- Associated Press - Sunday, May 4, 2014

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - The Community Foundation of North Louisiana has awarded grants totaling $1.9 million to 57 local organizations.

The Times reported (https://bit.ly/1iH219R) the grants focus on improve access to high-quality education, health services, arts, the economy and other quality of life issues.

“Even though it’s easy to say we’re throwing money at things, every attempt - every dollar we spend has a lot of research behind it,” foundation board president Ed Crawford said. “We do our very best to continue to make the best use of the money that we possibly can.” The Community Foundation serves as a conduit in which charitable dollars flow from donors to the nonprofit organizations that need them.

Executive Director Paula Hickman said the foundation had more than $93 million in assets at the end of 2013.

The foundation also partners with the United Way of Northwest Louisiana and other groups to leverage resources.

Last year, the Community Foundation awarded more than $4.9 million in grants, scholarships and community programs.

Hickman said the Community Foundation strives to direct charitable dollars it receives to top-need areas. The group’s annual Community Counts Report measures quality of life in Caddo, DeSoto and Bossier Parishes and helps guide that process.

More than $743,000of the grant money this year will be directed toward education.

“We absolutely believe this is the key leverage point into steaming the tide of poverty in our community so we invested a significant amount of our resources in this program area,” said Liz LaBorde, the foundation’s director of community investment.

LaBorde said the education investments include encouraging programs that are potential models for turning around troubled educational systems, and grants for policy research. All, she said, are targeted toward developing a more educated, skilled community.

Among grant recipients this year are the Fuller Center of Housing of Northwest Louisiana Inc., Shreveport Opera, Bossier Arts Council, Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana and the Northwest Louisiana Interfaith Pharmacy.


Information from: The Times, https://www.shreveporttimes.com

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