Economic Impact of Nonprofits on New Orleans


The nonprofit industry doesn’t just provide a wide array of valuable services to residents, it serves a vital role in the New Orleans metropolitan area economy. For one, the industry is a huge employer. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017, 11.6 percent of the area’s workforce was employed by nonprofits — just about as many people as are employed in the fields of food preparation and service (12.2 percent) and office and administrative support (12.8 percent). In the New Orleans/Metairie metro area that equals 54,610 jobs that collectively paid over $2.9 billion in annual wages. On average, nonprofit employees in the region earned over $53,440 a year, slightly higher than employees in other industries.

These figures are not surprising because some of the largest employers in Louisiana are nonprofits — including the University of New Orleans, and hospitals and healthcare systems including Ochsner, Children’s Hospital and Tulane and University Medical Centers. According to a 2020 study by the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the University of New Orleans entitled “The State of Nonprofits in Southeast Louisiana: The Impact of COVID-19,” nonprofit revenues also account for a substantial part of the total economic output, or Gross Regional Product (GRP) of Southeast Louisiana. In 2018, the region’s GRP was $82 billion and total nonprofit revenues reached more than $13 billion, with nonprofits holding assets of more than $18 billion.

St. Charles Avenue has covered:

Over 5,000 events

Over 275 nonprofits

Over 100 Debutante parties

Over 340 weddings

Feat Dylantete 2019 Bastion Resident Charise Harper Taylor With Bastion Founder Dylan Tete And Bastion Resident Michelle Bidwell

Pictured at “Wine Dine & Design 2019” with Bastion residents Charise Harper-Taylor and Michelle Bidwell

Fundraisers with Avenue support have yielded over $500,000 over the past four years toward community reintegration services for transitioning servicemembers and veterans, which has impacted hundreds of lives. Media coverage like the cover of Avenue has helped create a special, philanthropic consciousness toward our mission that’s undeniably unique to New Orleans. My nonprofit peers and colleagues in other cities don’t have anything like our relationship with Avenue.

– Dylan Tête, Founder & Exec. Director, Bastion


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Pictured as a 2010 Activist of the Year

For the past 25 years, Avenue has played an important role in helping to publicize and support many charities that are critical to the health of our community. Congratulations on Avenue’s 25th anniversary and thank you for all you do to sustain our charities.

– Gayle Benson, Philanthropist & Principal Owner, New Orleans Saints & New Orleans Pelicans


The cover of St. Charles Avenue is very important publicity for our clubs, perhaps sparking membership interest and selling tickets to our events. … People that wouldn’t know about events and “happenings” in New Orleans learn this by picking up the magazine. … It’s a wonderful advertising opportunity.

– Jackie Elliot, Philanthropist 


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Pictured as Co-Chair of Preservation Resource Center’s “Holiday Home Tour” along with Robin Kanner and Lorey Flick as seen in the April 2020 issue.

Avenue has had such positive impact on so many businesses, but I remember the first time a piece of art was featured from my gallery and the piece sold! I had been open maybe three months when this happened, so it meant so much to me. … New Orleans is a city that feels connected. Someone knows someone, who knows someone’s cousin’s husband, who went to LSU with his auntie, who went to high school with so and so. So when you pick up Avenue, you’re going to see someone you know, someone who’s impacting the community, and that’s really special. 

– Martine Chaisson Linares, Owner, Martine Chaisson Gallery


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Elizabeth Boh with George and Wendy Rodrigue and American Red Cross Executive Director Kay Williams at the American Red Cross’ annual “Humanitarian Ball” in 2006

In many ways St. Charles Avenue was able to expand the reach and knowledge of nonprofits among the general population in a way that not only contributed to enhanced ticket sales and revenue, but also to spread the word about organizations’ missions in a way that otherwis  would not have been possible.

 – Elizabeth A. Boh, CFP

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St. Charles Avenue Magazine and Executive Editor Bev Church have been friends of mine and Audubon Nature Institute’s for decades. The annual covers featuring the chairs of the “Zoo-To-Do” events for the year and the coverage of our philanthropic events have provided invaluable support for our work on behalf of wildlife across the globe and the children and families of New Orleans. Bev reigned as Queen of “Zoo-To-Do” in 1999 when we celebrated the renovation of the zoo’s Louisiana Swamp Exhibit, and as I think back on the past 25 years of St. Charles Avenue magazine, my fondest memories are of dancing the night away at “Zoo-To-Do” with Bev and her family and friends. St. Charles Avenue magazine has been such an amazing booster for New Orleans nonprofits, particularly Audubon Nature Institute, and we look forward to continuing our work with them in the next 25 years to come. 

– Ron Forman, CEO Audubon Nature Institute


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Ann Heslin on the cover of the August 2019 issue as Chair of the American Cancer ‘s “Belles & Beaus Ball” along with Belle Nancy Parker, Board Chair Ryan Messina, Board Co-Chair Dr. Tarun Jolly and Chair Lisa Love

Avenue has impacted New Orleans in countless ways, but I believe that the magazine has helped to strengthen the New Orleans nonprofit community through its generosity in covering annual special events. Since its first issue was published 25 years ago, the philanthropic community in New Orleans has greatly benefited and expanded because of Avenue.

– Ann Heslin, Director of Special Philanthropy Events, Ochsner Health


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Pictured in the September 2016 issue as a Fashionable New Orleanian

For the past 25 years, St. Charles Avenue has featured hundreds of worthy nonprofit volunteer organizations and their fundraising events. The coverage has enhanced the success of these events, so necessary for their sustained operations. I have broadened my knowledge of and appreciation for some worthy causes that I knew little about. This has provided me a broader overview of multiple needs that must be met to insure a healthy, vital community for all of our citizens.

– Ruthie Frierson, Philanthropist

Learning about so many people involved in nonprofits and the many ways that they find to raise funds and do great things for the community has enriched my life and provided me with new ways to improve the quality of life in New Orleans.

– Ana Gershanik

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As a nonprofit, Avenue has given us opportunities to promote our organization’s mission, its events, its supporters and more in a cost-effective (as it is earned media) and well-received manner. It has been a most positive asset for us and for the community.

– Aislinn Hinyup, Vice President, Communications , WYES-TV

Avenue is a respected resource for our nonprofit clients and partners. The coverage of fundraisers and the volunteers dedicated to making the city a better place to live, work and play contribute to impressive and compelling stories.

– Betsie Gambel, Founder, Gambel Communications

Categories: Feature