Every year, the Goldhirsh Foundation operates the My LA2050 Grants Challenge in which we solicit proposals from nonprofit, for-profit, and government organizations for projects that will better our region. Through the My LA2050 Grants Challenge, Angelenos help us determine how to grant $1,000,000 in Los Angeles. After each grants challenge, we identify and examine trends from the submissions. We will be releasing the trends from the 2019 challenge soon, so I wanted to look back at five trends that emerged from last year's submissions:
“On-Ramps” for Women
2018 was dubbed “The Year of the Woman” and brought a surge in women's engagement in politics, business, and civic life. Applicants reflected this trend through the many proposals focused on providing “on-ramps” for women in key industries like politics, finance, and the arts.
Civic Engagement and Voting
Angelenos were craving greater involvement in the political process. We saw several proposals aimed at fostering civic engagement, from involvement in local politics to increased voter turnout.
We saw a number of proposals related to homelessness, ranging from service provision to high-level policy and advocacy work. Organizations across LA County were harnessing the momentum of legislation like Measure H and Prop HHH by advocating for more affordable housing, while also informing Angelenos about the realities of homelessness, the fragility of local housing, and the benefits of being a YIMBY (not a NIMBY).
Creative Workforce Preparation
While science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce preparation has been popular for a number of years, in 2018 we saw proposals that merged STEM with the arts and creative industries. Some of our favorite examples of these projects were preparing youth for a workforce where the line between innovation and art has already become less clear.
Small Business and Entrepreneurs
Small businesses are the backbone of LA's economy, and entrepreneurs demonstrate the abundance of Angelenos' creativity. Many of last year's proposals recognized the need to invest more in our makers and workers so that the city's economic spirit can flourish.
You can read more about the trends from the 2018 grants challenge here.