What is the My LA2050 Grants Challenge?
The My LA2050 Grants Challenge is an open call for ideas to make Los Angeles the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live. A total of $1M will be awarded among 25 organizations—five per goal category—to implement their proposals. Each organization will receive an award of between $10,000 to $100,000 over one year to support its efforts.
LA2050 will also commit to a one-year partnership with the winners—leveraging its resources, assets, and networks to help the projects succeed. Together, the winning organizations, LA2050, and Angelenos will make progress for the region that will change the course of our future.
Does my organization qualify to participate in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge?
Are you a registered nonprofit or fiscally-sponsored organization, for-profit company, or government agency serving Los Angeles County? Does your work touch on ANY of these metrics? THEN YES, YOU QUALIFY!
How should we plan for the next year given the evolving circumstances of COVID-19?
We understand how difficult it is to plan for a year-long grant period in our current context. We plan to be accommodating and flexible with our 25 winners, working with them over the course of their grant to adjust planned activities according to evolving public health guidelines and to ensure there is space to respond to emergent needs.
And, while we’d love to be optimistic and assume that in-person gatherings will be permitted sometime between now and the end of the grant period in August 2022, we can’t be sure. For that reason, please ensure that the activities described in your application align with current Los Angeles County public health guidelines, such as restrictions on in-person gatherings, except for those activities deemed essential (e.g., food distribution, medical services, etc.).
If you anticipate that guidelines in Los Angeles County will change in the next year to allow for your organization to conduct activities that are currently restricted (e.g., in-person educational instruction) please explain on your application what you will do under both circumstances.
Please note that applications that do not account for COVID-19 restrictions and precautions may be disqualified. If you have any questions, please feel free to email [email protected].
Do you receive inquiries or answer questions about the challenge via telephone?
Unfortunately, we do not take phone calls or meetings during this time due to the number of inquiries we receive. If you have questions, please consider attending one of our live information sessions on February 9, February 26, or March 16. We are also happy to answer your questions any time via email at [email protected].
What are the benefits of applying?
Beyond the potential to become a grantee of LA2050, we believe that applying to the challenge will provide additional benefits including:
- The chance to build a coalition of committed Angelenos and organizations to support your important work in LA
- Visibility in front of other foundations and exposure to additional funding sources; past challenges have resulted in +$3.5M from established philanthropic partners and inspired more than $6.5M in giving
- A page on the My LA2050 Ideas Archive site, a database of all organizations that have applied to the My LA2050 Grants Challenge and their proposals
- Access to periodic matching grants available to organizations featured on the My LA2050 Ideas Archive
- ‘Volunteer’ and ‘Donate’ buttons on each submission page to drive resources to your organization
- The opportunity to cultivate and build new relationships with peers
- Increased awareness and exposure to your work via our public platform
- A chance to grow your skill in communicating your organization’s impact, including through the creation of videos, photos, tweets, and pithy messaging as you promote your submission
What kinds of projects are you looking to support?
We’re open! But here are some ideas about what we’re looking for:
- Bold ideas that will produce measurable wins for the LA region
- A spirit of collaboration and desire to unify and amplify collective efforts
- Clear focus on inclusion, diversity of voices, and equity
- Efforts that not only produce positive results, but are also focused on increasing local engagement and civic participation
- A desire to test new strategies
Both new and existing projects are eligible for submission. All winning projects must be completed, and the grant award must be expended, within 12 months of receipt of funds. For more inspiration, check out submissions from previous winners at the My LA2050 Ideas Archive.
Does the program have to serve all of Los Angeles (City or County)?
No! Your project may serve our broader region or zero-in on a particular neighborhood, community, city, or region in Los Angeles County. It’s up to you.
We are a small organization with a small social media following. How can we compete with larger organizations in voting?
In general, we’ve seen both small and large organizations do well in the voting stage. It’s less about the size of your list, and more about knowing how to correctly engage the audience you do have. If you do get to the voting stage, we provide EVERY finalist with a GOTV guide full of social media copy, graphics, and ideas for engaging your network. Ultimately, we’ve found that social media is only a small contributor to the outcome of voting and that you don’t need a massive following to do well in the voting period.
Are there examples of past winners somewhere?
Yes, just head to our My LA2050 Ideas Archive! You can search by issue area or keyword. (Or click here to go directly to a page of previous winners).
Can I submit more than one application?
There can be multiple proposals from the same organization, as long as the submissions are unique and in different goal categories. However, we would recommend consolidating your resources, collaborators, and supporters to submit one awesome proposal!
What are some tips for submitting ideas to the My LA2050 Grants Challenge?
Think about impact. Be imaginative and audacious. We want to hear your most ambitious ideas – but we also want to know that your project is feasible, implementable, and that it could impact the LA2050 goals and metrics.
Collaborate. We are eager to see folks working together to improve Los Angeles.
Share how your proposal will impact the LA2050 goal you are focusing on. For example, if you’ve chosen the ‘Learn’ category, you might describe how your proposal will improve graduation rates; if you’ve chosen the ‘Connect’ category, you might explain how your proposal will increase voting rates or volunteerism.
Be sure to explain why you think the strategy and methods are the best course of action for impacting the goal and metrics.
Please include an image that represents your idea or organization. You’ll get the best results if you send us the highest resolution image you have. We recommend avoiding a lot of text or logos in your images, as we may have to crop them to fit our site. Images should be in JPEG, or PNG format.
Videos can also help quickly articulate your project or your organization’s mission. To include a video, first upload the video to a place like YouTube or Vimeo, and then include the URL for the video with your application.
Applicants should not expect to be able to revise their applications after the submission date.
Read full application guide and preview the evaluation scorecard to get a more precise idea of what we want to see.
Check out the LA2050 Goals, the LA2050 Report, and our most recent Submissions Report for additional information.
I have feedback on the LA2050 goals. How can I share that with you?
We want your feedback! Email us at [email protected] with your feedback.
We want Angelenos to see themselves as part of the solutions we need to improve our region. And we want to tap into the expertise of the organizations, agencies, and companies who have great ideas about how to boost engagement on local issues.
How do I vote?
Public voting will take place between Monday, June 21, 2021 (9am Pacific Time) and Monday, June 28, 2021 (5pm Pacific Time) on this website, challenge.la2050.org.
Will you be advertising to the general public about voting?
Yes! We do all that we can to inform Angelenos about the My LA2050 Grants Challenge through social media, digital ads, our LA2050 newsletter, and more.
Send us your questions!
If you have any questions that aren’t answered on this page, please send us an email at [email protected].