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In 2021, the Greater New Orleans Foundation partnered with the University of New Orleans to study the regional nonprofit sector in Southeast Louisiana, exploring the sector’s adaptability to the COVID-19 pandemic and racial equity in its nonprofits’ leadership. This study followed a spring 2020 survey focused on the pandemic’s immediate impact. A total of 756 public charities received an online survey in January and February 2021; 335 responded, for a 44% response rate. Results suggest nonprofits adapted to the pandemic’s financial toll and increased demand for essential services by shifting services online, accessing federally backed emergency loans, and reducing staff to cut costs. Arts and culture nonprofits were most prone to staff reductions. Further, the regional nonprofit sector suffers from a racial leadership gap, and nonprofits led by people of color face financial disparities. As the pandemic continues, more funding is needed to stabilize the sector and reduce existing inequities.


This study was conducted through a partnership between the University of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

A public version of this report is available through the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

2021 State of Nonprofits PUBLIC REPORT.pdf (6264 kB)
This is a shorter summary version of the report.