Community Grant Program

The Oregon Community Foundation’s Community Grant Program addresses community needs and fosters civic leadership and engagement throughout our state. As of November 2014, the application deadlines have changed to January 15 and July 15.

Guiding Principles

  • We believe that creative and sustainable solutions come from people who work in partnership to address common needs and aspirations.
  • We give high priority to investments that create positive, substantive change and attempt to resolve problems at their source.
  • We recognize and respect Oregon’s diverse regions and populations, and we seek to advance equity, diversity and inclusion through our programs.

Program Details

As a responsive arm of OCF, the Community Grant Program awards about 220-240 grants each year, mostly to small- and moderate-size nonprofits. The average grant is $20,000. OCF typically receives 300 to 350 proposals per grant cycle and funds 110 to 120 of these. Concerns central to OCF’s evaluation of proposed projects include:

  • The strength of local support for the project
  • The strength of the applicant organization
  • Whether the project addresses a significant community need

OCF will also consider how well the project fits the following list of funding priorities. Please review the full guidelines, which include tips on submitting a competitive proposal as well as guidance on capacity-building and capital requests.

Health & Wellbeing of Vulnerable Populations (30 to 40 percent of grants)

  1. Improve community-based health and wellness, including oral and mental/behavioral health
  2. Address basic human needs, such as food, housing, and related services
  3. Improve the quality of life, safety and self-sufficiency of at-risk populations

Educational Opportunities & Achievement (30 to 40 percent of grants)

  1. Promote social, emotional and cognitive development of young children, including programs that support and educate parents and efforts that engage volunteers
  2. Expand academic support, mentoring and recreational programs for children and youth, particularly to close the achievement gap
  3. Broaden workplace, career and postsecondary experiences and opportunities for youth
  4. Improve adult literacy, skill development, education and workforce training

Arts & Cultural Organizations (15 to 25 percent of grants)

  1. Strengthen and stabilize arts and cultural nonprofits, and support collaborative efforts
  2. Cultivate and support appreciation of diverse cultures and art forms
  3. Deepen community-based arts education for children and adults
  4. Encourage audience development, particularly to reach underserved populations

Community Livability, Environment & Citizen Engagement (10 to 20 percent of grants)

  1. Promote leadership development, volunteerism, immigrant integration, and civic participation
  2. Support stewardship and appreciation of Oregon’s outdoor spaces and scenic beauty
  3. Address social, economic and environmental challenges or opportunities by bringing together disparate stakeholders
  4. Preserve places essential to communities’ civic and historic identities

Read more…

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