United Way’s Latoria W. Thomas named Outstanding Fundraising Executive

United Way of Northwest Louisiana’s (UWNWLA) President & CEO, LaToria “Tori” W. Thomas, has been named the Outstanding Fundraising Executive by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) North Louisiana Chapter. 

AFP holds an awards ceremony for National Philanthropy Day every year, recognizing our community’s most outstanding philanthropists and volunteers. To be considered for an award, individuals must first be nominated for one of six categories, including Outstanding Philanthropist, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, Outstanding Philanthropic Organization, Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation, Outstanding Fundraising Executive, and Outstanding Young Adult Philanthropic Leader(s).  

To be considered for the Outstanding Fundraising Executive Award, nominees must demonstrate leadership, giving their best as an effective and creative team player; practice “Code of Ethics and Professional Practices” for fundraising executives; display a commitment to volunteerism and continuing professional development; participate in and collaborate with other nonprofit organizations; function in a salaried position; and must be a member in good standings with the North Louisiana AFP Chapter. 

Tori exhibits these achievements and more with more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit industry, including work in foundations and grant-making organizations, fundraising, program development, and management. She is the founder of Emerging Philanthropists in New Orleans, a giving circle for young professionals, and she was also selected as a Connecting Leaders Fellows for the Association of Black Foundation Executives. Tori has served on the boards of the Committee for a Better New Orleans/Metropolitan Area Commission, Young Leadership Council, and Forum 35. She has also served on the Executive Committee for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.- Sigma Rho Omega Chapter, the Advisory Board for the Greater Shreveport Chamber’s Leadership Program, AFP North Louisiana, and the Louisiana Association of United Ways. Lastly, Tori was named a 2021 ATHENA honoree, she was inducted into the United Way Worldwide LEAD program, and she was named one of 70 nonprofit leaders across the Americas for the American Express Leadership Academy.  

“Tori’s unwavering dedication to serving United Way and our community has paved the way for transformative change,” said Darrin Dixon, UWNWLA Board Chair. “Her ability to pinpoint our community’s most urgent needs and find the resources to meet those needs allows United Way to be adaptive and ensures vulnerable voices are being heard when necessities are ever-changing. Tori is a powerhouse, and we are happy to celebrate the impactful work she is doing for Northwest Louisiana.” 

“I truly appreciate receiving this award from my peers and colleagues,” said LaToria W. Thomas, UWNWLA President & CEO. “Working to assist some of our most vulnerable individuals and families in our community and doing it with such an amazing team of staff and volunteers at United Way is especially a profound honor.” 

Since Tori’s time at UWNWLA, she has made many advancements, including increasing grant funding, campaign revenue, education resources, and essential needs resources for the organization. UWNWLA is proud to not only have her as the guiding light for the organization but for the community at large. 

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Paul Savage, Jr.

Paul Savage, Jr. is a graduate of Centenary College of Louisiana and is the owner, founder, & designer of Savage Creative Solutions. Savage Creative Solutions is a full-service, integrated marketing agency headquartered in Shreveport, LA with a growing national footprint across multiple industries. Savage is a local marketing and communication professional, entrepreneur, and accomplished author. His debut memoir, "Diary of A Testicular Cancer Survivor," has been featured on Amazon's best-seller list.

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