Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon in Southeast Louisiana on August 29, 2021 — the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
It was a Category 4 storm, and its impact was devastating, particularly in the Bayou Region, the River Parishes, Lafitte, and Grand Isle.
In the days just after Hurricane Ida made landfall, our grantee partners took action, and so did we.
We responded with trust-based philanthropy, leveraging foresight, strategy, and empathy to help address the disaster. In less than 3 weeks, we raised $4M from 1,300 generous donors to fuel our partners’ efforts.
And by October 2021, we had supported more than 80 nonprofits and distributed over $3M of that funding, with a focus on equitable distribution to BIPOC-led nonprofits.
We’re proud to share the stories of four nonprofit leaders’ experiences.

Nonprofit Stories

Data is only one way to measure a nonprofit’s impact. We asked grantee partner leaders to share stories, prompted by photos that represented their experiences. This is one of the best ways we have to understand the impact they have in their communities. We believe our partners should be fully in charge of their own narratives. Here, we amplify their voices and make space for them to tell their story in their own way.

Pastor Neil Bernard

New Wine Christian Fellowship

Read Story

John Dias

The United Way of St. Charles Parish

Read Story

Jeray Jambon Jarreau

Bless Your Heart Nonprofit

Read Story

Theresa Dardar

The First Peoples Conservation Council

Read Story


Acadiana Legal Services
All Hands and Hearts
Bayou Community Foundation
Bayou Country Animal Foundation
Bayou District Foundation
Bayouland YMCA
Bless Your Heart, Larose
Blessed to be a Blessing International Ministries
Bogalusa Help Center, Inc.
Boys Town Louisiana
Broadmoor Improvement Association
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma
Catholic Community Center, Galiano
Circle of HOPE, Inc.
Coastal Communities Consulting
Committee for a Better New Orleans
Common Ground Relief
Crescent City Family Services
Culture Aid
El Centro
El Pueblo NOLA - NOLA Village
Emergency Legal Responders
Epworth Project/Northshore Disaster Recovery
Familias Unidas
Feeding Louisiana
First Peoples Conservation Council of LA
Fletcher Technical Community College - Fletcher Emergency Fund
Forward Together New Orleans
Friends of Grand Isle
Giving Hope
Habitat for Humanity
Hache Grants Association
Hands On New Orleans
Helio Foundation
House of Tulip
Household of Faith
Jefferson Community Foundation
Junior League of New Orleans Diaper Bank
Level Up Campaign
Louisiana Policy Institute for Children/Agenda for Children
Luke's House Clinic
Market Umbrella Crescent Fund
Mary Queen of Vietnam
Matthew 25:35
Mount Calvary Church
Music and Culture Coalition
NAMI New Orleans
NAMI St. Tammany
New Wine Christian Fellowship
Next to Eat
Nicholls State University Hurricane Relief Fund
Nola Tree Project
Northshore Food Bank
Operation Restoration
Our Daily Bread
Plaquemines Community C.A.R.E. Centers
Project Hope
Rebuilding Together New Orleans
Red Cross
Rice and Beans Ministry
Rooted School
Samaritan's Purse
Saul's Light
Saving Our Urban Landscape(SOUL)
Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast Louisiana
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services
Southern Mutual Help Association
St. Charles Council on Aging, Inc.
Team Rubicon
The Level Up Campaign
The Salvation Army of Greater New Orleans
Together Louisiana
Training Grounds
Uncommon Construction
United Houma Nation
United Way of St. John Parish
United Way St. Charles
World Central Kitchen
YMCA of Greater New Orleans
YMCA Plaquemines

Major Donors

Aramco Americas
Mrs. Gayle Benson
Baltimore Ravens and the Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation, Inc
Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Kresge Foundation
United Health Foundation, Inc
Chevron USA
Freeport McMoran
William Randolph Hearst Foundation
Swedish Match North America
Humana Foundation
Dick J. Guidry Fund
Dennis and Alisson Allen
Arnold Ventures
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation
Boeing Company
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Delta Dental Community Care Foundation
Glaxo Smith Kline
JP Morgan Chase Foundation
Reynolds American and Sante Fe Natural Tobacco Company
Capital One
Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP
Sharon D. Lund Foundation
Robert Merrick Family Fund
PepsiCo Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation
Donald B. Tanklage and Carole F. Tanklage Foundation of the Marin Community Foundation
Peterson Family Foundation
Annenberg Foundation
J Aron Charitable Foundation, Inc.
Aronson - Besthoff Fund
DJR Foundation
IBERIABANK/First Horizon
Reily Foundation/Ethel Reily Dicks Memorial Fund
Southern Insulators and Reliable Glass and Mirror
TJX Foundation
Wells Fargo
Canal Barge
Catherine Meehan Donor Advised Fund
Rachael Schultz Fund
Kenneth Spradley Donor Advised Fund
Winky Foundation
Casey Langteau Art, LLC.
Aliski Family Fund
Mrs. Lore Aloro
Amalgamated Foundation
Stephen Elledge Donor Advised Fund
Eugenie & Joseph Jones Family Foundation
Five Below
Further Forward Foundation
Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund
Hilliard Lyons Trust
Greg and Donna Howard Family Fund
Hueber-Breuer Construction Company
Cathy and Walter Isaacson Donor Advised Fund
Arthur Jung III
The Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation
Sherry & Alan Leaventhal
Molina Family Foundation
Reily Foundation/H. Eustis & Frederica G. Reily #1 Family Fund
Walker Sturdivant
Bertrand and Mariann Wilson Family Fund

Working Toward a Sustainable, Equitable Future

As weather disasters become more frequent, we need to find, and fund, new solutions. We must believe in a future for our region that is greener, stronger, and more sustainable than feels possible—then we must work for that future until we see it come true.

At the Foundation, we are lucky to have fundholders, partners, and collaborators who are working toward that future, too. We know that an equitable, sustainable future is possible for our region, and every day, our partners like Pastor Bernard, Theresa Dardar, John Dias, and Jeray Jarreau are proving it. They’ve faced disasters in Southeast Louisiana head-on. They persist in rebuilding, and we persist in our support. Together, we grow stronger each time.

Evaluation Report

Trust-Based Philanthropy in Action

A Conversation with Isabel Barrios

Isabel Barrios is a senior program officer and our in-house disaster recovery expert. We asked her to describe some key aspects of trust-based philanthropy in a disaster.

How is disaster grantmaking different from other grants the Foundation makes?

Disaster grantmaking is a particular kind of grantmaking that is in response to an event—a disaster. But disaster grantmaking is also very related to the work that we do year round.

The impact of disaster really is about the kind of conditions that people experience day-to-day, the infrastructure, and the quality of housing that they live in. The better-off people are, the less vulnerable they are to disasters. So any foundation that’s working on changing socially-produced conditions is really working on long-term disaster preparedness and mitigation.

How do you pick grantees during such a chaotic time?

We trust people to do the work. And we trust people to know how to best use the funds to help their community. There is a whole layer of “due diligence” that has to happen in order for us to be able to make a grant. We have to adhere to IRS rules, and so organizations that we give money to have to be in good standing with the IRS.

But our due diligence is also very relationship-driven. We confirm what organizations are doing good work from our existing relationships with nonprofits across the region. We also learn from board members, elected officials, local leaders, program officers, other foundations, and people who are doing work in the field. We look to the people who are loved, trusted, and looked up to.

We also ask our grantees, “Who’s out there doing the work?” They want to tell us. They’re really generous—they want to see other nonprofits get resourced to do aligned, collaborative work.

In addition to that, we read whatever is being reported in the papers or online. And whenever we can, we do visual verifications—we’ll drive out to the place and see what people are doing. We join the state and regional Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) calls, in which organizations share and coordinate their responses as well.

We try to do all of that very quickly. Whenever we know that a storm is barreling in, we’re on our way. We are texting, we are calling, we are checking in with people so that we can have something lined up right away.

To our community;

It was nearly noon on August 29, 2021—the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina—when Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon in Southeast Louisiana. It was a Category 4 storm, and its impact was devastating, especially in the Bayou Region, River Parishes, Northshore, Grand Isle, and Plaquemines Parish.

When a disaster like this hits, we often turn to metrics of impact: power lines downed, numbers of buildings and homes destroyed, meters of water level rise. This is critical information to track and understand.

But when we respond to disasters, we respond to people. When the Foundation learned that Ida was coming, we thought about the people we have come to know and love through our work. We knew some of our nonprofit partners were already planning their efforts. Others would take action just after the storm had passed. We stood behind them, and our funders did, too.

In this report, we reflect on that work through a particular snapshot in time—from just before the storm hit, to six months afterwards, in early spring 2022.

Within three weeks of the storm, we’d raised $4 million from 1,300 generous donors. Much of our funding went to “rapid response” grants, through which we can get funds swiftly to nonprofits in the face of emergency. We had supported more than 70 nonprofits, and distributed over $3 million, by October 2021. In this document, we aim to capture the impact of those early grants through stories, data, and photography from our grantee partners themselves.

The damage Hurricane Ida left in its wake is by no means fully repaired, and families and communities are still recovering both physically and emotionally. As yet another hurricane season is upon us, our nonprofits continue to meet our region’s needs, and we continue to support them. Their work grows stronger and more effective every day.

We also know that every day, our efforts around climate resiliency grow more urgent. Our region’s nonprofits are aware of this, and they are working to mitigate the impact of future disasters. By supporting their work, our donors show foresight and innovation—they look ahead, knowing that together, we will build a more secure and sustainable future.


Andy Kopplin's signature

Andy Kopplin
President & CEO, Greater New Orleans Foundation
Doris Z. Stone Chair in Philanthropic Leadership