Foundation for Louisiana insists on philanthropy rather than charity. Our investments focus on equipping people and communities with the tools they need to educate, organize, lead and prosper, resulting in an improved quality of life for all. We are committed to endeavors that promise a lasting impact on Louisiana communities by growing capacity, increasing human and social capital, and prompting systemic change. The Foundation also focuses on developing local initiatives that, once proven, can be scaled to larger regions and exported to other communities facing similar challenges.
Foundation for Louisiana is purposeful about reaching out to diverse groups to develop initiatives that embody the Foundation’s mission and address the real needs of underserved communities. The Foundation seeks to maximize the impact of its investments by identifying underlying causes of poverty and inequity, addressing complex issues with multi-pronged strategies and investing in the transformation of organizational and ideological structures that present barriers to progress.
Foundation for Louisiana’s investment and grantmaking strategies necessarily embrace calculated risk. In order to revitalize struggling communities, we must be willing to invest in those that have been historically marginalized. We take responsibility for managing that risk through our high-engagement approach to grantmaking, carefully stewarding our investments via sustained, hands-on involvement with our grantees and partners, providing them with the support and guidance they need to succeed and sustain.
Foundation for Louisiana’s programs and initiatives are driven by the Foundation’s mission to invest in people and practices that work to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities statewide. We dedicate our resources to the support of strategically aligned activities in the areas of equitable community economic development and equitable public policy, which we know are effective pathways to achieving our goal of increasing economic opportunity in vulnerable communities.
By coordinating the Foundation's Program Related Investments with its community engagement, leadership development, knowledge and capacity building, policy development and place-based grantmaking activities, FFL can facilitate the greatest gains with maximum efficiency, giving our grantees and stakeholders real wins and providing our funding partners optimal impact for their investments. The Foundation uses its TOGETHER framework as the criteria for keeping equity at the forefront of our investments, partnerships and practices.
Based on known best practices and our in-depth understanding of local context, the Foundation seeks to realize our vision for a better Louisiana by investing in:
- Community economic development
- Local leadership and grassroots civic engagement
- Policy initiatives that support innovation and equitable access to resources
- Disaster Readiness and Response
Foundation for Louisiana occupies a critical and unique niche in Louisiana's philanthropic landscape by:
- Identifying opportunities throughout the state and facilitating partnerships, coalitions and funding to realize the promise of those opportunities for strengthening vulnerable communities
- Nurturing fruitful connections with an invigorated grassroots network of nonprofit organizations and community leaders
- Using stakeholder input to develop tools, resources and solutions that individuals, communities and organizations can use to address their most pressing problems
- Serving as an intermediary, connecting donors, national foundation and other insitutional partners to opportunities at the grassroots level, as well as providing local guideance and support to ensure the success of those investments and partnerships
- Providing low-cost community development lending services to underserved segments of the market
- A willingness to take risks and invest where others will not and ensuring the success of these investments by conducting thorough due diligence, providing capacity-building support and maintaining a high level of engagement with our community partners
- Providing unique investment opportunities that return results not typical of more traditional philanthropy
- Maintaining an explicit focus on social justice and economic opportunity outcomes.
These are factors cited by our partners, funders and grantees that set us apart and make Foundation for Louisiana a valued partner for social change in the region.
Since 2005, the Foundation’s cross-cutting investments in these areas have resulted in a vastly strengthened non-profit sector; a newly robust and sophisticated generation of local leaders and neighborhood activists; an increased level of resilience and disaster readiness; substantial gains in economic opportunity and access to affordable housing for the region’s most vulnerable residents.