Skip to content

Nonprofits in New Orleans: 10 Years After Katrina

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina roared through the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,000 people and causing more than $100 billion of damage.

In New Orleans, the failure of the levee system resulted in the flooding of 80 percent of the city. The now famous images of people trapped on rooftops and languishing in the Superdome helped trigger $6.5 billion in private giving. The vast majority would be pledged, and spent, in the first 18 months after the storm.

But several major foundations have stayed the course, investing tens of millions of dollars in long-term rebuilding efforts. In interviews across the city, foundation executives and other nonprofit leaders said they have logged notable wins in areas including education and criminal justice. The region’s nonprofit sector as a whole is stronger, they said, and the economy is growing.

But many problems proved stubbornly resistant to change, and some nonprofit leaders are worried about their long-term financial stability.

Here, stories from New Orleans 10 years after the disaster.