist Community Ministries; blue moon fund; Ford Foundation; Foundation for Louisiana; Greater New Orleans Foundation; JPMorgan Chase & Co; Kresge Foundation; Surdna Foundation; Walton Family Foundation; and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.