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’s also a strong push 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.You may recognize his name because the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University was named for him.
Southeast Louisiana nonprofits are the targets of this funder’s philanthropy, and the priority areas are education, arts, community improvement and human services. Education funding mostly goes to 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. 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 capital appeals are considered 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 prefers to award 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. You 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, follow the proposal requirements and submit your proposal by January 20 or September 1. You can expect to hear back by February 15 or September 15 whether the foundation is interested in your proposal.
If invited to submit a full application, those are due March 1 and October 15. You 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.
- Toni Myers, Foundation Administrator