A History of Effective Responses to Regional Disasters

August 15, 2016

As a community foundation for the Greater New Orleans region, it is our role to respond to both the short and long-term needs of the community. The Foundation’s intimate knowledge of the region and its nonprofits makes us well-positioned to connect donors to organizations that provide the resources our communities need after a disaster.

The Greater New Orleans Foundation has played a critical role in response to regional disasters including:

Disaster Recovery Fund: 2016 Flooding in southeast Louisiana

As you may have seen on the news, our region has been devastated by historic floods, forcing tens of thousands of our neighbors, friends, and family members into temporary shelters, with thousands more waiting to be rescued. While it’s too early to know the full extent of the damage caused by the recent flooding, we do know that there will be long-term rebuilding needs of many communities located throughout rural Louisiana.

The Greater New Orleans Foundation is making grants to local nonprofits on the ground, feeding and sheltering flood victims, rescuing animals from flooded shelters, and rescuing stranded people from their homes – but the funds available to do this work are no match for the need.

At the Greater New Orleans Foundation, we have experience in administering emergency and long term rebuilding funds that benefit the region. As you consider your philanthropic response to the recent devastation in southeast Louisiana, please consider us a sound partner to steward your investment in our community.

For more information or to make a contribution, please contact Erin McQuade Wright, VP of donor relations, (504) 598-1291 or erin@gnof.org.

2012 Hurricane Isaac Fund

Hurricane Isaac in 2012 caused devastating floods in communities in Plaquemines Parish and St. John Parish and left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without electricity. Within days, the Foundation granted $372,000 from the Hurricane Isaac Relief Fund to 31 organizations providing basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, water, and ice to residents of seven parishes.

2010 Oil Spill Fund

Hours after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in 2010, the Greater New Orleans Foundation responded by opening the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund. Responses came from all over the world, totaling over a million dollars in contributions. Grants were made to meet short term and long term needs.

2005 hurricanes Katrina and Rita

The combined hurricanes cost $150 billion in damage to our region. The unprecedented federal commitment of $45 billion in rebuilding funds, combined with $25 billion in private insurance claims, covered only a fraction of the cost of rebuilding, but philanthropy helped fill the gap.

  • In 2006, the Greater New Orleans Foundation led the effort to create the Unified New Orleans Plan, the comprehensive city-wide recovery plan for the city of New Orleans. The Unified New Orleans Plan garnered significant community input and made possible the release of $450 million in federal funds for the City of New Orleans.
  • In 2005, the Greater New Orleans Foundation established the Community Revitalization Fund totaling more than $25 million, to support rebuilding and recovery needs in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As a result, 9,500 families were able to return to their homes. A comprehensive evaluation report on the Community Revitalization Fund can be accessed
  • Apart from Orleans Parish, Plaquemines and St. Bernard were the two Louisiana parishes hardest hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. To help address their recovery needs, the Greater New Orleans Foundation launched and funded affiliate foundations in each of these parishes. The boards of these entities are composed entirely of local leaders who are best positioned to help their respective regions recover from the storms.

The Greater New Orleans Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. We have the highest ranking possible on Charity Navigator. We have years of experience addressing the disaster recovery and rebuilding needs of our city and region.