Ella West Freeman Foundation Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder supports education, arts, community improvement, and human services nonprofits in the New Orleans area. Grants are awarded twice per year, and unsolicited inquiries are welcome.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, arts, community improvement, human services

IP TAKE: This is a great funder for New Orleans groups to approach for building purchases, construction, and renovations. There is also a priority for local youth enhancement here.

PROFILE: The Ella West Freeman Foundation was established in 1941 by a successful New Orleans businessman, A.B. Freeman, who named the foundation after his wife. New Orleans grant seekers may recognize his name because the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University was named for him.

The foundation supports Southeast Louisiana nonprofits, and the priority funding areas are education, arts, community improvement, and human services. Education funding mostly supports private educational institutions, with both applied and performing arts organizations eligible for grants. Governmental oversight plays a part in the funder’s community improvement strategy, and it mostly gives human services grants to established agencies that have capital project needs.

New capital contributions are not considered until two years after the previous grant has been paid. Grant seekers should keep in mind that this funder typically avoids giving operational support to combined campaigns, like the United Way and the Archbishop’s Community appeal, but it does consider capital appeals for these types of groups.

In the Greater New Orleans area, the foundation gives priority to projects and programs with promising and broad public benefits, usually for a time period of two years or less. It prioritizes grants for capital projects over sustaining grants.

Since it was established, the Freeman Foundation has provided over $20 million in support for nonprofits in the Greater New Orleans community. Grant seekers can view a list of recent grants on the foundation website. Most recent grantees have received between $2,500 and $100,000.

To be considered for a Freeman Foundation grant, grant seekers should follow the proposal requirements and submit a proposal by January 20 or September 1. New grantees can expect to hear back by February 15 or September 15 whether the foundation is interested in the proposal.

If invited to submit a full application, those are due March 1 and October 15. Grant seekers can find the required proposal summary sheet/letter of intent form on the foundation’s application page. Check this page frequently for links to the online application system for upcoming grant cycles.

Each proposal is assigned one particular board member to be the go-between and provide a preliminary recommendation. Assigned board members sometimes request site visits too. There are six board members at this foundation, which is managed by Crescent Capital Consulting. The board meets twice per year in the spring and fall. General grantseeking questions should be directed to info@EllaWest.org.

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