Baton Rouge Area Foundation

Baton Rouge Area Foundation

Infobox Non-profit| Non-profit_name = Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Non-profit_type =
founded_date = 1964|left
founder = The Foundation was founded in June 1964 by eleven civic leaders who wanted to use the Foundation as a tool for community development.
location = Baton Rouge, LA
origins =
key_people =
area_served =
focus =
method =
revenue =
endowment =
num_volunteers =
num_employees = ~30
num_members = 700+
owner =
Non-profit_slogan =
homepage = []
dissolved =
footnotes =

Baton Rouge Area Foundation ("The Foundation") is a community foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Louisiana's capital region. Over the past 40 years, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation has responded to the wishes of its donors, the concerns of its members, and the community's needs by issuing grants totaling close to $200 million.

In addition to grants, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation has the flexibility to launch community initiatives without politics or other entanglements. Alarmed, for instance, at the rapid rise in new AIDS cases in Baton Rouge in 2002, "The Foundation" convened key stakeholders who formed the group Baton Rouge Citizens Against HIV and launched an awareness campaign known as Protect Yourself Baton Rouge. Since then, local testing has increased and the number of new reported cases has fallen.


In 1964, a group of forward-thinking Baton Rouge citizens recognized an opportunity and acted. They raised the capital to purchase land that would enable Gulf South Research Institute (GSRI) to locate offices in Baton Rouge; bringing with them fresh jobs and new technology.

This group of citizens dreamed of a future organization that would one day use philanthropic funding as a means of moving the Baton Rouge area forward. Today, their dream is more than a reality, it is one of the nations leading community foundations, and has earned the distinction of being the premier resource for philanthropists, nonprofit organizations and community leaders in the Baton Rouge area.

*1964 acquisition of property for Gulf South Research Institute (GSRI)
*Initiated The Community Fund for the Arts Campaign, which is currently managed by The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge
*1988 made a $700,000 investment to support Pennington Biomedical Research Institute and its new director, Dr. George Bray
*Worked with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to seed the beginning of Community Development Corporation in Baton Rouge
*Created the Academic Distinction Fund and Teacher Retirement
*Funded and consistently supported the Citizen's Task Force on Education, which spearheaded the conclusion of the East Baton Rouge Parish Desegregation Case
*Coordinated the process that lead to Baton Rouge being awarded $18.6 million Hope VI Grant to revitalize the area between downtown Baton Rouge and LSU
*Actively initiated and funded Plan Baton Rouge, Forum 35, Main Street Market, and BREADA
*Spearheaded the creation of the Shaw Center for the Arts
*Initiated HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign to educate local citizens on the alarming rate of new HIV/AIDS cases

Responding to Hurricane Katrina

"The Foundation's" grant making teams performed hundreds of assessments, identified pressing needs for displaced residents, and issued over $600,000 in emergency grants to aid organizations and shelters within 10 days of the storm. As the recovery process moves forward, "The Foundation" continues to help displaced residents in the areas of basic human needs, physical and mental health, education, and employment. Further, "The Foundation" has played a key role in the planning process that will re-envision the state of Louisiana and connect south Louisiana in ways that are more productive for all.


Late in 2006, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation launched a mental health initiative in order to offer free and confidential counseling to the citizens impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The program is specifically and exclusively designed for people suffering from the after-effects of disaster. Developed by the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and adjusted to the unique population and culture of Louisiana, this program uses proven methods to help those affected cope.

Baton Rouge CityStats

A project launched by "The Foundation" in 2008 that will use indicators(statistics) that focus on the quality of life in the Baton Rouge area. "The Foundation" is in the process of holding meetings open to the public to gather input on what indicators they want measured. The initial set of indicators will be released in May 2008. The Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce will gather data throughout the coming years on the chosen indicators, with "The Foundation" providing a yearly report on the status of these indicators. The goal is help to make Baton Rouge a better city by determining it's strengths and weaknesses, and to help the city make the proper adjustments to improve the overall quality of life for it's residents. [ [ Baton Rouge CITYSTATS] ]


The Baton Rouge Area Foundation is governed by directors who are appointed for three-year terms. Members may serve two consecutive terms after which they must rotate off for at least one year. The Board has fifteen at-large directors elected by the members. The immediate past Board Chair serves as a member of the Executive Committee and member of the Board, as does the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation. Founding Chair John W. Barton Sr. has a permanent seat as Chair Emeritus on the Board and its Executive Committee.

Members of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation provide the resources that drive the administrative activities and leadership programs they undertake on an annual basis. Without dues the staff could not continue to provide the support that they offer to both the nonprofit agencies and their donors.


The Baton Rouge Area Foundation unites human and financial resources to enhance the quality of life in Louisiana's capital region.

To achieve the mission, "The Foundation":
*Serves donors to build the assets that drive initiatives and solutions
*Engages community leaders to develop appropriate responses to emerging opportunities and challenges
*Evaluates their work and shares the results with its stakeholders.

Geographical Areas

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation serves eight parishes that make up the Greater Baton Rouge Area
*East and West Baton Rouge
*East and West Feliciana
*Pointe Coupée

Grant Areas

*Arts and Humanities
*Community Development
*Human Services


Establishing a fund with "The Foundation" will allow donors to leave a lasting impression in the Baton Rouge community, especially in the areas of interest of the fund donor. There are many different types of funds that can be established. As the fund continues to grow over time, it allows the fund donor to continually make contributions to the community helping to create a lasting impact. There is also a tax deduction associated with a charitable donation. [ [ Fund Information] ]

Types of Funds

*Donor Advised Funds
*Field of Interest Fund
*Designated Agency Funds
*Unrestricted Funds
*Scholarship Funds
*Support Organizations


Members of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation support and shape the future of Baton Rouge. They share a commitment to serve their neighbors, especially those in need, and prepare our community for the future.

Baton Rouge's best and brightest come to "The Foundation" to work together, seeking solutions to our community's biggest challenges today, before they become the hardships of tomorrow. [ [ Membership Information] ]

ignature Memberships

Signature Membership is an invitation that welcomes everyone to experience the joys of philanthropy. By supporting "The Foundation's" ability to advocate for equity and creative community solutions, Signature Members both help their neighbors today, and prepare the community for the challenges of tomorrow. Signature Membership is a way for the community's citizens to pursue their civic interests; their efforts keep the Foundation flexible, prepared to respond to any challenge.

Level 1 ($100-$499)

Members receive "The Foundation's" Monthly E-newsletter, Annual Report, Quarterly Publication, an Invitation to the Annual Meeting, and Listing in "The Foundation's" Annual Report and website.

Level 2 ($500-$999)

In addition to Level 1 benefits, Signature Level 2 members will also receive two special editions of Currents, "The Foundation's" quarterly bublication.

Level 3 ($1,000-$2,499)

In addition to Level 2, members at this level are invited to attend an Annual Insider's Report with key staff of "The Foundation". At this event, members and staff will reflect on the activities of "The Foundation" and discuss ongoing initiatives.

Founders Forum Membership

Founders Forum Membership is named in honor of the 13 founders. Their vision for Baton Rouge in 1964 is reflected in the success of the city today. Their efforts can be seen in the downtown skyline, in the success of "The Foundation's" scholarship programs, and in the way "The Foundation" has been able to respond to the continuing challenges of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Founders Forum Members help to make some of the most exciting and important work possible. The passion of Founders Forum Members are the driving key for community concerns and important initiatives like Old South Baton Rouge Revitalization Project have flourished.

Level 1 ($2,000-$4,999)

Members receive an invitation to the Annual Founders Forum Dinner and all the incentives associated with Signature Membership.

Level 2 ($5,000-$10,000)

In addition to Level 1, members at this level are invited to attend and annual Community Forecasting Event, at which members and staff explore the direction of "The Foundation" and future of the community.

Membership Rewards

The reward of membership is in the programs offered by the community's many nonprofit services, in the smiles of children learning to read, in the relief felt by people seeking shelter after the recent Hurricanes.

External links

Past projects supported by the Foundation include:
* [ PLAN Baton Rouge]
* [ The Manship Theatre]
* [ The Shaw Center for the Arts]
* [ Baton Rouge Citizens Against HIV/AIDS]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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