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Baton Rouge Area Foundation expands services to nonprofits with establishment of new division

The Center for Nonprofit Excellence will provide capacity building programs and services to nonprofits while engaging the community in the work of nonprofits.

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF) announced the launch of a new division dedicated to strengthening nonprofit organizations yesterday. The Center for Nonprofit Excellence will be the centralized entry point for area nonprofit leaders to connect with BRAF, promote giving opportunities, participate in continuing education programs and more.  

“We are thrilled to announce the establishment of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence. We believe the Center will help nonprofits enhance their technical skills and deepen connections within our community, helping these organizations maximize positive impact in our service area,” said Chris Meyer, BRAF’s CEO and president. 

Last year, more than 300 community members across many sectors participated in the Foundation’s 6-month-long strategic planning process. Recommendations included increasing the Foundation’s capacity to serve the capital region’s nonprofits through technical and strategic support to supplement opportunities offered by other groups serving nonprofits. In turn, the Foundation established the Center to expand their existing nonprofit support efforts and create a dedicated entry point for nonprofits to coordinate with the Foundation’s staff.

“The many recommendations we received helped determine a new structure for supporting civic-minded people in activating their hopes and ideas for our community through nonprofits,” said Lauren Crump, vice president of Nonprofit Excellence. “The Center is designed to support people who want to work with nonprofits to address our region’s most persistent challenges. We are excited to offer programs that help translate an entrepreneurial spirit for community into productive partnerships.”

Crump also announced the launch of The Giving Store, which will allow nonprofits to promote specific giving opportunities to support the initiatives of their organization, and Nonprofit Membership as new offerings at the Foundation. Nonprofit membership will help organizations build a formal partnership with the Foundation and strengthen their development networks. Previous lines of existing work have been expanded to provide additional learning and development opportunities through group-based consulting and professional development programs.

Jeff Koonce, BRAF’s board chair added, “As a board, we are proud to support the establishment of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence. It is a significant step in acting upon the feedback we heard during our planning process to continue strengthening the nonprofit sector in Baton Rouge. We recognize that successfully fostering a thriving nonprofit ecosystem requires the dual action of equipping nonprofit organizations with the tools and resources they need to thrive and engaging donors and everyday citizens to get engaged themselves. We believe that the Center will play a vital role in achieving this goal.”

To learn more about the Center or its team, visit

About the Center for Nonprofit Excellence: Established in 2023 as a division of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence provides strategic and technical support to nonprofit organizations through five primary activities: Nonprofit Engagement, Organization Fund Stewardship, Professional Fellowships, Consulting Services, and Nonprofit Membership.

The Center is led by experienced development professionals who have a strong grasp on the ongoing efforts of nonprofits delivering results for our community. To learn more about the Center or its team, visit