The value of the assets belonging to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation rose by about $2 million last year to a record $658 million, up from $656 million in 2017. BRAF released the unaudited financial figures to donors and members at its annual meeting on Wednesday.
Still, the 0.3% asset value increase in 2018 is the smallest gain the foundation has seen in several years. BRAF reported a 6.5% increase in 2017.
Donors contributed $45 million to BRAF’s charitable funds last year, $2 million less than 2017. The foundation granted $44 million to nonprofits last year, also down $2 million from the previous year.
The annual meeting also saw BRAF elected three board members to their first terms: Preston J. Castille Jr., a partner at Taylor Porter Law Firm; Helena R. Cunningham, founder and CEO of National Housing Consultant Services LLC; and Matthew C. Saurage, fourth-generation owner and chairman of Community Coffee. Dr. B. Eugene Berry and Francis C. Jumonville Jr. were elected to a second, three-year term.
In other news from the meeting, developer Mike Wampold was named the fourth winner of the Marcia Kaplan Kantrow Baton Rouge Visionary Award for his work in redeveloping downtown Baton Rouge. Wampold not only purchased and updated City Plaza, but also built II City Plaza and converted a shuttered state building into the Watermark Hotel.
The winners of the John W. Barton Sr. Excellence in Nonprofit Management Award were: Melanie Couvillon of the Manship Theatre, Shante Bradford-Webb of Maison des Amis, a home for people with chronic mental illness, and Laura Vinsant of Teach for America South Louisiana.