Cutting Edge Grants 2.0

Click here to read the press release about the 2022 Cutting Edge Grants 2.0 grant recipients.

The 2023 cycle will launch in April. Sign up for the email list on this page to receive more information when it becomes available. For questions, please contact Program Officer Charlotte Friedman (cfriedman@jewishfoundationla.org)

What are Cutting Edge Grants 2.0?

Cutting Edge Grants 2.0 supports innovative programs that build a vibrant and inclusive LA Jewish community, equipped to meet the emerging needs and opportunities of the future.

Cutting Edge Grants 2.0 integrates The Foundation’s signature focus on innovation with a responsive approach that considers today’s evolving Jewish LA landscape and the expressed needs of nonprofit leaders.

The Foundation encourages forward-thinking organizations to submit proposals for creative, high impact programs.

Cutting Edge Grants Email List

Sign up to receive information about the 2023 Cutting Edge Grants in your inbox.

How does The Foundation define innovative programs?

Innovative programs demonstrate flexibility and risk in approach and methodology; evolve to address emerging, unaddressed, or increasing needs; demonstrate strong leadership in the field; use new techniques and methodologies that improve efficiency, effectiveness, and impact; respond to pressing issues of the time; and have potential to transform a specific field within the LA Jewish community.

How much funding is available?

Grants range from $100,000 - $300,000 total, distributed over a two to three-year period.

Grant Criteria

Eligible applicants must serve LA County (organizations exclusively serving Long Beach or the San Gabriel Valley are not eligible) and be one of the following:

  • A local or national nonprofit organization with 501c3 status or a qualified 501c3 fiscal sponsor.
  • A collaborative of nonprofit organizations (synagogues and Jewish day schools are only eligible under this category, and must apply as a consortium of at least three).

Program must fit into one of the following categories:

  • New Model: A program not previously tested in any location that is designed for the LA Jewish community, based on a thorough needs assessment.
  • LA Adaptation: A program operating elsewhere in the United States that is suitable for replication or adaptation and sustainability in the LA Jewish community. For national organizations not based in LA, we require 50% or more of a staff person’s time to be focused on the LA program.
  • Collaboration: A partnership between organizations otherwise working independently who are seeking to achieve a unified mission by developing a new program to reach a greater audience and/or provide more comprehensive resources to its current constituents in the LA Jewish community.
  • Existing LA Program: An organization that uses innovative techniques and approaches to expand, scale, or enhance an existing pilot or program to improve service delivery and/or reach a wider, more diverse audience in the LA Jewish community. For organizations with operating budgets over $1 million, the program must demonstrate new thinking that moves beyond current program delivery mechanisms.

Focus Areas:

While grants will not be limited to these areas, we would like to bring to the forefront important issues that emerged during The Foundation’s listening tour, including:

  • Combatting antisemitism
  • Mental health and wellness
  • Reaching diverse audiences and developing micro-communities
  • Vulnerable populations

Proposals will be evaluated on:

  • Capacity & Leadership: The applicant’s leadership communicates a strong vision, understands its constituents’ needs as well as the needs and opportunities for its staff, reflects and represents the community it serves, and has the experience, qualification, and capacity to successfully execute the objectives of the proposal.
  • Community Need: Community need for, interest in, and support of the program is substantiated. The proposal demonstrates a strong understanding of the LA Jewish landscape.
  • Innovation & Risk: The proposal meets The Foundation’s definition of innovation, falls on a spectrum of risk, and is using unique techniques to respond to ongoing and emerging needs of the community. The proposal demonstrates how the program will continue to innovate and be flexible as needs in the community change.
  • Strength of Request: The program appears viable to implement, the request clearly and realistically demonstrates how the organization will leverage the grant to achieve its goals during and beyond the grant period, and the request aligns with one of the program categories.
  • Impact: Short and long-term outcomes are well articulated, achievable, and will result in meaningful impact on the organization and/or the community it serves, and ultimately on the Los Angeles Jewish landscape.
  • Sustainability: The applicant is in good financial standing with strategies and mechanisms in place to ensure organizational sustainability beyond the grant period. For 501c3 organizations, GuideStar and Charity Navigator profiles are updated. The applicant demonstrates that the program aligns with the organization’s mission and future plans.

Eligibility Restrictions:

Organizations with operating budgets of less than $500,000 that have an open Reimagine Grant Programs based on travel
Organizations with operating budgets of less than $5 million that have an open Cutting Edge Grant Building/renovation projects
Individual synagogues or day schools Research programs
Private foundations and private non-operating foundations Programs not proposed for implementation or expansion in LA
Endowment programs Films & documentaries
Programs that do not serve a predominantly Jewish population Virtual programs that are not targeted to an LA constituent base.
Social media campaigns that do not offer a program/service targeted to LA

See our Cutting Edge Grants Brochure for a list of previous Cutting Edge Grant recipients.