Four Local Nonprofits are Freeman Challenge Winners

February 17, 2016

(New Orleans, LA – February 17, 2016) The Greater New Orleans Foundation announced today that the four nonprofit organizations named 2016 Freeman Challenge winners are the Coliseum Square Association, Lighthouse Louisiana, YMCA, and The Lens. Fundraising dollars they raise in 2016 will be matched one dollar for every two dollars up to $150,000, thanks to the generosity of the Freeman Family, which established the Freeman Challenge at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. The Freeman Challenge matching dollars are aimed specifically at helping nonprofits start or grow endowments or build a “rainy day” fund.

“When you help a nonprofit build an endowment, you’re contributing to its long-term stability,” said Sarah Carey, family member and advisor.  Since its inception in 1999, the Freeman Challenge has helped establish endowments at over 25 nonprofits in education, the arts, the environment, and health and human services.

“The four nonprofit organizations selected this year are ready for the Challenge!” said senior program officer Kellie Chavez-Greene at the Greater New Orleans Foundation, who is also quick to point out, however, that the Freeman Challenge is not right for every organization. “We spend many hours working with nonprofit organizations to make sure the time is right before they embark on such a major fundraising campaign.” Interested nonprofits must first attend a half-day mandatory workshop and complete a readiness checklist before they can apply to the Freeman Challenge.

“Because of the thorough review from the Foundation we received on the front-end, we feel confident we’ll be successful in raising the money to earn the match,” said Renee Vidrine, president of Lighthouse Louisiana. Winning nonprofits will also continue to benefit from additional learning opportunities throughout the year offered at the Foundation through the Organizational Effectiveness initiative.

The Freeman Challenge is held every other year. It will re-open in the spring of 2017. For more information and for additional resources on whether it’s the right time for your organization to build an endowment or establish a reserve “rainy day” fund, visit