Greater New Orleans Foundation Activates Disaster Response & Restoration Fund for the New Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

March 12, 2020

New Orleans, LA (March 13, 2020) – Today, the Greater New Orleans Foundation announced the activation of its Disaster Response and Restoration Fund in response to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. The outbreak of the COVID-19, now declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, is on everyone’s mind. With community transmission having occurred in the Greater New Orleans region, the time for action is now.

With official states of emergency being announced by both the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans, the Greater New Orleans Foundation is ready to respond. We have the benefit of being informed by other states that are ahead of us in the arrival of COVID-19 to know that we are in the early stages of outbreak. The demands on our healthcare systems and nonprofits will only increase, and although social distancing is a critical strategy to slow the spread of the virus, we expect COVID-19 will have severe economic impact on our region’s economy.

The Greater New Orleans Foundation announced immediate grants to VIA LINK, The New Orleans Council on Aging, Jefferson Council on Aging, and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana.

“When disasters strike, our nonprofits join other first responders on the front lines” said Andy Kopplin, President & CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “We believe in pushing money forward to ensure that these organizations are best positioned to help our communities in moments of critical need, and that’s why we’re announcing initial grants today and opening our disaster fund to make sure our nonprofits have the resources they need to respond.”

Through the Greater New Orleans Foundation Disaster Response and Restoration Fund, we mobilize and support a network of voluntary and community organizations active in disasters (VOADS and COADS) whose expertise is deployed locally, nationally and internationally. We also honor the tradition of “paying it forward” by coordinating with a network of community foundations when disaster strikes other communities to get immediate support to the most vulnerable citizens. Our Response and Restoration Fund provides immediate relief as well as long-term rebuilding support.

“The people of New Orleans know what it’s like to be all hands on deck,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “In addition to following safety measures, I’m asking our people to give to the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Disaster Response and Restoration Fund to help nonprofits taking care of our elderly, the homeless, and low-wage workers who are made more vulnerable by this pandemic. My administration has established a nonprofit committee to help coordinate efforts between the City and our external partners, with GNOF serving as one of our co-chairs and key voices at the table.”

“The nonprofits of our region always rise to the occasion,” said Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng. “That’s why I’m asking citizens to support their urgent work distributing food and helping our senior citizens and other vulnerable populations by contributing to the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Disaster Response and Restoration Fund.”

Most recently, the Foundation provided immediate and long-term recovery grants from our Response and Restoration Fund following the series of Earthquakes to hit Puerto Rico in 2019.

With the capability to get dollars where they are most needed within 48 hours, the Foundation has pre-registered over 20 organizations from across Southeast Louisiana to receive expedited grants should they be active in responding to a disaster. We also recently hosted a disaster summit to help local nonprofit organizations get ready for disaster and prepare their continuity of operations plans. Representatives from the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, NOLA Ready, and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness were on hand to share their expertise with the 75 nonprofits in attendance.

In addition to activating our Disaster Response and Restoration Fund, the Greater New Orleans Foundation is bringing together a range of experts and officials to help nonprofit leaders strengthen preparation, mitigation, communications, HR practices, technology, and services in response to this crisis with a free webinar series beginning this Friday. Continuance of Operations Plans (COOP) are a critical tool that all nonprofits should have in place, and many nonprofits need to know how to execute those plans responsibly in the face of a pandemic. Learn more and register here.

Donations can be made to the Disaster Response and Restoration Fund by visiting

About Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF):

For over 90 years, the Greater New Orleans Foundation has been connecting generous people to the causes that spark their passion.As one of the most trusted philanthropic organizations in the region, we work every day to drive positive impact through philanthropy, leadership, and action in our thirteen-parish region.In addition to grantmaking, we convene people, resources, and ideas to create intelligent strategies and solutions to meet our regions greatest challenges. We are proud to serve as a vocal civic leader with our partners to ensure a vibrant, sustainable, and just region for all. Learn more at

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