We believe that philanthropy can create a better world. Yet many young people today do not see themselves as philanthropists or people who have enough influence to make a difference. Our giving circle program brings together the collective interests of individuals to make a change by learning and giving together. Our giving circle teams often give the first grant to new organizations, support underserved populations, and are flexible in giving to direct service and general operating projects.
Each year, EPNO engages a new class of members in a high-engagement six-month program to learn about philanthropy and give back to our NOLA community. Each member contributes $500, which EPNO then matches dollar for dollar through outside sponsorships and alumni contributions. The class divides themselves into issue-based grantmaking teams, which are selected based on the group’s interests, to distribute grants. Members participate in a series of educational sessions, such as “Grantmaking 101” and mock site visits, often involving a guest speaker from the community. Teams review proposals from nonprofits in the Greater New Orleans area seeking support, conduct site visits, and decide how to allocate funds.
Wealth Management Advisor
at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Economic Development, 2013
“New Orleans is my adopted home city of 14+ years and EPNO was the first organization that really gave me a concrete avenue to explore ways of improving my community in a systematic way. It helped me build connections with like-minded peers, to better understand the non-profit ecosystem, and learn about myself and others in ways that have helped me in all areas of my life. I’ll always remember and value my EPNO experience.”
Sr. Advisor & Director of Strategic Initiatives
Office of Mayor LaToya Cantrell
Workforce Development, 2015
“EPNO introduced me to a universe of nonprofits in New Orleans doing great work. This knowledge helped me figured out how to plug into nonprofits that fit my interests and for whom my skills could add value.”
Repurpose Food Co.
“Participating in EPNO was a tremendous opportunity to learn about philanthropy and grantmaking as well as the work of local nonprofits in our focus area. I still volunteer extensively with one of the organizations that we funded, SPROUT NOLA, and participation in this program greatly influenced my decision to start my own company to bring affordable, nutritious baby food to New Orleans.”
Past Advisory Board Co-Chair
Principal at Gowland, LLC
Education & Youth Development, 2013
“My time as an EPNO class member was the most efficient, enjoyable, and effective use of my time in 2013. I’ve remained engaged through board service and as a volunteer because I’m ecstatic about the work the organization is doing to engage young professionals in our city through mindful philanthropy.”