Non-Profit Day in Los Angeles

Listen to an audio story by Annenberg Radio News

imageJust as the public and private sectors were hit in the recession, non-profits have fought for support as funding declined. The mayor says the non-profit sector in LA is a 35 and a half billion dollar industry and employs six percent of the region’s work force.

The city established nonprofit day to acknowledge the industry and provide encouragement through these tough times.

Jacqueline Hamilton is the executive director of a small nonprofit organization called the Education Consortium of Central Los Angeles. ECCLA works to provide enriched educational experiences to K through 12 students.

Like many non-profits, ECCLA was hit by the economic recession.

“Well everything’s coming down to what measurable results you can provide…so we’re having to look at our funding model and trying to seek new supporters for the work that we do. The tightened economy has made it really difficult for us.”

At a news conference this morning, the mayor said nonprofit day is intended to encourage volunteer participation and donation. He noted that even as funding has decreased, the need for non-profits’ services has increased.

Hamilton commends the city’s efforts.

“I think LA city leaders recognize the important role that non-profit organizations play in meeting a wide range of civic needs. I welcome this raising the profile of non-profits by having a non-profit day…anything that calls attention to the important work done by the third sector, the non-profit sector of the economy is very helpful.”

In a similar effort, the Annenberg Foundation is hosting an event tonight in downtown la, highlighting the importance of non-profits. Ten organizations will give speed pitches in a competition to win a hundred thousand dollars in prizes.