South LA Decides Participatory Grant Making Initiative (SLAD-PGMI)

Our SLAD-PGM Initiative is presently not accepting applications. Please check back towards the end of summer 2024 for updates

Project Goal

The goal of the SLAD PGMI is to support the planning and implementation of projects focused on identifying and taking strategic actions to create policy solutions and/or improve systems of services around distinct priority areas (defined below) to improve the lives of children, prenatal to age 5, and their families. 

BEST START REGION 2

This Request for Proposals (RFP) is a call for project proposals, specifically targeting the area known as Best Start Region 2. This region includes four communities within South Los Angeles. (map below):

  • Best Start Broadway / Manchester (BSBWM)
  • Best Start Compton / East Compton (BSCEC)
  • Best Start Watts and Willowbrook (BSWW)
  • Best Start West Athens (BSWA)
Best Start Region 2 Map

ABOUT SOUTH LA DECIDES

South LA Decides (SLAD) is the vehicle that Best Start Region 2 uses to expand participatory grant making decisions to South LA and Compton residents. This initiative will ensure that residents of Region 2 are able to participate in the decision-making process to distribute funding to organizations working to increase the health and well-being of children aged prenatal to age 5 living in South LA and Compton.

The Participatory Grant Making Initiative (PGMI) builds on the successful work that each Best Start community in Region 2 has achieved. This regranting program strengthens local organizations’ capacity to address community-identified issues through policy and systems change pilot projects. In Spring 2023, over 2,000 Best Start Region 2 residents were engaged in a community vote to determine local priority issues they would like to see funded for their communities. Once completed, community organizations are invited to apply for funding, and applications are selected by the Regional Task Force (RTF). SLAD PGM grants support infrastructure and programmatic development for less resourced but highly active CBOs based in South LA. In addition to grant funding, RC provides critically needed financial and program management support to awardees. Since 2021, thirteen small local nonprofits have received a combined $2.8M in 2 rounds of the SLAD PGM process. This RFP initiates RC’s third round of funding of an additional $1.2M for distribution to South LA CBOs that serve the Best Start Region 2 communities.

Regional Grants:

If your organization is applying for a Regional grant, the work of the project must be conducted in a minimum of two communities (preferably across all 4 communities). In the proposal narrative, indicate the Best Start communities your project will serve, and the priority area your project will address (see Regional Priorities column in the table below for a list of priorities).

E.g., This Regional project will address Affordable, Quality, Healthy Food Options in Broadway-Manchester, Compton / East Compton and West Athens.

REGIONAL PRIORITY AREAS FOR FUNDING
  • Many residents of South LA must travel beyond their communities to access fresh fruits and vegetables, and struggle to maintain a healthy diet for their families, impacting their overall health
    • Example Proposals: increasing access to affordable, and culturally relevant healthy food; provide opportunities to create local food economies; create networks to ensure fresh produce can be accessed by all Region 2 residents, etc.
  • Housing is essential to the health and wellbeing of families and individuals. Yet, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) in 2022 there were about 69,144 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in LA County. Housing in LA County is out of reach for many residents, in particular low-income renters are more likely to spend over 50% of their income on housing. Increasing rent prices in conjunction with economic challenges, such as job loss because of the COVID-19 pandemic, have caused many families to fall behind on rent or been forced to live in multifamily households.
  • Examples: Examples: homelessness prevention programs/services; access to counsel for tenants; pathways to homeownership, support for individuals that are at-risk of Homelessness, resources to navigate affordable housing system etc.
  • Communities benefit from skills training and programs, fostering stronger ties among members. Parent education programs aid individuals in handling the challenges of parenting through positive discipline techniques, child development skills, and accessing community services. School-age children and young people benefit from diverse programs outside of school, promoting their potential, from academics to sports and workforce preparation. Youth Development Programs support children from challenging homes or limited resources, nurturing social and cognitive skills while reducing risky behaviors.
  • Examples: college fair; after-school programs; sports camp; parenting classes; skill building classes (typing, computer, finance, etc.), etc.
Local Grants:

Local Grants must address one community (if applying to conduct a project in more than one Best Start community, a separate and complete proposal is required for each chosen Best Start community), and one priority area (see Local Priorities column in the table below) within the chosen community. In the proposal narrative, indicate the Best Start community the project will serve, and the priority area your project will address.

E.g., Our project will create access to Affordable & Safe Housing in West Athens.

LOCAL PRIORITY AREAS FOR FUNDING
  • Many residents of South LA must travel beyond their communities to access fresh fruits and vegetables, and struggle to maintain a healthy diet for their families, impacting their overall health.1
    • Example Proposals: increasing access to affordable and healthy food; provide opportunities to create local food economies; create networks to ensure fresh produce can be accessed by all Region 2 residents, etc.
  • Housing is essential to the health and wellbeing of families and individuals. Yet, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) in 2022 there were about 69,144 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in LA County. Housing in LA County is out of reach for many residents, in particular low-income renters are more likely to spend over 50% of their income on housing. Increasing rent prices in conjunction with economic challenges, such as job loss because of the COVID-19 pandemic, have caused many families to fall behind on rent or been forced to live in multifamily households.2
    • Examples: homelessness prevention programs/services; access to counsel for tenants; pathways to homeownership, support for individuals that are at-risk of Homelessness, resources to navigate affordable housing system etc.
  • Communities benefit from skills training and programs, fostering stronger ties among members. Parent education programs aid individuals in handling the challenges of parenting through positive discipline techniques, child development skills, and accessing community services. School-age children and young people benefit from diverse programs outside of school, promoting their potential, from academics to sports and workforce preparation. Youth Development Programs support children from challenging homes or limited resources, nurturing social and cognitive skills while reducing risky behaviors.3
    • Examples: college fair; after-school programs; sports camp; parenting classes; skill building classes (typing, computer, finance, etc.), etc.
  • Many people who need mental health services do not receive the resources and treatment that they need due to the lack of access, high costs and insufficient insurance coverage, and stigma. The COVID-19 pandemic increased the need for mental health programs for children, youth, and adults who reported having symptoms of anxiety, depression, or isolation. In California, over 284,000 youth experience major depression and 66% of kids with depression do not receive treatment.  Unfortunately, the number of deaths due to substance abuse and suicide have also increased, disproportionately impacting people of color. There is a need to shift from criminalizing mental health and focusing on providing more mental health and prevention programs.4
    • Example proposals: Increase access to culturally competent mental health providers, and connect residents to resources for coping skills, stress management, and ways to improve mental health.

Award Amount and Duration

A total of up to $1,200,000 will be awarded by the Best Start Regional Task Force from the SLAD PGM Community Change Fund Initiative. Awards will be made for a 12-month period of January 1, 2024 – December 31, 2024.

The total funding pool has been allocated as follows:

  • Up to $800,000 will be awarded in Regional Community Grants
    • A maximum of 4 Regional Projects will be funded for an amount of up to $200,000 each.
  • Up to $400,000 will be awarded in Local Community Grants
    • Two Local Projects for each of the 4 Best Start, Region 2 communities will be awarded up to $50,000 each (totaling $100,000 per community).

RC encourages applications from a spectrum of organizations, community groups and/or coalitions serving Region 2 communities.

Funds awarded are intended to support work on priority issues that benefit residents and stakeholders of Best Start Region 2 and are not for individual or personal use. Funds from the Community Change Fund Initiative cannot be used to fund capital projects or capital improvement projects.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible proposed projects must include or benefit a minimum of:
  • 2 of the 4 Best Start, Region 2 communities for all Regional Grant applications or
  • 1 of the 4 Best Start, Region 2 communities for all Local Grant applications.
Eligible applicants for both award categories must meet the following criteria:
  • Be a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
    • Organizations that are fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) are eligible.
    • Coalitions are eligible if the lead applicant organization meets all other eligibility criteria.
  • Organizations that are not eligible:
    • Organizations classified as private foundations under Section 509(a)
    • Government agencies
    • Universities or academic institutions, however, may serve as a coalition partner to the lead applicant
  • Show a proven track record of providing services in one or more of the Best Start Region 2 communities.
  • Have an office or be headquartered within the South Los Angeles and Compton geographic area (the South Los Angeles region is defined by the geographical boundaries of both Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles). The South LA address must be provided in the proposal.
  • Have an office or be headquartered within the South Los Angeles geographic area. The South LA address must be provided in the proposal.
  • Be an equal opportunity employer with all-inclusive membership that does not discriminate based on gender, race/ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, country of national origin or nationality, age, religion intellectual or physical disabilities and military or veteran status in its activities or operations.
Failure to meet all eligibility criteria will render a proposal ineligible.

Best Start Region 2: Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement

  • Best Start Region 2 and any associated members, grantee organizations, and resident leaders will embrace this commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion by welcoming all community members regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, national origin, veteran status, social-economic class, religion, or any other perceived difference. It is important for this to be a shared mutual commitment as we strive for the common goal of creating positive outcomes that benefit families and children.
  • Our experience demonstrates that bringing people together from various backgrounds and cultures drives solutions by leveraging different points of view. Respecting everyone’s background, culture, and lived experiences are essential to collective agency and power that truly advances policy and systems change in disinvested communities.

Important Dates and Deadlines

September 1, 2023, at 9:00AM Request for Proposals (RFP’s) for community identified priorities released.
September 1, 2023, through October 20, 2023, 4:00PM Questions and Requests for Additional Information Due
September 1, 2023, through September 8, 2023 Letter of Intent (LOI submission is not mandatory, and applicants can still submit an application by the due date)
September 7, 2023, 12:00PM Information Session (1 of 2)
September 11, 2023, 11:00AM Information Session (2 of 2)
September 12, 2023, 1:00PM to 2:00PM Incubator Session: SMART goals and Scope of Work
September 26, 2023, 11:00am to 1:00PM Incubator Session: Budget Planning
October 10, 2023, 1:00PM to 3:00PM Incubator Session: Evaluation Planning
October 27, 2023, 4:00PM Full Proposals Due
October 29, 2023 – December 18, 2023 Regional Task Force will review proposals
December 22, 2023, 5:00PM Final Funding Decisions Announced
If you have any questions, please email us at beststart_grantees@risingcommunities.org.
  • Any questions about project guidelines and grant requirements should be submitted by email to beststart_grantees@risingcommunities.org no later than Friday, October 20th by 4:00pm.
  • Please return every Friday to review the most up-to-date FAQ’s document.
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