Six things you need to know about the Louisville non-profit scene

Julie Wood

Julie Wood (LL ’15), manager, appliances public relations, GE Appliances

Our Leadership Louisville class hit the streets recently to explore Louisville’s social service agencies. We visited 10 non-profits in the local area and experienced the agencies as if we needed their services – a family down on their luck seeking shelter, a woman suffering from a drug addiction, a homeless vet needing a meal, etc. It was an eye-opening experience.

While most of our class sits on boards and volunteers their time for causes, we rarely have the chance to see the big picture… the great need and the support network created by this collective group of agencies. There are several things you should know:

      • Since the recession, the need for services in the Louisville community has grown. It’s been challenging for the middle class to recover – both here and around the U.S.
      • The agencies we saw are focused on basic human needs, but also deeply committed to programs that help their clients create a new future and become self-sustaining members of society.
Panel of nonprofit leaders speaking to Leadership Louisville Class of 2015

From left: Natalie Harris, Executive Director, Coalition for the Homeless; Marta Miranda (LL ’13, FL ’11), President/CEO, The Center for Women & Families; Cathe Dykstra (LL ’09, BF ’07, FL ’04), President and CEO, Family Scholar House
Brian Riendeau, Executive Director, Dare to Care.

    • The Louisville non-profits collaborate and leverage each other’s strengths, but also try hard not to duplicate services.
    • Education is a key theme throughout the Louisville non-profits. From the Metro United Way Excellence Academies focused on school readiness to Cooking Matters nutrition programs at Dare to Care to abuse prevention programs hosted by the Center for Women and Families . . . there are tremendous efforts underway to tackle issues early on before they lead to bigger and more complicated problems down the road.
    • The non-profit leaders and employees we met are an exemplary group of human beings. Their passion, vision and dedication is simply phenomenal.
    • They can’t do it alone. They need our brains, backs and bucks to continue their mission and meet the needs of the Louisville community.


Learn more about the Leadership Louisville program