New Fund Addresses Ongoing Gulf Coast Community Recovery

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Supports regional organizations linked to local groups providing food, shelter, mental health and job counseling; long-term goal is enhanced community health, well-being and resiliency

NEW YORK, MAY 24, 2011 – In a move designed to assist people continuing to recover from the April 2010 BP oil spill, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors has created The Fund for Gulf Communities (“the Fund”). With a long-term goal of enhancing the resiliency of Gulf Coast communities, the Fund has made grants to six regional organizations tied to groups in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi that provide a range of direct services to individuals and families in need.

“Areas of the Gulf Coast region have borne economic dislocation over the past decade as a result of devastating hurricanes, and today are also challenged by the lingering effects of the BP oil spill,” said Melissa A. Berman, President and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. “This fund will ensure that community and social-service groups have what they need to help individuals and families return to the financial, emotional and physical stability required to rebuild a healthy, self-sufficient community.”

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors selected its regional partners based on their abilities to identify and address critical local needs, technical assistance and grantmaking capacity. Fund grantees are:

• Greater New Orleans Foundation
• Community Foundation of Acadiana
• Gulf Coast Community Foundation
• Community Foundation of South Alabama
• Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida
• Greater Escambia Community Foundation

“Our partners in this program have a deep knowledge of communities and residents and a history of trusted, effective grantmaking at the neighborhood level,” said Amy Holmes, a senior philanthropic advisor at RPA who is overseeing the Fund. “Their on-the-ground experience and relationships make it possible to identify local groups that are addressing many of the area’s unmet needs.”

In order to help Gulf Coast nonprofits strengthen their organizations and networks for the long term, over the Fund’s three-year lifespan Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors will provide partner grantees with program guidance, technical assistance and monitoring support.

The Fund for Gulf Communities is a discrete entity with a specific focus on issues related to the BP oil spill. It has no connection to the existing Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health aside from management by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

# # #

About Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors is an independent, nonprofit organization with thoughtful and effective philanthropy as its sole mission. It traces its antecedents to John D. Rockefeller Sr., who in 1891 began to professionally manage his philanthropy “as if it were a business.” Headquartered in New York City with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors has grown into one of the world’s largest philanthropic service organizations, advising on and managing an average of $200 million a year in giving to dozens of countries.