For Immediate Release
Contact: Beth Shapiro Lavin, Advisory Board Chair
Celebrating its 5th Year, Emerging Philanthropists of
New Orleans has Distributed over $160,000 in Grants
to the Greater New Orleans Area
November 7, 2013 | New Orleans, LA – Since launching its pilot class of 18 participants in 2009, Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans (EPNO) has grown to a class of 40 young professionals that has distributed $40,000 to seven nonprofit organizations this year alone. In the five years since its inception, EPNO has granted out more than $160,000 to 36 local nonprofit organizations in arts & culture, crime, education & youth development, economic development & entrepreneurship, environment, healthcare, housing, and women’s issues.
Each year, EPNO, an entirely volunteer-run organization, engages a new class of members in an intensive, six-month grantmaking process where each young professional contributes $500 which is then matched dollar for dollar through EPNO raised sponsorships and alumni contributions.
Class members are divided into issue-based grantmaking teams, which review proposals from nonprofits applying for EPNO funding, conduct site visits, and decide how to allocate funds. The 2013 grant winners include the following organizations:
Carrollton-Hollygrove Community Development Corporation ($10,000)
Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights ($6,200)
2-Cent Entertainment with the YOUTHanasia Foundation ($3,800)
Build Now Foundation, Inc. ($7,000)
Belle Reve New Orleans ($3,000)
Eden House ($5,000)
Birthing Project USA ($5,000)
EPNO’s fund is held at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “The value of EPNO is visible not only in the time and money that its members commit, but in the ranks of those young professionals in New Orleans who were empowered by their experience and are poised to become the community leaders and philanthropists of tomorrow,” said Dr. Albert Ruesga, President & CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
More than two-thirds of EPNO alumni remain involved in the group through volunteering either with the program or a grantee, continual donations, or participating in EPNO events. For many alumni, this is a catalyst to serve on nonprofit boards such as Hagar’s House, lowernine.org, and WWNO, to name a few.
This year’s graduation of the 2013 class was at Propeller Incubator Space, one of EPNO initial grantees. The keynote speaker was civic leader and long-time EPNO supporter, Leslie Jacobs. “EPNO succeeds on multiple levels and is a fabulous addition to New Orleans,” says Jacobs. “First, it helps teach young professionals how to be effective in charitable giving. Additionally, it raises thousands of dollars every year to support the local nonprofit community. Finally, it allows this talent to foster professional relationships and prepares them for future leadership opportunities.”
Whether it’s the $160,000 that has been redistributed back into the New Orleans area; the 160 EPNO alumni that have continued their engagement in the nonprofit sector; or the 36 nonprofits that have benefitted from their grantmaking; the program continues to inspire, impact, and connect the local young professional community.
About the Emerging Philanthropist of New Orleans
EPNO started in 2009 with 18 participants and has grown into an entirely volunteer-run organization of over 160 alumni and has redistributed over $160,000 to 36 nonprofit organizations. The mission of EPNO is to inspire and educate young leaders to become more effective, lifelong philanthropists; impact positive change in the New Orleans region; and to retain local talent by allowing emerging leaders to connect with each other and their community. To learn more about EPNO, please visit www.emergingphilanthropists.org.