Bayou Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports nonprofits Terrebonne Parish, Lafourche Parish, and Grand Isle, Louisiana. Funding priorities include education, coastal protection, and human services.

FUNDING AREAS: Educational success for children and adults, protection and preservation of the coast, human services, workforce development

IP TAKE: BCF grants are modest, but this is a new foundation that is just getting started. It is locally focused and has the support of many prominent businesses and professionals.

PROFILE: The Bayou Community Foundation (BCF) is based in Houma, Louisiana, and serves Terrebonne Parish, Lafourche Parish, and Grand Isle, Louisiana. It seeks to invest “in educational success for children and adults; protection and preservation of our coasts; and human services.” It was established in 2012 as a donor-advised fund of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. This came after the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill.

Charlotte Bollinger, J.J. Buquet III, Arlen “Benny” Cenac Jr., Berwick Duval, and Alexis Duval are all founders. The Gheens Foundation is one of the major donors behind Bayou.

Funding priorities include educational success for children and adults, workforce development, protection and preservation of the coast, human services. BCF has been awarding grants to nonprofits since 2013 as part of its annual competitive grants program. Grant cycles have opened up at the beginning of the year with deadlines in early March. The application process begins with a one-page grant request summary. The foundation encourages nonprofits working in the Bayou region to apply. It announces grant awards in June.

Since 2013, the foundation has awarded at least $1,012,270 to local groups. In a past year, $230,000 was awarded to 29 nonprofits, including Terrebonne Red Ribbon, Girls on the Run Bayou Region, and Bayou Council Behavioral Health Services. This was the highest number of grants awarded in a single year and the most money dedicated to grants in the organization’s history. These grants were between $1,000 and about $15,000 each. A full list of grantees can be viewed here.

BCF has a Bayou Recovery Fund to help the region in times of disaster for coastal southeast Louisiana. BCF is also involved in local nonprofit strengthening and offers free workshops to nonprofits on topics like financial leadership for board members and succession planning. This funder coordinates the annual “GiveNOLA Day for the Bayou Region” online giving event as well. Around 53 nonprofits in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes participated in a recent one of these events.

Nonprofits in the region are advised to submit their organization’s information to be added to the BCF Online Nonprofit Directory, which can be viewed by area donors.

View foundation news here. You can also sign up for the BCF newsletter and follow the foundation’s Facebook page to keep up with new grant opportunities.


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