Discover Lafayette welcomes Missy Bienvenue Andrade, CEO of the Community Foundation of Acadiana.
Community Foundation of Acadiana (CFA), founded in 2000, is a tax-exempt foundation whose core purpose is building legacies and improving communities by connecting generous people to the causes they care about. The organization focuses on the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Mary, St. Martin and Vermilion. The parish affiliates each have permanent endowed funds for their geographic region.
Missy gave great credit to Raymond Hebert, its first CEO who served until 2022, for his leadership in building an organization that is healthy and ready to move on to its next chapter of philanthropic focus in Acadiana.
As of 2022, CFA has received total gifts of $364,588,403.00 over its years of existence. Donations of all sizes are welcomed and “Donor Assisted Funds” or “Corporated Advised Funds” can be established at any level. Scholarships are also housed at the CFA. Missy explained that many times, a donor may want to make an end of the year contribution and wait until disbursing the funds until a later time; special requests and assistance from staff can help the donor make their wish come true in the timing that fits their desires. Donors can also make contributions and request that their funds be invested in the market, either under the direction of their own investment advisor or with the assistance of CFA professionals.
Missy believes an important mission of the CFA is to define how the organization may best assist Acadiana nonprofits. She looked back on 2023’s SOLA Giving Day which raised the most money ever for local nonprofits, totalling $1,829,127.00. CFA runs the back office of SOLA Giving Day which has been wildly successful over the past six years. This year Venmo and Paypal were added as payment options and this appeared to eliminated barriers to giving; CFA saw people were giving contributions in the range of $5 and $10, as well as large sums, and the event experienced the highest number of people ever giving on a single day.
CFA is entering a new phase of defining its mission. It recently hired Ekstrom, Alley Clontz & Associates (“EAC”) to assist in a comprehensive strategic plan for the organization as it determines how it can best serve Acadiana as it builds a bridge to an even more successful outreach. EAC has consulted on behalf of over 200 community foundations across the U. S. and abroad, and is a leader in its field. Rather than just studying other community foundations across the country, Missy emphasized that CFA want to ensure that our particular community needs are identified and addressed.
This is Missy’s second appearance on Discover Lafayette, as we interviewed her a few years back when she was President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Acadiana.
For more information on the Community Foundation of Acadiana, please visit https://www.cfacadiana.org/