GNOF Announces $3 Million Greater Together Fund for Racial Equity at Celebration of Black Philanthropy

November 23, 2020

Greater New Orleans Foundation Announces $3 Million Greater Together Fund for Racial Equity at Celebration of Black Philanthropy

New Orleans, LA (September 22, 2020) – Yesterday, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, with generous support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, hosted its third annual Celebration of Black Philanthropy. The virtual event elevated the history, current investments, and issues important to black philanthropists.

The event honored the philanthropic legacy of the late Ellis Marsalis and the notable recent philanthropy of New Orleans Pelicans Star Jrue and Lauren Holiday.

“While large gifts and donations to big institutions often get the most attention, black giving has always been robust, but is largely done at grassroots levels in church and civic organizations,” said Andy Kopplin, President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

The Celebration of Black Philanthropy included keynote remarks by Ashleigh Gardere, Sr. Advisor to the President/CEO & Director of the All-In Cities initiative for Policy Link. Panel discussions included insight from Miami Foundation President and CEO Rebecca Fishman Lipsey, Senior Vice President of Impact at the Minneapolis Foundation Chanda Smith Baker, GNOF Vice President of Programs Carmen James Randolph, and GNOF Board Members Monika McKayCharles Rice, and Jeanette Davis Loeb. GNOF Vice President of Development and Donor Relations, Erin McQuade-Wright invited black philanthropists to deepen their partnership with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the community foundation for our Southeastern Louisiana region.


“The racial disparities in the impact of COVID-19, recent shootings of black men and women by police, social unrest, and the subsequent cries for justice have made our Foundation think about what more we could do to help heal the old wounds that continue to separate us and to truly create a vibrant, sustainable, and just region for all,” said GNOF Board Chair Leann Moses. “I am proud to share that over the last five years, more than 87% of our discretionary grantmaking has supported black communities, and one-third of our grants have gone to black-led organizations. However, this moment is challenging us to think hard about how we can do so much more. That’s why we’re excited to announce that we are raising $3 million for the new Greater Together Fund for Racial Equity.”


Seeded by an initial investment of $350,000 from GNOF, the Greater Together Fund for Racial Equity will make large, sustained investments in a number of nonprofits leading on racial equity whose work has scalable local, regional, and even statewide impact. In addition, the Greater Together Fund for Racial Equity will provide critical sustaining support to nonprofits working tirelessly on the community level in the following areas:

  1. Provide leadership in ending institutional racism: engaging speakers and using our convening power to host conversations and advance dialogue promoting systems change in our region.
  2. Bolster the work of black-led nonprofits leading on racial equity: making investments to sustain the work of local nonprofits that are having an impact in eliminating inequitable systems.
  3. And close the racial wealth gap by investing in initiatives to help small, minority businesses grow their share of gross receipts in our region from a mere two percent to create meaningful prosperity, as well as investing in housing and other strategies that can build wealth for black families.

Nonprofits interested in the Greater Together Fund for Racial Equity should email

The Celebration of Black Philanthropy rounded out with great local entertainment from The Brass-A-Holics and Wynton.

If you missed the event, click here to watch it.