The Community Foundation of North Louisiana has been committed to serving the communities of North Louisiana since 1961. The organization has diligently labored from day one to promote philanthropy and improve the quality of life in North Louisiana by serving as a permanent and growing resource of expertise and funds. CFNLA stewards over $180 million in assets used for the betterment of 14 Louisiana parishes. Over the years, they have granted over $120 million in grants to numerous nonprofits in North Louisiana. The organization’s seven board members and nine staff members consistently give their all, aiding nonprofits to reach their full potential for the parishes they serve. The board members, comprised of community members, oversee the organization’s funds, management, and policies. They ensure that donations are distributed most effectively to elevate each nonprofit it assists. These various nonprofits fall into the education, health, social services, youth, and environment categories. The online event is the largest day of giving in our area. During the event, nonprofits are part of a community-wide day of giving that raises millions of unrestricted dollars for North Louisiana nonprofits and brings community members together to celebrate these organizations’ work.

Most nonprofits are designed to advance the community in one particular area of interest. CFNLA is seen as a nonprofit that lends a helping hand to other nonprofits. They aim to bring people and resources together to solve problems and enhance the community. When donors donate funds to CFNLA, the funds are placed in an endowment account that continuously grows and earns interest. When a nonprofit reaches out to CFNLA for a helping hand, those funds are distributed from more than 200 various funds that support community causes, but the principle of the endowment remains intact to grow for future generations. CFNLA donors range from everyday individuals and families giving what they can to large corporations and organizations donating thousands. Whether they are individuals or large corporations, CFNLA collaborates with donors to see their vision for a better community and help bring that vision to life for a lasting legacy that donors and CFNLA can be proud of. Donors can give here and there as they are able to, or they can become members of CFNLA, giving on a continual basis. CFNLA members also have access to a number of rewards that members are able to take advantage of. Aside from helping with funds, CFNLA assists nonprofits with networking opportunities, public events, and workshops, offers a variety of scholarships for North Louisiana students, and even allows nonprofits to use their state-of-the-art Community Central Meeting Space. The Community Central Meeting Space is an incubator equipped with everything from Wi-Fi and ample work areas to a full kitchen. Any non-profit can contact CFNLA at info@cfnla.org or by calling 318-221-0582 about reserving time at this incubator to conduct business or host an event or workshop.

CFNLA’s dedication to North Louisiana can be seen and felt through everything that they do. As they want to ensure their efforts are effective, they regularly collect data on various aspects of the community and make it available to community members. This collection of data is called Community Counts.  Beginning in 2008, CFNLA began Community Counts, where the organization collects data in six categories: population, economics, human capital, health, social environment, and physical environment, and publishes its findings. The data collected is measured in ten comparative communities. These findings allow CFNLA, as well as those in North Louisiana, to see where the greatest needs are located. Near the end of 2023, CFNLA presented a $50,000 grant to the LSUS Institute for Nonprofit Administration and Research. The grant will be used to strengthen the organizational capacity of ten area nonprofits. These nonprofits were selected from a pool of CFNLA grantees. One CFNLA initiative that has had great success is the Spark Education Fund. In 2013, CFNLA partnered with Volunteers of America North Louisiana (VOA), Communities in Schools (CIS), and Caddo Parish Schools to help children in poverty achieve academic success. CIS is the nation’s most effective dropout prevention initiative. In 2014, VOA and Caddo Schools officially launched the CIS program in three area schools. The Caddo schools with the CIS program have two tiers of services. The first is school-wide services for all students, and the second focuses on intensive case management for students in need. Currently, CIS operates in 2,900 schools nationwide and assists 1.61 million students. Another area of CFNLA that has made a tremendous impact is the Women’s Philanthropy Network. Started in 2005, this group is made up of women in the community from all walks of life. Each year, their membership dues are used to make a high-impact donation to a local nonprofit. In 2023, the WPN recipient was Volunteers for Youth Justice. A $90,000 grant was presented to VYJ for The Harbor School-Based Center. This resource center, located in the Shreve City area of Shreveport, offers several community services aimed at meeting the needs of families in the area, such as a food bank and health care information services.

CFNLA began its Give For Good event in 2014. This online giving event empowers the entire community to get involved in causes they care about while building awareness and support for hardworking nonprofits. Give For Good provides a platform for all donors to transform our community for good. Each year, over 200 nonprofits participate in this interactive 24-hour giving challenge. This year’s Give For Good event falls on May 7th. Donors are able to donate early beginning April 23rd, but the big day for everyone is May 7th. Last year, Give For Good was able to raise $2.75 million. Those funds were received from over 8,000 gifts and were distributed to 209 deserving organizations. In addition to the $2.75 million raised, the CFNLA Lagniappe Fund accumulated $230,000 in funds, and over $20,000 in prizes were awarded to participating nonprofits. The Lagniappe Fund is a pool of donations that are equally divided among all participating Give For Good nonprofits. The Lagniappe Fund is established for those donors who do not have a favorite nonprofit they would like to donate to but would still like to be part of the day of giving.

Donors can look at the list of participating nonprofits and their profiles to see what kind of work they do in the community. Donors would then donate to as many nonprofits as they choose, giving however much their heart desires. Another way donors can raise money for their favorite nonprofit is by hosting a fundraising event. A personalized fundraising page is created, and all funds raised through the page during Give For Good go directly to their chosen organization. Registration for nonprofits began on January 2nd. The rules and regulations for nonprofits that would like to be part of Give for Good next year can be found on the CFNLA website at cfnla.org. Nonprofits or donors who have questions regarding Give For Good can email them to giveforgood@cfnla.org or by calling 318-221-0582.