2022 Grants Challenge

Working for Change – Nonprofit Day in LA

This new event, Working for Change: Nonprofit Day in LA will bring together nonprofit organizations that are working in disadvantaged communities and providing essential services to millions of residents with the policy-making leadership of the County of Los Angeles.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

BIPOC- and Women-Owned Businesses

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA

West LA

South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

In 2020, the LA County Board of Supervisors appointed a group of industry representatives to identify strategies to advance economic recovery given the devastation, especially for black and brown residents. Given the vital role nonprofits will play in an equitable recovery, contracting policies & practices needed immediate reform. Since then, the Nonprofit/Philanthropy Working Group has been driving a coordinated effort to represent the challenges identified and the threats to nonprofit sustainability. For months we have focused on building a more constructive partnership between County departments heads contracting for social services, and nonprofit leaders serving disadvantaged community members. Given the millions in social service contracts, & the billions in federal recovery dollars, it is a unique moment to bring our sector together, recognize the essential role community-based organizations play in the lives of disadvantaged residents, & pilot new, more efficient practices.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

The nonprofit sector is the third largest employer in LA County and we typically draw attention to the needs of those we serve and rarely about the sustainability of organizations working in very challenging conditions, on very complex issues. The goal of Nonprofit Day is to gather leaders at the Hall of Administration to hear from County staff, discuss the most pressing issues affecting providers working across diverse communities from the perspectives of nonprofit organizations, and attract attention to the unique and vital role these groups play. Over the next several months, CNM will provide the project leadership, program planning, event logistics, secure catering, handle marketing and outreach, communicate with partners and colleagues, manage registration, create presentation and collateral material, schedule speakers and coordinate strategic direction for this half day event. Nonprofit Day is an important public opportunity to attract attention, connect more stakeholders, and engage in the next phase of problem-solving.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Nonprofit Day in LA gives our sector a chance to establish a set of priorities and build new partnerships with decision-makers designing social service contracts. It will serve as a public opportunity for stakeholders to come together to address the more challenging issue of getting services to those who are hardest to reach. LA County residents will be better served if organizations working in the areas hardest hit by the pandemic have access to public dollars to provide programs. The current system is outdated, expensive, and difficult for smaller groups to access. We plan to hold County leadership accountable for changing auditing practices, automating the procurement system, improving prompt payment and simplified invoicing, and updating technical assistance. If successful, more LA County residents living in under-served communities will have access to the services they need. It will build a new partnership between local nonprofits the Supervisors’ staff, and County departments.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

We have a clear set of recommendations that our nonprofit colleagues have identified, and Nonprofit Day is a new, very public approach designed to create a sense of urgency. We plan to draw attention to the challenges facing organizations working in the hardest hit parts of our County, and create a focused dialogue with service providers, elected officials, and key staff. Success will be measured by the number of people attending, the commitments we can get from county staff to move forward with our recommendations in the policies and practices as well as working relationships with County departments and community-based organizations. We will assess progress within 45 days of the event and to synchronize the event’s outcomes with the anti-racism goals set by the County earlier this year. To date, the County Board of Supervisors has passed three motions directing staff to address these key issues but we need to see results.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 325

Indirect Impact: 10,052,550