The Freeman Challenges
To assist nonprofits with creating an endowment for the first time or building upon an existing one.
The purpose of The Richard West Freeman Endowment and Board-Restricted Cash Reserve Challenges (The Challenges) is to create endowment funds or board-restricted cash reserves for nonprofit organizations serving the Greater New Orleans thirteen-parish region. The Challenges are designed to assist nonprofit organizations in (1) establishing and/or building endowments or board-restricted cash reserves and (2) educating the nonprofit sector and the donor community on the importance of building financial independence to ensure long-term financial stability.
Step 1: Prerequisite Workshop “Are You Ready for an Endowment?”
The Challenges will launch in the spring with the delivery of two perquisites “Are You Ready for an Endowment?” workshops. These workshops will also include information on best practices for raising funds for a board-restricted cash reserve. Participation in one of these workshops is a prerequisite for applying for The Challenges. Workshop attendees will have an opportunity to attend other workshops aimed at preparing applicants for a successful endowment or board-restricted cash reserve fundraising campaign. Learn more and sign up for a workshop session here.
Step 2: Application Process
Endowment Definition: A fund that is made up of donations to a nonprofit organization that are subject to a requirement that the principal be maintained intact in perpetuity and invested to create a permanent source of income for the organization. Organizations cannot access the principal, but can access the accrued income from the endowment dividends for its charitable purpose.
The Endowment Challenge will match one dollar for every two dollars raised by nonprofits. Nonprofits will have the opportunity to select a preference for one of the three matching categories:
- The nonprofit raises $50,000. The Challenge matches $25,000.
- The nonprofit raises $100,000. The Challenge matches $50,000.
- The nonprofit raises $150,000. The Challenge matches $75,000.
Board-Restricted Cash Reserve Definition: A fund balance set aside for use under the guidance and approval of the organization’s Board of Directors to stabilize a nonprofit’s finances and provides a cushion against unexpected events including large unbudgeted expenses, losses of income, or working capital for an unplanned opportunity.
The Board-Restricted Cash Reserve will match one dollar for every two dollars raised by nonprofits. The Board-Restricted Cash Reserve is a one-time only grant opportunity. Nonprofits will have the opportunity to select a preference for one of the three matching categories:
- The nonprofit raises $10,000. The Challenge matches $5,000.
- The nonprofit raises $20,000. The Challenge matches $10,000.
- The nonprofit raises $30,000. The Challenge matches $15,000.
The Board of Directors is responsible for approving a policy on the purpose and process for accessing and replenishing the reserve. This policy is required with the proposal. Click here for a policy template for a Board-Restricted Cash Reserve.
Eligibility Criteria and Guidelines
Each grant cycle two to three Endowment Challenge grants and one to two Board-Restricted Cash Reserve grants will be awarded. Organizations will have 12 months to meet their challenge. Only those organizations that meet their challenge goal will receive the grant award. The request for proposals for The Richard West Freeman Endowment and Board-Restricted Cash Reserve Challenges will be released in September 2019.
To be eligible for either of The Challenges nonprofit organizations must meet the following requirements:
- Have 501(c)(3) public charity status in good standing with the IRS.
- Have been in operation for a minimum of five years.
- Be headquartered in one of the parishes served by the Greater New Orleans Foundation: Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne or Washington.
- Does not currently have an endowment with a market value that exceeds $1,000,000.00.
- Exhibit readiness for an endowment campaign or fundraising for a board-restricted cash reserve.
- Have board approval to take part in the challenge. In the case of an endowment, the resolution must include language committing to house the fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
- Attend the prerequisite workshop “Are You Ready for an Endowment?” sponsored by The Richard West Freeman Challenges and Greater New Orleans Foundation Organizational Effectiveness Initiative.