2015 Grants Challenge

Training LA Nonprofits With The Best Ideas To Create The Biggest Impact

We will host a 4-month training program for startup nonprofits that are based in and serving greater Los Angeles. The program will teach the most promising new nonprofits to create sustainable business models, to use data to innovate faster, and to build partnerships that enable their organizations to scale. Our LA2050 program will culminate with a pitch competition, where industry leaders and our participants will gather to showcase their bold ideas and make LA the best place to create change.


How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

Engage residents and stakeholders

Expand a pilot or a program

How will your proposal improve the following CREATE metrics?​

Jobs per capita

Minority- and women-owned firms

Number of high growth startups

Venture capital investment

Recruiting and retention rates for local higher education institutions (Dream Metric)

Percentage of graduates from local higher education institutions that remain in LA County 5 years after graduating (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to CREATE.

Our program trains promising nonprofit startups to create sustainable business models, to use data to measure their impact and innovate faster, and to create a network of partners that will enable their organizations to scale. At Change Better, we promote best practices for the nonprofit space, bringing in new techniques and knowledge from other sectors to help organizations maximize their limited resources and achieve greater impact.

Over the 4 months of the program, we will train participating organizations on business strategies, data systems and metrics, and partnerships and collaboration through the Change Better Startup Curriculum. The curriculum brings together best practices from the for-profit business and tech startup worlds into the context of running a nonprofit. It’s been tested, refined, and proven to work over the course of the last year and a half.

The training culminates with Pitch Day where we will bring all of our program participants together with other leaders in the LA nonprofit community for a high-energy, big-stakes competition where five attendees will walk away with $1,000 grants.

While LA has been a hub for artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs for years, the geography makes it a difficult city in which to connect. This pitch day brings together the best and brightest nonprofit startups from all corners of the county to meet, and form partnerships. We believe that all attendees will be able to bring back skills that will allow them to achieve the LA2050 create goals.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

Our goal is to provide best-in-class resources for nonprofits, so we use data to improve the quality of our resources.

To measure our program, we look at the type and frequency of member needs, the kinds of solutions we offer, and the rate of adoption on the insights we provide. In addition, we conduct extensive ethnographic interviews at the end of each program to gather qualitative data on participants’ experiences.

Through this framework, we have consistently witnessed the impact of our program. Our members have told us that we’ve created a safe space to explore new ideas and build the skills needed to be successful. As one of them explained:

“There are two opposing pulls in running an organization – the passion and the business. I do this because I’m passionate about it and it’s always been hard for us to balance that side with the business side. You brought those two pieces closer together and showed us how the business can support the mission.”

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support