A letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

In a letter submitted to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, our Nonprofit Equity Team highlights the critical need for enhanced support for nonprofit organizations. The letter underscores the importance of swift and decisive action to rectify these issues, offering key recommendations drawn from lived experiences, expertise, and comprehensive studies. As the voice of nearly one-fourth of the county’s workforce, the Nonprofit Equity Team passionately advocates for reforms allowing nonprofits to continue their invaluable work, fostering stronger communities and better lives for LA’s most vulnerable populations.

Here is the letter in full:

Dear Honorable Members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors,

We thank you for addressing the challenges that non-profit homeless service providers and other nonprofit service providers in the county face. We urge you to take swift, decisive action to advance urgent solutions.

Nonprofit organizations are being asked to do more within a contracting system that is inequitable and structurally flawed, creating a cycle of stagnation and starvation for essential service providers. With limited cash flow and virtually no capital for growth, nonprofits are expected to provide holistic, wrap-around services and scale quickly to serve a growing number of individuals in crisis. Nonprofit providers are mission-driven and often have lived experience with the issues they work to solve. They represent a significant portion of the workforce in LA County, with nearly 1 in 4 Angelenos employed by a nonprofit. It is unfair and counterproductive to place these burdens on them while increasingly relying on their services for our most vulnerable populations.

We applaud the initiation of this public discussion and want to offer some key recommendations to help guide your assessment and action based on our collective lived experience, expertise and findings from studies including recommendations in “Resetting LA City to Meet Urgent Community Needs” released by The Angeleno Project and the “Equity in County Contracting (ECC) report released in 2023. These recommendations include:

  • Advance Payments: Ensure nonprofits receive funds upfront to alleviate cash flow issues.
  • Living Wages and Cost of Living Adjustments: Contracts should enable nonprofits to pay their employees living wages that adjust with the cost of living.
  • Centralized and Efficient Administration: Streamline administrative processes to reduce the bureaucratic burden on nonprofits.
  • True Partnership: Foster stronger public and private collaboration. Nonprofits should be involved in policymaking throughout the process, ensuring a partnership rather than a transactional relationship.

We urge you to consider these recommendations carefully as you identify ways to streamline bureaucracy and support service providers. Nonprofits should actively shape policies and programs, leveraging their on-the-ground expertise to design effective solutions. Local governments should commit to “just” contracting practices that promote nonprofit partners’ health, growth, and sustainability. By doing so, we can ensure that nonprofits are equipped to continue their invaluable work, driving positive outcomes for our communities.

We look forward to your leadership


Efrain Escobedo, on behalf of the Nonprofit Equity Team