Strategic Response Fund

Background

LA n Sync enjoyed great success in our first year with LA n Sync-supported applications, winning over $60 million in grants and two federal designations with potential funding estimated at more than $1 billion.

Many of these applications either required or “recommended” matching commitments from local funders. Often, these large dollar commitments are the deciding factor in the success of an application -- the difference between bringing millions of dollars into the region or bringing none.

Given the limited advance notice and short timeframe for completing and submitting most grant applications, LA n Sync quickly discovered on of the biggest challenges to its future success -- raising matching funds.  After consulting with many of the most trusted and knowledgeable funders in the region, it became clear that the best solution was for LA n Sync to set up a "pooled fund," specifically to fill matching requirements with short turnaround windows. 

LA n Sync’s Strategic Response Fund

The Strategic Response Fund (SRF) serves as LA n Sync’s repository of pooled, matching grant funds that can be committed when applying for grant opportunities from federal and state funders and foundations.

With the SRF, funders have the ability to make a yearly or multi-year contribution to LA n Sync-supported applications at any point during the calendar year, rather than receiving and responding to multiple matching dollar requests throughout the year.  It allows funders to collaborate and leverage their dollars for a common purpose more efficiently and more effectively.

How Does the SRF Work?

The SRF is housed at the California Community Foundation and managed by the SRF Steering Committee, comprised of top executives from six foundations, all of which have already made contributions to the SRF:

Annenberg Foundation

California Community Foundation

Goldhirsh Foundation

Leonetti/O’Connell Foundation

The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

Weingart Foundation

The Steering Committee provides oversight and implementation of the fund, secures pledges and evaluates its efficacy.  Using LA n Sync’s grant criteria as an initial screening tool, the committee determines whether a grant application is eligible to receive funding from the SRF.  The committee then evaluates the strength of the application and the projected weight of the matching funds component of the application in determining whether to commit SRF funds, and in what amount.  SRF funds will only be withdrawn for successful applications that receive grant funding, making this a rare opportunity for a 100% positive return on investment.  All SRF contributors will receive bi-annual reports that detail the requests received and the SRF funds committed.

For more information about SRF, please contact Ellah Ronen at eronen@annenberg.org.