One of the best things about the My LA2050 Grants Challenge is seeing the great ideas you submit about making Los Angeles the best place to live, learn, connect, create, and play. This year, these ideas will get even more support thanks to some incredible partners including the Annenberg Foundation, the Snap Foundation, Second Home Hollywood, and Citi. Our partners are contributing both financial and in-kind support, expanding your ability to affect change in Los Angeles.
There is an even bigger opportunity to make an impact thanks to Citi, our newest My LA2050 Grants Challenge partner. We're thrilled to be working with such an impressive company that plays a role in the financial lives of so many Angelenos.
Citi has pledged $25,000 in funding for small business development, financial inclusion, and housing with a special focus on projects that address the racial wealth gap in Los Angeles. In years past, we've received numerous submissions to the grants challenge across each of these issues, and we hope this year will be no exception. We want this partnership to help local organizations working at the intersections of race, housing, economic development, and personal financial health access even more funding than what is offered by the Goldhirsh Foundation.
Citi will select grant recipients from proposals submitted to the My LA2050 Grants Challenge in June 2020.
The deadline to submit a proposal is April 3. We're excited to see your ideas!
We hope that you, the people you serve, your teams, and your families are doing well and staying safe. We're thinking of you.
It's a challenging time. We understand that many of our grantees may have paused programs or pivoted to other activities in response to the current public health crisis. We want to help, so we invite current grantees to request new uses of existing budgets and funds. Accordingly, the Goldhirsh Foundation worked with our legal and finance teams to create a streamlined process for grantees to extend their current grants beyond the deadline. All grantees have been notified of this new process.
We have also postponed reporting requirements for all current grantees.
Finally, we extended the deadline for our upcoming grant applications through the My LA2050 Grants Challenge to April 3. We have not changed our funding guidelines for applications as we recognize that as we move forward, there will be an increase in need for funds for all types of social impact work. We are, however, planning to offer winning organizations the chance to amend their grant applications in June, with the information available then. We hope this flexibility helps organizations submit applications that suit your organization best.
We so appreciate all of the work that you do each and every day.
Special thank you to Southern California Grantmakers for being a leader in philanthropy and providing resources and directions to grantmakers during this time.
President, Goldhirsh Foundation
We are now relying on digital services more than ever. Here's a brief list of tech tools and resources that are being offered for free or at a discount:
For more resources in response to COVID-19, check out our article compiling all the local resources we're aware of.
If you know of other resources, please submit them through this form.
One of the best things about the My LA2050 Grants Challenge is seeing the great ideas you submit about making Los Angeles the best place to live, learn, connect, create, and play. This year, these ideas will get even more support thanks to some incredible partners including the Annenberg Foundation, the Snap Foundation, Citi, and Second Home Hollywood. Our partners are contributing both financial and in-kind support, expanding your ability to affect change in Los Angeles.
We are thrilled to welcome the Snap Foundation to the team as a funding partner for the My LA2050 Grants Challenge. The Snap Foundation will be keeping an eye out for projects that develop pathways to the creative economy for youth in Los Angeles. Snap is interested in testing innovative programs, taking risks in funding new ideas, and investing in ideas that can be scaled.
So if your organization has a project that fits these guidelines, submit it to the My LA2050 Grants Challenge. The CREATE goal category is probably a good place to start!
Recently, the LA2050 Team hosted the Snap Foundation's Youth Advisory Council to discuss participatory grantmaking and this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge. We were excited to meet some of the bright, young individuals interested in social change and to answer questions about our challenge. We're excited the Snap Foundation is adding additional funding to applicants to this year's grants challenge, and we hope this is just the beginning of a lasting partnership!
Attention work-from-homers, we've got a challenge for you – support small businesses and have a virtual lunch with your team.
At LA2050, we're lucky that we can work remotely, so we're doing what we can to support small businesses during this time and stay connected and present with our team. For the next month, we're committing to buying a weekly team lunch* from a local business that's working hard to stay afloat.
Who else will join us in our #TeamLunchChallenge?
* We'll be paying it forward and treating some of our grantees to team lunches!
Suggestions to get you started:
(Have suggestions? Tweet us at @LA2050 to share!)
Shout out to these heroes for providing free school lunch for LAUSD students:
Guides to get you started:
Eater LA's guide to take out
Infatuation LA's guide to takeout by neighborhood
When applying for grant funding, it can sometimes be hard to understand what, exactly, each question is getting asking for. We get it – it's hard to take all your passion and expertise and boil it down into a short answer. To give you some help, we've listed all the questions on the My LA2050 Grants Challenge application along with our expert tips for making your application the best it can be!
Ready to start? You can access the application here.
1. Upload a picture that shows your organization in action – your awesome volunteers, the fabulous staff, the amazing artwork of your students, or the people you work with. You can also use your organization's logo (but pictures tend to resonate best with people that visit our website).
2. Project title. Think of a snappy title that summarizes your project in the most enticing way possible! When your proposal goes live on our site, audiences will form their first impression of your project through your photo and project title – so make sure they're as informative as possible.
3. The first question asks “In one to two sentences, please describe the mission of your organization (300 character limit):"
Here you can give a short overview of your organization or use your organization's mission statement.
4. Question two asks “In one to three sentences, please succinctly describe the project or program this grant will support (550 character limit)"
The keyword here is “succinctly!" We are looking for a short summary of what will be accomplished with this grant. We are not looking for another description of your organization.
5. Next, we ask for a a sample tweet encouraging people to vote for your organization's project/proposal (280 characters or less)
We want everyone to know about the work you're doing and this helps us promote your project. Think about writing a line that sums up your project's impact. Please include your organization twitter handle and any partners on the project.
6. In question four and five you will select the goals and metrics your submission will impact:
We recommend you choose the primary goal category (Live, Learn, Connect, Create, or Play) based on the LA2050 metrics that best fit your proposal. You can choose up to three metrics for your proposal.
7. For the question that asks “In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?" Please only select areas in which you will be directly working (there is no benefit for being in a lot of places and there is no detriment to just serving one part of LA). You can select specific areas of LA, or you can select the entire county or city. But please only select “County of Los Angeles" IF your project has a countywide benefit and “City of Los Angeles" IF your project has a citywide benefit. Select LAUSD only if you have a district-wide partnership.
8. In question seven, “In what stage of innovation is this project?" Choose the response that most closely fits your proposal. Short descriptions follow:
a. Research (initial work to identify and understand the problem)
b. Pilot project or new program (testing or implementing a new idea)
c. Expand existing program (expanding and continuing ongoing successful projects or programs)
d. Applying a proven model or solution to a new issue or sector (e.g, using a job recruiting software or strategy to match clients to supportive housing sites, applying demonstrated strategies from advocating for college affordability to advocating for housing affordability and homelessness, etc.)
9. Question 8: Which of LA2050's resources will be of the most value to you? (check all that apply) Aside from grant funding, we want to know any other needs of your organization. We have partners that may be able to provide in-kind donations such as office space, tech support, and more.
10. Now we get into the longer form questions, like question nine: Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
a. What is the project context / what is the need you're responding to (1,000 character limit) Here, we want to better understand why you've decided to take this project on. Why now? And how did you decide on this particular project or proposal? Use this answer to highlight the need for your services.
b. Why are you uniquely suited to take this on? (1,000 character limit) Here we are asking for important context about your organization that makes you uniquely qualified for this work. Use this answer to highlight your expertise, track record, and ability to be successful.
11. In question 10 we ask you to explain how you will define and measure success for your project. Describe your vision for success for this project. (1,500 character limit) We want to know what you hope to accomplish with this grant (in both the short and long-term). We want to know exactly how you will define and measure success. What outcomes do you hope to see and how will you track them? The key here is that you have very clear ideas about how to know you're successful, not necessarily that you have very sophisticated data collection.
12. Question 11 asks for a a timeline and description of the activities for this project (for the duration of the grant period - approx. July 2020 - July 2021). Here, we'd like to understand the milestones on the path to success. We want to understand what will happen at each stage of the grant and when?
13. Question 12 asks about the impact of your project.
First we'd like to know approximately how many people will be directly impacted by this proposal?
Direct impact is the output your proposal will produce or the number of people primarily impacted. eg: Your proposal will train 300 teachers or volunteers.
Secondly, we ask b. how many people will be indirectly impacted by this proposal?
Indirect impact is the secondary or long-term effects of your proposal that you hope to accomplish. eg: The 300 teachers/volunteers you train will educate over 5,000 students)
14.Once you've totaled your impact, question 13 asks for just a little more information by asking you to “describe the broader impact of your proposal."
Depending on your proposal, you may want to include a description of its impact on the environment and physical space, its impact on policy, impact on the future of the city, a description of the population being served by this proposal, an explanation of the numbers provided in question 12, and other intangibles. Note: DO NOT try to address EACH of these, choose one or two. This question is intended to help those proposals for which impact is harder to classify than simply direct vs. indirect. If your proposal is not people-centric, describe its impact here. Otherwise, use this question to dive deeper into the impact of your work.
15. The finish line is close! Question 14 asks for a line-item budget describing how you will use the grant funding to implement your project or activities. We understand the difficulty of creating a budget for a hypothetical future project; a good proposal will include a budget that is realistic and thorough. Please provide us with a budget for the first-place, $100,000 grant. If selected as a winner, you will have an opportunity to make adjustments to the budget you provide here, but we expect this one to be as close to final as possible. You should indicate your main areas of expense for the grant. Please also be sure to detail any funding that will be allocated to collaborators on the project.
16. Last question! Question 15: If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organization/s in the project. (800 character limit) (optional)
This question only applies if you are submitting a collaborative proposal. Describe your partners and their role in the project.
Ready to start? You can access the application here.
One of the best things about the My LA2050 Grants Challenge is seeing the great ideas you submit about making Los Angeles the best place to live, learn, connect, create, and play.
This year, these ideas will get even more support thanks to some incredible partners including the Annenberg Foundation, the Snap Foundation, and Second Home Hollywood. Our partners are contributing both financial and in-kind support, expanding your ability to affect change in Los Angeles.
For the past five years, we've proudly counted the Annenberg Foundation as a partner to the My LA2050 Grants Challenge. This year Annenberg will be providing $50,000 of additional grant funding to the winning organizations to support their efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion. The recipients will have the chance to audit their board, staff, volunteers, and those they serve to ensure that diversity is present across all aspects of their work.
The 2018 My LA2050 Grants Challenge Winners at the Annenberg Foundation.
Past winners have used funds from the Annenberg Foundation to develop programs to increase the diversity of their board, conduct diversity and equity training for staff and volunteers, and develop policies and procedures to increase equitable practices in hiring and recruitment.
We're grateful to have the Annenberg Foundation as a longstanding partner in this work, and we're even more grateful for their continued commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in Los Angeles County. To find out more about who the foundation funds and how to apply for grants, visit their website. The Annenberg Foundation prioritizes 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations serving the five-county region of Greater Los Angeles that are well-integrated into the fabric of the communities they serve.
We love hosting webinars to help you create your My LA2050 Grants Challenge applications. Check out some frequently asked questions from participants below. You can also see our complete list of FAQs here. If you'd like to ask your own question, sign up for our final webinar will take place on March 12 or you can attend in person by RSVPing here.
Can fiscally-sponsored groups apply?
Can we apply in more than one goal category?
Answer: Yes, as long as you're applying with distinct proposals
How do we build budgets since we don't know at what level we'll be funded? Do we shoot for the $100K?
Answer: Shoot for the stars! Build your budget for the $100,000 top prize. LA2050 will work with you to adjust accordingly if you receive a smaller grant.
How does LA2050 define "LA”?
Answer: the County of Los Angeles
What supporting documentation do we need?
Answer: If you're applying as a 501(c)(3), your IRS determination letter. If you're applying as a business, your business license.
How do we determine which of the five goal categories best fits our application?
Answer: Start with our 68 LA2050 impact metrics! Find the ones that align best with your organization's goals, and choose your category based on the metrics.
How will projects be reviewed and scored?
Answer: This year, Social Venture Partners is serving as our external evaluation partner. We've posted the full scorecard they'll be using on our website at challenge.la2050.org/submit
Does the grants challenge fund existing projects, or only new project proposals?
Answer: Both! We're glad to accept submissions for both new and ongoing projects and programs.
Does our organization need to be based in Los Angeles?
Answer: No, but the activities of your proposal must directly serve Los Angeles County.
Are there any limitations on funding for overhead, capital improvement, or administrative costs?
Answer: There are no limitations to overhead, capital improvement, or administrative costs. Please just ensure that your budget aligns with the activities you've outlined in your proposal, and that the grant funds will be expended within the 12-month grant period.
What time period should the timeline cover?
Answer: The 12-month grant period will be from July 2020 to July 2021.
One of the best things about the My LA2050 Grants Challenge is seeing the great ideas you submit about making Los Angeles the best place to live, learn, connect, create, and play. This year, these ideas will get even more support thanks to some incredible partners including the Annenberg Foundation, the Snap Foundation, and Second Home Hollywood. Our partners are contributing both financial and in-kind support, expanding your ability to affect change in Los Angeles.
One of the things that can help an organization succeed is access to space - for meetings, for staff, or for events. Our partner, Second Home Hollywood, is making space, beautiful space, available for select organizations. Once finalists are announced, Second Home Hollywood, will award $60,000 in donated space for co-working, meeting, and events to select organizations.
You know what's better than a plain old office view? Plants and hummingbirds at your window at Second Home Hollywood
Second Home is a co-working space that embraces biophilic design principles (that means they like plants). They've created the densest urban forest in Los Angeles, housing more than 6,500 trees and plants on-site, and they were recently featured in Curbed. Second Home also houses the Goldhirsh Foundation team! We recently took the leap and moved into Second Home's office space, and we look forward to having LA2050 applicants and innovators join us here.
So whether your team needs a place for a staff retreat or board meeting, a space for your employees to work, or a fabulous place for a large event, support from Second Home Hollywood might be just the thing you need to make your project successful. If you think your work could be enhanced with some access to office, event, or meeting space, make sure to indicate it on your application (question 15)!
We can't wait to see what you come up with! For more info on Second Home Hollywood, head to their website.
You know voting rates is one of the metrics we keep an eye on at LA2050. Primary voting starts on February 22 in 2020, so here are answers to some of your questions about voting in LA County.
Am I eligible to vote?
*Some individuals incarcerated in LA County Jails are still eligible to vote.
How do I register to vote?
The deadline to register to vote online or by mail is February 18. (If you miss this deadline, you can also register to vote in-person at a county elections office, neighborhood polling place or community vote center.)
How do I vote?
If you're an LA County voter, you can cast a ballot at any vote center in the county. Find the vote center closest to you using this interactive map.
If you want to vote by mail, you must request a ballot here by February 25.
To return it by mail, your ballot needs to be postmarked on or before March 3 and arrive at a county elections office by March 6. No stamps necessary!
You can also drop it off in-person at any Vote by Mail drop box or at any vote center in LA County before 8pm on March 3. Don't forget to sign the envelope for your Vote by Mail ballot!
When does voting begin?
Some vote centers will open on February 22 while others will open on February 29. Centers are open from 9am-5pm. On March 3, all vote centers will be open from 7am-8pm.
Scheduled to work on Election Day? Under California law, you can take up to 2 paid hours off to vote in a statewide election as long as you notify your employer at least 2 working days before.
What else is new about voting this year?
Check out our article on 5 major changes to the way LA County votes this year for more information on our newly redesigned system.