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, for-profit, fiscally-sponsored, or governmental organization serving Los Angeles County? Does your work touch on ANY of these metrics? THEN YES, YOU QUALIFY!
With all that’s going on around COVID-19, we’re worried our proposal might be affected. What should we do?
We understand that submissions involving events, direct service, and other activities might be impacted by concerns surrounding COVID-19. Please apply assuming that all will return to normal (we certainly hope it does!), and in the event that it does not, we’ll work with you to adjust as needed.
Why was public voting postponed?
LA2050 stands in solidarity with those who are calling for justice in Los Angeles and in our nation. Like all of you, we are grieving for our city right now, listening to the outrage of protesters, and demanding action of our leadership.
Following the lead of the My LA2050 finalists, we have decided to postpone the public voting portion of the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by one month. We are proud of our finalists who are on the frontlines of advocacy and service in LA and want to support them in focusing their resources at this crucial time. Voting will now take place from Monday, July 13, 2020 (9am Pacific Time) through Monday, July 20, 2020 (5pm Pacific Time).
What’s new this year?
The 2020 My LA2050 Grants Challenge is distinct from previous challenges in several ways:
- Each of the 25 finalist organizations that participate in voting will receive a grant. First place in each goal category will receive $100,000, second: $50,000, third: $25,000, fourth: $15,000, and fifth: $10,000.
- We’ve selected Social Venture Partners Los Angeles to serve as our external evaluation partner. All proposals will be reviewed, scored, and evaluated by members of SVP.
- We recently refreshed our LA2050 goals and metrics to ensure we’re keeping up with the most pressing issues in our region.
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. We are happy to answer your questions via email at [email protected]
What are the benefits of applying?
Beyond the potential to receive a grant for your work, we believe that applying to the challenge will provide additional benefits including:
- The opportunity to participate in a first-of-its-kind regional effort
- Increased awareness and exposure via our public platform
- Increased understanding of LA’s social impact landscape
- The opportunity to cultivate and build new relationships with peers
- The chance to build a coalition of committed Angelenos and organizations to support important work in LA
- The opportunity to learn how to tell a compelling story about your organization’s impact
- Inspiring the creation of videos, photos, tweets, and pithy messaging to promote your proposal
- Visibility in front of other foundations and potential alternative funding sources. Past challenges have resulted in +$2.5M in grants from outside funders using the LA2050 platform for their grantmaking
- ‘Volunteer’ and ‘Donate’ buttons on each submission page to drive resources to your organization
- 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
What kinds of projects are you looking to support?
We’re open! But here are some ideas about what we’re looking for:
- Bold efforts 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 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. You don’t need a large social media following to win votes. Ultimately, we’ve found that social media is only a small contributor to the outcome of voting.
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?
Collaborate. We are eager to see folks working together to improve Los Angeles.
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.
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.
Your application goes through a moderation process, and will show up on the site if it is approved. If we have questions about your application, we will be in touch.
Read the application and 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, July 13, 2020 (9am Pacific Time) and Monday, July 20, 2020 (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.
How many times can I vote?
You can only vote once per goal category, for a total of 5 votes. It is not required that you use all 5 of your votes, but we encourage you to do so! If you’d like to read up on proposals you’re less familiar with before you vote, we have all of the submissions posted and available.
Why do I need to sign in with phone, email, or Facebook in order to vote?
The short answer: we want to make sure you’re not a bot. We’re asking for this information for authentication purposes and to ensure that we are not receiving multiple voting forms from one individual.
How will you use my information?
We definitely won’t spam you. We will only contact you if you opt-in to our LA2050 newsletter (which you should for great jobs, events, news, and LA love in general!) We will not distribute your information or sell it to a third party, promise.
I signed in with my email address, but haven’t received an email yet. What’s going on?
If you entered your email address correctly, but don’t see a confirmation message, please check your spam folder. If you still don’t see it after several minutes, either contact us at [email protected] or try using another method to confirm your votes (e.g., phone or Facebook).
I clicked on the link sent to my email (or entered the code sent to my phone) and received an error message. What should I do?
You may have encountered this error message because you switched devices. It’s important that you complete the voting process on the same device that you started it on. Go back to your original device, and try again!
It’s also possible that the link or code has expired. If this is the case, you should be able to resend the code or email in order to confirm your votes.
Send us your questions!
If you have any questions that aren’t answered on this page, please send us an email at [email protected].