The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles swiftly proved itself to be a strong instrument for fundraising and partnerships. In its first fiscal year, there were 15 active civic programs and pledges totaling over $15 million and by the end of the second calendar year, the Fund had revenue of $22 million (through December 2015).
The Fund hit the ground running in early 2014 with the California Community Foundation as its fiscal sponsor. We assembled sufficient unrestricted donations to cover five years of operating costs at program inception, allowing for a focus on programs moving forward.
By Fall 2014, the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles established itself as an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit with a Board of Directors drawing on the talents of local leaders in business, education, government, and the social sector. The diversity of our board reflects the unifying spirit of our mission.
The Fund jumped into action in December 2014 when an arsonist set a downtown construction site ablaze, destroying thousands of care packages designated for housebound senior citizens served by the City’s Department of Aging. The Fund immediately launched a disaster-relief campaign, raising $225,000 from 1,500 donors to deliver the gifts in time for the holidays.
In the spring of 2015, the Fund made it possible to extend the LAPD’s DART to every one of the LAPD’s 21 divisions, providing a critical tool for breaking the cycle of violence in LA’s communities. DART teams had previously served victims in fewer than half of those 21 locations across the city.
The Fund backed summer programs in 2014 serving youth in our most underserved communities in Los Angeles. By keeping parks open and active at night, we gave kids throughout L.A. a safe place to go in support of the Summer Night Light’s program’s seventh year. We also helped to fund summer jobs for 10,000 young people, helping the city’s Employment and Workforce Development Department meet the Mayor’s goal of doubling the number of youth served by the program that summer.
These are only a few of the high-impact programs the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles has created and implemented. Our work is already attracting recognition in the world of public-private engagement, most recently through an in-depth feature in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. And we’ve entered our second year spearheading new ways to match private enterprise with public goals.
In September 2015, the Fund sponsored the U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit, where Mayor Garcetti joined Vice President Joe Biden, local elected leaders, and Chinese officials to sign agreements limiting emissions. To assist in addressing homelessness, the Fund launched its #HomesForHeroes campaign in November 2015 to provide move-in assistance for 500 homeless veterans. The Fund also supports the Bloomberg i-team, which collaborates across city departments , civic leaders and nonprofit organizations to address complex city issues. Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the i-team is focusing on inclusive neighborhood revitalization while supporting economic development and civic engagement.
We look forward to continuing our work and building brand-new partnerships to make Los Angeles a better place.