The 2021 My LA2050 Grants Challenge is here! We're giving away $1 million to make LA the best place to live, learn, play, create, and connect.

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280+ New Proposals Added to the My LA2050 Ideas Archive!

Posted August 3, 2020 by Team LA2050

This year, we received 285 submissions to the My LA2050 Grants Challenge. Now, these inspirational proposals — including our 25 amazing winners — have been added to our My LA2050 Ideas Archive. On the archive, Angelenos can browse all of the proposals from the past seven My LA2050 Grants Challenge cycles and learn more about each of the 1,200+ organizations that have submitted.

We created the Ideas Archive to serve as a resource for Angelenos looking for new volunteer opportunities, personal or professional inspiration, or causes to donate to. It archives the ideas of the past, and points to the solutions of the future.

You can search for results by issue area, geographic region, or proper nouns. On each organization's page, you'll find links to their website, social media pages, and a list of the proposals they've submitted to the challenge over the years. All pages for active nonprofit organizations include a donation form. Since the Ideas Archive allows users to see when organizations have applied to the My LA2050 Grants Challenge over multiple years, it also tells the story of how their work has evolved in response to the real-time needs of Los Angeles.

Don't be afraid to spend an hour (or two) reading through the proposals from over the years and discovering more about the best and brightest in our region!

And the Winners Are...

Posted July 25, 2020 by Team LA2050

After verifying all 105,000+ votes, we're thrilled to announce this year's winners of the My LA2050 Grants Challenge! We were so impressed with all 25 finalists and their efforts to rally votes for their submissions. Thank you to each and every organization for participating and for working tirelessly to make LA the best place to learn, connect, play, live, and create.

The winners in the LEARN category are:

  • 1st place / $100,000: Pediatric Therapy Network
  • 2nd place / $50,000: SoCal College Access Network
  • 3rd place / $25,000: Reading Partners
  • 4th place / $15,000: Los Angeles Audubon
  • 5th place / $10,000: CARECEN-LA

The winners in the CONNECT category are:

  • 1st place / $100,000: Ready to Succeed
  • 2nd place / $50,000: Union Station Homeless Services
  • 3rd place / $25,000: LA Forward
  • 4th place / $15,000: Boyle Heights Beat
  • 5th place / $10,000: Creative Acts

The winners in the PLAY category are:

  • 1st place / $100,000: City of LA Dept. of Recreation and Parks
  • 2nd place / $50,000: Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation
  • 3rd place / $25,000: Los Angeles Maritime Institute
  • 4th place / $15,000: Public Matters
  • 5th place / $10,000: Urban Warehouse

The winners in the LIVE category are:

  • 1st place / $100,000: Clínica Msr. Oscar A. Romero
  • 2nd place / $50,000: Crop Swap LA
  • 3rd place / $25,000: Jenesse Center, Inc.
  • 4th place / $15,000: Strategic Actions for a Just Economy
  • 5th place / $10,000: Safe Parking LA

The winners in the CREATE category are:

  • 1st place / $100,000: Las Fotos Project
  • 2nd place / $50,000: Lost Angels Children's Project
  • 3rd place / $25,000: LA Sanitation and Environment
  • 4th place / $15,000: Grid110
  • 5th place / $10,000: Flintridge Center

2020 My LA2050 Voting by the Numbers

Posted July 22, 2020 by LeAnn Kelch

We're excited to report that the 2020 My LA2050 Grants Challenge received more than 105,000 votes, cast by nearly 32,000 voters! This is a new record for us, surpassing last year's benchmark of 100,000 votes.

Voters in the grants challenge had the option to cast a vote for one proposal per goal category, for a total of five votes. For the second year in a row, we saw voters engaging with more categories; this year, voters cast an average of 3.3 of their allotted votes, up from 2.5 in the previous year.

Our 2020 voters represented 95 percent of Los Angeles County zip codes. The top ten neighborhoods with the most voters included:

  1. Boyle Heights
  2. Silverlake / Echo Park
  3. East Los Angeles
  4. Highland Park
  5. Palms
  6. San Pedro
  7. Crenshaw
  8. Los Feliz
  9. DTLA / Chinatown
  10. Mid-City

Thank you so much to all who voted to make LA the best place to live, learn, play, create, and connect. We couldn't do this without you!

Make sure you're signed up for our newsletter to be the first to hear the announcement of our 2020 My LA2050 winners on July 27.

My LA2050 Asks Angelenos to Vote on $1,000,000 in Grants

Posted July 11, 2020 by Team LA2050

With LA's Future in Mind, My LA2050 Grants Challenge Finalists Charge Ahead Amid COVID-19

LOS ANGELES, July 13, 2020 – Today through July 20, 2020 Angelenos have the opportunity to direct $1,000,000 in funding to the social impact projects that will best help our region bounce back from COVID-19 and create a more prosperous future for all.

Amid this crisis, the 25 finalist organizations in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge offer solutions to today's most pressing problems and much-needed hope for our future—connecting youth and older adults stuck at home through intergenerational story-telling, offering services to vulnerable individuals experiencing vehicular homelessness, expanding telehealth access for low-income and uninsured community clinic patients, and more.

Anyone can go online now to and vote for the five proposals that they would most like to see implemented. The top winning organizations will be awarded $100,000 from the Goldhirsh Foundation to bring their projects to life over this next year, with runners-up receiving smaller cash grants.

The My LA2050 Grants Challenge is an annual community-led effort to invest in projects that make Los Angeles the best place to live, learn, create, connect, and play. This year's challenge is especially urgent, as it opened when COVID-19 hit organizations with both an overwhelming demand for their services and new restrictions on their operations. Our 25 finalists, selected from a pool of 285 applicants, are powerful examples of the local organizations that face this crisis head-on and continue to provide for those in need with determination, ingenuity, and optimism.

Here are the finalists' inspiring proposals, up for vote now:

  • Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, creating an online tool to help tenants access crucial legal resources and avoid eviction.
  • Clinica Msr. Oscar Romero, expanding its clinical services, including primary care and telehealth offerings, to underserved and uninsured Angelenos.
  • Crop Swap LA, addressing food insecurity, improving health, and creating green jobs by installing gardens at the homes of low-income families.
  • Jenesse Center, equipping those in South LA experiencing domestic violence with resources to break the cycle of violence and thrive.
  • Safe Parking LA, partnering with Neighborhood Councils to train Angelenos to welcome, mentor, and engage with their neighbors experiencing homelessness.
  • CARECEN, expanding its Parent & Youth Center programming to empower immigrant parents and youth to advocate for quality education.
  • Reading Partners, closing the literacy gap by intervening at the critical 4th-grade level by pairing 1,000 local students with reading tutors.
  • Los Angeles Audubon Society, investing in its Urban Nature Network to empower underserved youth to experience nature and become local environmental stewards.
  • Pediatric Therapy Network, expanding access to early education programs for low-income children with, and at risk for, developmental delays and disabilities.
  • SoCal College Access Network, increasing access to higher education by placing counselors on public housing sites to provide personalized college advising to families.
  • Lost Angeles Children's Project, training underserved youth in the Antelope Valley for careers in manufacturing to open opportunities for employment.
  • Grid 110, providing Black and Latinx entrepreneurs in South LA with free accelerator programs and support to bring their business ideas to fruition.
  • Las Fotos Project, opening a youth-centered photography studio in Boyle Heights where teen girls can earn income while building professional skills.
  • Flintridge Center, training formerly incarcerated people for lucrative jobs in construction through a hands-on, wrap-around apprenticeship program.
  • LA Sanitation and Environment, creating a centralized recycling hub to repurpose industrial material byproducts and help reach 100 percent landfill diversion by 2050.
  • Creative Acts, drawing on the power of the arts to inspire incarcerated and justice-involved youth to become civically-engaged and exercise their right to vote.
  • Boyle Heights Beat, raising up youth to be community reporters on the radio and print to keep their community's important stories alive through its bilingual Voices project.
  • LA Forward, creating an interactive Los Angeles 101 guide to illuminate the workings of our City and County government and give Angelenos the tools to make a difference.
  • Ready to Succeed, helping youth aging out of the foster care system defy the odds in college and throughout their careers through mentorship.
  • Union Station Homeless Services, building a peer network to support formerly homeless individuals as they settle into new homes and neighborhoods.
  • Public Matters, launching a University Park Slow Jams activation to empower groups, schools, parents, and youth to advocate for safe streets in their community.
  • The Garage Board Shop, expanding its afterschool program where underserved students are rewarded with skateboarding gear and skate time when they reach academic goals.
  • Los Angeles Maritime Institute, building upon its Ocean Adventure Together Program for underserved youth to discover the life-changing experience of a voyage at sea.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, constructing three “Dreamfields" in Compton equipped with fitness zones, solar technology, and a “science of baseball" curriculum.
  • LA City Department of Recreation and Parks, bringing outdoor recreation to local parks via Mobile Recreation vans, with Olympic and Paralympic sports, skateboarding, dance, and more.

Join us live to hear from the finalists

Posted July 2, 2020 by Team LA2050

It's almost time to vote in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge! During the week of voting, join us for the My LA2050 Ideas Showcase. We will be hosting a video live stream every day (Mon-Fri) for voters who want to learn more about the 25 finalists. Finalists will be grouped by goal category and a representative from each organization will be present to discuss their project. Each live stream will be hosted by an LA2050 partner; hosts will include Deidre Lind of the Mayor's Fund for LA, Marsha Bonner of the Annenberg Foundation, Shawn Kravich of the Snap Foundation, James Alva of Citi, and Paul Dien of GOOD.

We're so excited to share these projects with you, and we can't wait for you to learn more about these incredible local organizations. And the best part is, you don't even have to leave your house! We'll be streaming these conversations directly to you via YouTube. Check out the full live stream schedule below and don't forget to set a calendar reminder so you don't miss out.

*All live streams will begin at 11:15 am (Pacific)

Monday, July 13 PLAY Goal Category

Tuesday, July 14 LEARN Goal Category

Wednesday, July 15 CREATE Goal Category

Thursday, July 16 CONNECT Goal Category

Friday, July 17 LIVE Goal Category

The 2020 My LA2050 Finalists Adapt to COVID-19

Posted June 13, 2020 by Team LA2050

Our 2020 My LA2050 Grants Challenge finalists completed their submissions before we had full information about the longer-term trajectory of COVID-19. Today, our communities are hurting in different ways due to the economic impacts of the crisis and it appears that large group events won't resume for a while. With that in mind, we reached out to the finalist organizations and asked them how they will modify their proposals in these circumstances. Read on to see how organizations are pivoting.


Creative Acts is preparing to bring its Art Attacks program into juvenile camps virtually. The core programming will stay the same: using activities and lessons rooted in the arts to help students find their voice, harness its power, and become civically engaged members of their communities.

Boyle Heights Beat / Radio Pulso is continuing with its programming virtually. Mentors continue to meet with students on Zoom calls and students report and conduct interviews online and by phone. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of the future, the organization will focus its storytelling and reporting to highlight the changing and emerging needs of the community resulting from the pandemic and its economic, mental, and social aftermath.

LA Forward understands that it has never been more important to provide regular Angelenos with resources and tools to advocate for policies that ensure a just and equitable recovery. The organization's LA 101 proposal already relied largely on digital materials and distribution, but the community workshops planned for 2021 will be converted into Zoom meetings, broadening the range of people who can participate and allowing for easy recording and distribution.

Ready to Succeed's community-building programming, workshops, and events for RTS Scholars and SFLA youth will now take place via virtual engagement opportunities. Digital programming will allow RTS to directly serve more youth, increasing the number of students served from 90 to 155, and reach even more youth with digital content such as videos.

Union Station Homeless Services' Community Allies program believes that creating opportunities for authentic human connection is more important than ever in light of COVID-19. The organization has adapted its programming and expanded opportunities for virtual connection through new pilot initiatives such as “Phone Pals," in which new friendships are facilitated over the phone.


Flintridge Center will adapt and expand its Apprenticeship Preparation Program model to meet emerging community needs and address disparities. Instructors will facilitate the program virtually over 7 weeks; in addition to individualized support, program participants will receive the necessary technology to complete the course, industry-recognized credentials, and weekly stipends. Recognizing that there may be potentially fewer opportunities in union construction because of the pandemic, program scope will expand to support individuals in seeking employment in emerging industries.

Grid110 has successfully pivoted to an online program model, while still offering the same curriculum, resources, and support for its entrepreneurs. The proposed South LA programs will launch in part or entirely as an online program this summer if necessary, in addition to the organization's events, office hours, and other community-focused efforts.

LA Sanitation and Environment is adding an innovative challenge for upcycling enthusiasts to design reusable PPE with textile scrap to its HUB recycling proposal. This would create a win-win situation in both protecting the environment by reducing the amount of waste going to landfills and supporting its frontline workers.

Las Fotos Project remains focused on mutual-aid, post-COVID19 support for its students, and women-owned businesses. In the interim, the organization will begin the launch of its project by supporting students and women-owned businesses with safe, at-home product photography services in the upcoming months until the Foto Student can be safely and adequately opened in person.

Lost Angels Children's Project began a campaign for hunger relief in April 2020, providing 2000 meals per week to over 200 families. In the next phase of CA reopening, LACP hopes to bring back its cohort of 10 students who are learning the Industrial Arts through Good Life Mfg., using social distancing and PPE to ensure students stay safe.


The Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) is providing support to families experiencing hardships with the following services and programs: the Immigrant Families Fund, food distribution, virtual legal services, and information distribution. CARECEN will be there to ensure that its community recovers and thrives in spite of this crisis.

The Los Angeles Audubon Society has increased its organizational capacity by adapting existing programming into online environmental education activities that provide ways for students, teachers, and community members to stay connected to nature and STEAM learning The organization plans to further expand its online learning opportunities in the coming school year, blending guided science and art activities that promote a connection to nature at school, at home, and in local neighborhoods.

Southern California College Access Network's counseling staff was quick to transition to remote advising. Project SOAR counselors have maintained contact with students through texting, phone conversations, email, and video conferencing. The staff is also in the process of building out a text messaging and artificial intelligence platform that will be integrated into Project SOAR advising practices this summer and into AY 2020-2021. The organization will return to in-person, socially distanced advising on-site once cleared to do so.

Pediatric Therapy Network continues to deliver exceptional high-quality early education and therapeutic programming. PTN migrated nearly all of its programs to a telehealth platform, including the Best We Can Be early intervention and parent support programs. In addition, the team developed relevant, digitally accessible resources for families isolated at home that can be accessed for free via its website and YouTube channel.

Reading Partners is providing bilingual content-rich virtual resources to families, students, and schools via online platforms and text, including biweekly live storytime for students. While all of its school partners have requested the onsite presence of staff during the next school year, the organization will also continue to provide remote, individualized tutoring to students.


Crop Swap LA will require its staff to wear masks, gloves, and to evaluate themselves as to whether they are healthy enough to assist in garden installations. Only minimal staff/volunteers are to be present for installations, and interactions with the home residents will remain scarce. The West Adams Farmers Market also continues to run with approval from the city having visited to observe containment tactics.

Jenesse Center, Inc. has responded swiftly to continue to provide clients with services, switching to virtual formats to connect with clients when possible. During the pandemic, Jenesse is also experiencing an unprecedented number of calls to its crisis hotline. In response, the organization has added phone lines to assist callers, contracted with two local hotels to house survivors, and hired 5 additional Case Managers and one Client Service Specialist.

Safe Parking LA will activate a series of grassroots volunteer opportunities as planned. In response to the current landscape, Neighbors for Home activities will move forward with some modifications. The organization will work with partners as they are willing and available while shifting its focus to building a stronger community engagement infrastructure and developing a neighborhood volunteer community through networking and digital outreach.

Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE) understands eviction prevention has become an even higher priority as the COVID-19 pandemic. Its easy-to-use and multi-lingual online resources and tools can help tenants effectively document and respond to issues of harassment and slum housing conditions - two major drivers of displacement.

Clinica Msr. Oscar A. Romero is on the front lines of the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, playing a key role in both prevention and diagnosis of the virus. The clinic aims to: purchase equipment to provide primary care and mental health services through telehealth, provide remote health education related to COVID-19 for high-risk groups and educate underserved community members, provide sanitation supplies to homeless patients visiting its site for weekly showers, and facilitate medication delivery for high-risk patients.


The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks is shifting location of its mobile programming to serve LA city parks that are not offering Summer 2020 Youth Programs. Approximately 30 sites will host the vans this summer, with programs focused on outdoor activities that allow for social distancing such as field hockey, tennis, and track and field.

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is currently evaluating the Gonzales Park project completion timeline and at this time, there have been no changes made to the project scope or design. The organization envisions a significant grand opening celebration in spring 2021 honoring Jackie Robinson and uplifting the Compton community.

Los Angeles Maritime Institute's Ocean Adventure Together Program launches in July 2020. If outdoor gathering is permitted, LAMI will follow capacity guidelines and, if necessary, reduce the number of participants and increase the number of events and voyages offered. If not, LAMI is prepared to create enjoyable, immersive, and educational virtual adaptations of engagement plans, and suspending in-person activities until it is safe to do so.

Public Matters knows that traffic safety has become more urgent due to the pandemic as people who walk, bike and roll are using streets differently for outdoor recreation. The organization will enhance the project's digital mapping and communication products for community mobilization, education, training, and to promote social cohesion and will also adapt public performances and events for safe distancing.

The Urban Warehouse switched its after-school programming to online, virtual programming. For example, the organization is now using an online “Game of Skate" Zoom program, providing one-on-one tutoring online, and holding digital entrepreneurial workshops. The organization has also been responding to increased need in the community during its Food Bank Fridays.

Celebrating and Learning on Juneteenth

Posted June 13, 2020 by

In honor of Juneteenth this week, and in light of the ongoing fight for racial equality in our country, we wanted to elevate a few educational resources, events, and articles related to this often overlooked holiday. While organizations like Twitter and Square recently adopted Juneteenth as a company holiday, not enough people understand the historical significance of June 19th for Black Americans and descendents of slavery, and some states still do not recognize it as a holiday. As we continue conversations about systemic and structural racism in our city and beyond, we'll be using Juneteenth as an opportunity to educate ourselves further.

If you're looking for historical background on Juneteenth, check out these resources:

The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth

Nine Things to Know About the History of Juneteenth

What is Juneteenth?

Local Events:

Pies for Justice - Juneteenth Charity Bake Sale

Six Nineteen - Movement for Black Lives Events in Culver City, Thousand Oaks, and more

Juneteenth Community Bicycle Ride - Inner City Cycling Connection

Juneteenth Celebration for Teens with the Los Angeles Public Library - Watts Branch

Books about Juneteenth and the history that follows:

Stony the Road, Henry Louis Gates

Juneteenth, Ralph Ellison

All Different Now, Angela Johnson

We Were Eight Years in Power, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Other Good Reads:

A Juneteenth of Joy and Resistance

You can find more resources to assist Angelenos who are interested in learning more about anti-racism work and taking concrete action in our racial justice resource blog. It includes recommendations for reading and listening, ideas for how to get involved, and "know your rights" information for protesters.

Resources in the fight for racial justice

Posted June 12, 2020 by Team LA2050

The following resources are here to help Angelenos who are interested in learning more about anti-racism and taking action in support of the Black community. We've compiled these resources from our partners in Los Angeles, frontline advocacy organizations, and leaders in the fight for racial justice; we acknowledge that it is not an exhaustive list, but just a start.

If you know of other resources, please submit them through this form. Note: LA2050 is not coordinating the efforts on these lists. We are compiling and amplifying the resources sent to us.

Educate yourself:

Take action:

Know your rights and care for yourself:

A Career With Impact

Posted May 28, 2020 by Amanda Liaw

We are excited to share our conversation with Michael O'Gorman, Executive Director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), a national nonprofit that works with veterans to cultivate a new generation of farmers and food leaders. Michael has been farming since 1970 and first began FVC in 2008 out of the back of his pickup truck.

Q: What motivated you to start your career in social impact?

A: Even as a young kid, I've always thought about what I will do in my life that will be impactful. I farmed because I loved it but also because I wanted to do something that was real, difficult, and that would give me a platform to have an impact. Farming had no hype to it. In a way, throughout my entire farming career I have thought about impact, about the people who worked for me, and the people who ate my food. Coming after 9/11 was the convergence of two major things – men and women serving in the military who were coming from farm towns, and our farms that lacked men and women. I put two and two together and it seemed to amount to something greater. I knew I was onto something that no one else was doing and that would be impactful. But it became more than I ever imagined. And it had a major impact on me.

Q: What do you do in your current position?

A: As Executive Director I oversee the project, but I also think a lot about what we can do that will actually be of help to the most veterans. I try to assist them with any challenges. Having spent my career in agriculture, I think about veterans who want to start a life in agriculture and how we can help them succeed and stay with it.

Q: What one skill or resource has been indispensable to your career thus far?

A: As a vegetable farmer, I was attracted to the interplay of growing food and people. Vegetable production was like a team sport or group activity. People worked in unison with a common goal of creating a farm producing vegetables together. It took directing people to grow food as a communal creation. That lent itself to FVC; it's like my crew – we're all growing food together and instilling a sense of common purpose and shared joy.

Trends in the 2020 My LA2050 Grants Challenge

Posted May 28, 2020 by Megan Loughman

In this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, we received 285 proposals to make LA the best place to LIVE, LEARN, PLAY, CONNECT, and CREATE. We saw so many unique proposals working on every issue imaginable - civic engagement, food systems and sustainability, criminal justice reform, obesity, mental health, diversity in media, film, and television, homelessness, COVID-19 relief, and many more. If you didn't catch our last few blogs, we recapped trends in the proposals from each goal category: LIVE, LEARN, PLAY, CONNECT, and CREATE.

This week, we announced the 25 finalists in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge. Each of the finalist proposals will be up for a vote June 8th through June 15th. The results of voting will determine the size of the grant that each organization receives. But before we get to voting, here's some of the data we've gleaned from proposals to this year's grants challenge.

Types of Organizations

We're thrilled to have received 130+ more proposals than last year's grants challenge. We're grateful to every organization that participated in this year's challenge, especially given the uncertainty in our world. Of the 285 proposals we received in the challenge, 80 percent were from nonprofit organizations. About nine percent of proposals came from for-profit organizations, and another nine percent came from fiscally sponsored groups. We received five proposals from social enterprises or B-corps and three proposals from government entities. 60 percent of applicants had never applied to the grants challenge before.

Organization Size

A majority of organizations that applied to the grants challenge are on the smaller side in terms of staff with 70 percent of organizations reporting fewer than 20 employees. 43 percent of applicants are even smaller, reporting between zero and five employees. But, when it comes to organizational budgets, there was more of a range with 58 percent of applicants reporting annual operating budgets under $1 million. Of those organizations, 18 percent reported budgets in the range of $100,000 - $500,000. 42 percent of applicants have budgets greater than $1 million.

Type of Proposal

72 percent of applicants to the challenge sought funding to expand an existing program at their organization. 20 percent of proposals were seeking funding for a pilot program, and six percent were looking to fund the lateral application of a solution to a new issue area. Only one percent of proposals were seeking funding for research projects.

Regional Impact

We asked all 285 applicants to indicate which communities they would reach with their proposals. Applicants were given the option to select more than one geographic area or to select an overarching region — Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, or the LAUSD. Nearly half of all proposals selected all of Los Angeles County, 38 percent of proposals selected South LA as a focus of their work, 32 percent selected Central LA, and 27 percent selected East LA.

Impact Area and Metrics

In order of popularity, the most commonly selected metrics across goal categories were:

Top Metrics


Goal Category

Social and emotional support



Arts education



High school graduation rates



College matriculation



Resilient communities






Public arts and cultural events



Food insecurity



Minority- and women-owned businesses






Next Steps

Starting on June 8th, it's up to YOU to choose which organizations win funding for their projects. Just pick your favorite project from each category, login, and vote. The organization with the most votes in each category wins $100,000 to implement their project, second place wins $50,000, third place wins $25,000, fourth place wins $15,000, and fifth place takes home $10,000. We are excited to see your picks!

Keep up with LA2050