Our supporters: Foundations

The Lens relies on the support of the following foundations:

Open Society Foundations

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve this mission, the Foundations seek to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. On a local level, the Open Society Foundations implement a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.
Grants awarded: 2009 $155,000, 2010 $325,000, 2012 $400,000, 2015 – 2016 $300,000.

Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation

Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation’s mission is to invest in the future of journalism by building the ethics, skills and opportunities needed to advance principled, probing news and information.

EEJF does so through contributions to media institutions and journalism schools nationwide, primarily in areas of investigative reporting, youth education, professional development, and special opportunities.

Grant awarded: 2012 $85,000, 2013 $100,000, 2014 $100,000, 2015 $100,000.

Surdna Foundation

The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster just and sustainable communities in the United States—communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. For five generations, since 1917, the Foundation has been governed largely by descendants of John Andrus and has developed a tradition of innovative service for those in need of help or opportunity.
Grants awarded: 2010 $100,000, 2011 $100,000, 2012 $100,000, 2013 $75,000.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is a national foundation with local roots. We choose, as the Knight brothers chose, to seek opportunities that can transform both communities and journalism, and help them reach their highest potential. We want to ensure that each community’s citizens get the information they need to thrive in a democracy.
Grants awarded: 2011 $63,000, 2012 $52,000, 2013 $12,000, 2013/14 $50,000, 2014-16 $75,000, 2015 $35,000.

The Walton Family Foundation


At the Walton Family Foundation, we know that conservation solutions that make economic sense are the ones that stand the test of time. We work to achieve lasting change by creating new and unexpected partnerships among conservation, business and community interests to build durable solutions to big problems.

We invest in organizations and programs that pursue lasting conservation solutions for oceans and rivers while also recognizing the role these waters play in the livelihoods of those who live and work nearby. The foundation focuses its environmental giving through two initiatives: Freshwater Conservation and Marine Conservation.

Grant awarded: 2014 $75,000, 2015 $75,000.

blue moon fund

blue moon fund works to build human and natural resilience to a changing and warming world. We use natural, social, and financial capital to implement new models in high-biodiversity regions around the world.
Grant awarded: 2015 $150,000.

Baptist Community Ministries

Baptist Community Ministries (BCM) is one of the largest private foundations in Louisiana with a commitment to the greater New Orleans region and to the attainment of a more healthy community for the people living here. BCM funds programs in the following zones of interest: education, public safety & governmental oversight, and health.
Grant awarded: 2013 $100,000, 2014 $13,000, 2015 $500.

Greater New Orleans Foundation

GNOF [Converted]

The Greater New Orleans Foundation is one of the oldest and largest philanthropic organizations in the region. Every day, the Foundation joins other foundations, nonprofit organizations, community leaders, and government officials to address the needs of the community and build consensus for solutions. Together with our family of donors, the Foundation has invested over $100 million in our region since it opened its doors over 25 years ago to respond to community needs.
Grant awarded: 2011 $22,500, 2012 $10,000, 2013 $15,000, $4,000, 2016 $3,000 from the Organizational Effectiveness Program.

Foundation for Louisiana


The mission of the Foundation for Louisiana is to transform the disaster caused by hurricanes Katrina and  Rita into an unprecedented opportunity for a new Louisiana — providing resources for the relief, recovery and betterment of all its people by ensuring access and opportunity in rebuilding their communities and culture.
Grant awarded: 2010 $50,000.

Greater New Orleans Development Foundation


GNO Inc.’s mission is to serve as the catalyst for wealth creation in the 10-parish region of Southeastern Louisiana. GNO, Inc. will accomplish this by pursuing an aggressive agenda of business development—marketing the region—and product development—improving regional business conditions through policy, workforce, and research initiatives.
Grant awarded: 2012: $45,000.

The RosaMary Foundation


The RosaMary Foundation supports grant seekers within the Greater New Orleans area. Highest priority is given to grants in the following categories: education, with emphasis on private institutions, human service organizations, arts, both performing and applied, community development activities, and governmental oversight activities.
Grant awarded: 2011 $7,500, 2013 $25,000.

Zemurray Foundation


Grant awarded: 2011 $15,000, 2012 $15,000.


Kabacoff Family Foundation

Grant awarded: 2013 $25,000.

Catalyst Foundation

Grant awarded: 2013: $25,000.

The Zeitoun Foundation

The Zeitoun Foundation was created in 2009 by New York Times best-selling author Dave Eggers. Its mission is to aid in the rebuilding and ongoing health of the city of New Orleans.
Grants awarded: 2010 $7,500, 2011 $3,000, 2013 $4,543.47, 2014 $1,500.

The Ella West Freeman Foundation

The Ella West Freeman Foundation supports grant seekers from the Southeast Louisiana area. Within this area, highest priority is given to grants in the following categories: education with an emphasis on private education, arts, both performing and applied, community improvement and governmental oversight and human service organizations with an emphasis on capital projects for established agencies.
Grant awarded: 2012 $10,000, 2013 $2,500, 2014 $5,000.

Keller Family Foundation


The Trustees of the Keller Family Foundation have, from its inception, been most concerned with using its resources to help sustain and improve the Greater New Orleans community. With each change in membership of the Board of Trustees, the Foundation’s direction and priorities change to reflect the input and priorities of the new members. The current Board has keen interests in education, youth development, human services, and public affairs. The Foundation’s primary region of interest is New Orleans, Louisiana and its surrounding communities.
Grant awarded: 2011 $5,000, 2012 $5,000, 2014 $2,000, 2015 $2,000.

Victor Foundation /California Community Foundation

Grant awarded: 2012 $5,000, 2013 $1,800, 2015 $5,000.

Ruth U. Fertel Foundation

The Ruth U. Fertel Foundation – established in the will of the founder of the Ruth’s Chris Steak House fine dining chain – supports education in Louisiana, including public, private and parochial schools; special programs designed to serve students from kindergarten through college; and other high-impact educational initiatives.

Grant awarded: 2012 $1,000, 2014 $5,000, 2015 $5,000.

Booth-Bricker Fund

Grant awarded: 2016 $10,000.

Sunlight Foundation


The Sunlight Foundation is a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for open government globally and uses technology to make government more accountable to all.
 Grant awarded: 2014 $10,000.

Reily Foundation / Bob & Margaret Reily Fund

Grant awarded: 2013 $10,000.


Rita Allen Foundation

The Rita Allen Foundation invests in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to leverage their growth and promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems.
Grant awarded: 2012 $10,000.

Reily Foundation / Linda Usdin, Dr.PH and Mr. Steven B. Bingler

Grants awarded: 2010 $500, 2012 $3,000, 2014 $2,700, 2015 $1,500.

Institute for Nonprofit News


The Institute for Nonprofit News, formerly the Investigative News Network, provides education and business support services to its nonprofit member organizations and promotes the value and benefit of public-service and investigative journalism.  They serve as the administrator of the INNovation Fund on behalf of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Grant awarded: 2014 $7,500.

Golding Family Foundation

Grant awarded: 2013 $4,000.


Eugenie and Joseph Jones Family Foundation

Grant awarded: 2014 $2,500.

The Harnisch Foundation

Since 1998, The Harnisch Foundation has been a catalyst for sustainable social change, funding and implementing innovation in the fields of philanthropy, coaching and journalism.

They are collaborative and inclusive. Their projects often showcase the work of others, and we act as a convener.

Their belief is that philanthropy, coaching and journalism are ways of making a powerful difference in the world through the lives of individuals. Their team, including board, staff, volunteers, and partners, are committed to transparency in all our operations.

Their work is dedicated to unleashing untapped capacity.

Grant awarded: 2012 $2,500.


Pearl Family Foundation

Grant awarded: 2014 $1,000, 2015 $1,000.

ExxonMobil Foundation

Grant awarded: 2014 $1,000, 2015 $1,000.

Coughlin Saunders Foundation

Grant awarded: 2014 $1,000, 2015 $1,000.

Daniels – Robertson Fund

Grant awarded: 2014 $250, 2015 $250.