If you haven’t heard about the My LA2050 Grants Challenge, here are the details. This program will provide $1,000,000 in grants to 10 non-profits, with $100,000 going to each of the 10 winners. Funding and administration of the program comes from The Goldhirsch Foundation. This initiative intends to “make LA the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live” by outlining a vision for Los Angeles based on those 5 areas.
What Makes this Grant Different?
The My LA2050 initiative excited me because it includes a crowd-sourcing component. After an open-call for ideas, all the qualified applicants appeared on their website. Community members voted on their top choice for each of the 5 categories. The top 10 vote-getters in each area (50 in total) became finalists. An internal jury made up of the Goldhirsh Foundation board and staff will award the 10 grants .
This structure of this campaign serves two purposes. First, it allowed community guidance for the grant application process. By allowing the community to vote, everyone can voice their own priorities for LA. That’s cool, for sure.
But there’s a second benefit to this kind of campaign. The applicants received a media boost because of the voting process. Each non-profit appeared on the My LA2050 website, with links for the community to learn more about their organization. The website encouraged the community to volunteer or donate to these organizations, independent of the grant process.
Not everyone will be a winner, but everyone who applied stands to benefit from the exposure.
I’m inspired to do something similar
No, I don’t have a million dollars to donate to charity. But I do have this website and my social media platforms.
There are so many non-profits I admire. Why not share their work here? (I did something similar a few years ago and people responded well. Now I’m going to make it a regular thing.
Amplifying great causes might incentivize my friends to get involved with a non-profit they didn’t even know existed. It’s also an opportunity to highlight the work of the Human Services Commission in West Hollywood, on which I serve.
I’m inspired by these organizations, so I’m going to resume featuring them on this blog and across social media.
People often ask me how they can take part in the fight to improve the lives of… well, everyone. Now I can point folks to my blog and say “pick a charity, then volunteer or send them your dollars.”
I’ll post about these causes as often as I can. And if you champion a cause that you think people should know about, please send the info my way. I’m always keen to hear more about the good work people are doing in our community.