January 1, 2019 Jimmy Dunne

Sheriff’s Youth Foundation

Sheriff’s Youth Foundation


The Sheriff’s Youth Foundation is an after-school program; serving 2,000 7-17 year-olds, delivering a plethora of educational, sports, leadership and arts activities through 16 Youth Academies during the school year and in vibrant summer programs.  Many of the Youth Academies are a collaborative partnership between the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation and Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation.

Jimmy Dunne was engaged by the foundation in the fall of 2017 as its Chief Strategic Officer.

The foundation was knocking on the door of bankruptcy.

Formidable bills to pay across all the centers far exceeded donations coming in – with grants drying up and future donations dismal.  The foundation had cut its staff (and hours) to absolute bare bones, programming and events were being eliminated, and morale couldn’t have been worse.  Branding and marketing was non-existent – including a website with stories from four years earlier.  There were formidable challenges across all arms of the foundation.

Jimmy suggested to Sheriff Jim McDonnell to give him three months to see if he could turn the ship around.

Jimmy Dunne dug in.

Over these past 16 months, Jimmy spearheaded initiatives across the fundraising, programming, operations, branding, marketing, finance and governance arms – redefining and igniting the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation.

In 2018, the foundation’s revenues rose 82% from 2017; finances were stabilized, the board and the leadership were reimagined and expanded – and the foundation was able to fund numerous successful new programs, exciting initiatives and events that were implemented across all Youth Academies.

Here’s how it happened…

After creating a very aggressive Strategic Plan, the first order of business was rebranding the foundation.  Jimmy created a new logo, built a new website, new print collateral, videos, and created a formidable presence across Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, etc.








With a new presence, Jimmy assembled a remarkable new board – including many of Los Angeles’ most celebrated business, political and entertainment leaders.

Next up, donations.  Grants were refocused.  Private donations, board donations, corporate donations and event donations (including re-establishing the Sheriff’s Celebrity Golf Classic) put coal in the train, financially turning the foundation around.









The momentum was shifting.

Next on the list, Programming and Operations.

With an infusion of cash flow, staffing and mentors doubled at various Youth Academies, and initiatives and scholarships were established to focus and reward academic achievement.  A new initiative, the ‘Sheriff’s Scholars’ program for exceptional youth, was celebrated on TV stations and radio.


STEM programs, celebrity-hosted talent shows, music and art programs, sports initiatives, reading clubs, leadership trips, computer labs, college career forums, outings with Lakers stars and to other sporting events, SAT/ACT testing workshops, etc. blossomed across the Youth Academies.















A plethora of initiatives were established to ignite 2019.  A $2,000,000 pledge to rebuild one of the Youth Academies, along with other formidable pledges and donations, were game changers for the future of the foundation.
















At a foundation board meeting in the fall, Jimmy Dunne outlined the “State of the Foundation” to the board.  Sheriff Jim McDonnell stood up expressing, “There ought to be a masters program class at USC teaching how Jimmy Dunne completely turned around a foundation.”

As 2018 closed, a new Sheriff was elected – choosing to bring in his own new leadership team.

The PDF below speaks to the extraordinary successes and advancement during Jimmy Dunne’s tenure.

Youth Foundation Report 2018 19


A few videos: