Reuniting in joy —
We came back together in droves in 2022, reconvening with donors, nonprofits and communities to deepen the collaborations that Oregon Community Foundation has built over five decades.
With joy, we reunited after two years of crises and conditions that made it difficult to connect in person to celebrate our progress, create more partnerships, and recommit to the goals we share. Oregonians areinde pendent and innovative, approaching challenges in many different ways. Yet we believe in similar priorities — healthy families and natural environments, abundant opportunity, quality schools and a strong economy — that together create thriving, resilient communities.
- In 2022, OCF invigorated communities with innovative support that generated meaningful impact: from increased access to emergency shelter and stable housing, to more resources and opportunities for diverse entrepreneurs to build small businesses.
- We sustained our focus on addressing persistent inequities among Oregonians, with prioritized grantmaking and capacity-building investments for nonprofits led by those with firsthand experience of the problems philanthropy seeks to solve.
- With donor support, we awarded nearly 10,000 grants to organizations in every part of the state and increased scholarship funding to Oregon students — over $11 million — more than in any previous year.
We also reunited at our first in-person annual meeting since 2019, and first volunteer Leaders Gathering since 2018, to hear from new President and CEO Lisa Mensah. As she leads OCF into its next half-century, even greater opportunity awaits — to grow our generosity, improve the lives of our neighbors, and amplify the impact we make together for this place we call home.
2022: Making Progress
Project Turnkey 2.0
Turning a corner for the unsheltered
In 2021, OCF served as grantor and fiduciary for Project Turnkey, allocating state funds to convert underutilized hotels and motels into 865 new units of emergency shelter and transitional housing, coupled with wraparound support to help individuals and families find pathways to permanent housing. Based on the program’s success and the state’s ongoing need for shelter and support services, the Oregon Legislature allocated a further $50 million to Project Turnkey in 2022.
Black Student Success
Raising Hope and Opportunity
Recognizing that Black-led, Black-serving organizations need additional funding to address the educational challenges facing marginalized Black children in Oregon, OCF’s Black Student Success Initiative awarded multiyear capacity-building grants to create new staffff positions, hire strategic planning consultants, and support leadership development and technology investments.
Supporting Indigenous Artists
Celebrating Native cultures
OCF supported an array of projects led by dynamic Indigenous artists and culture-bearers whose work often carries and shares ancestral and intergenerational cultural knowledge. Programs such as the Fields Artist Fellowship and the Creative Heights initiative have invested $827,500 across eight active projects to revitalize Indigenous languages, honor history, share traditions and reimagine Native sovereignty.
2022: Together for Good
Communities Investing in Themselves
Vital support for long-term recovery
In August 2022, the OCF board approved the final grants from the Community Rebuilding Fund, the fund established by OCF, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation, and the American Red Cross after the Labor Day 2020 wildfires. This brings the fund’s total distributions to nearly $11 million since inception. OCF is assessing its response to the 2020 fires and the pandemic and reviewing best practices among community foundations to inform our response to future crises.
Capital, coaching AND capacity for entrepreneurs
OCF’s portfolio of grants, equity investments and loans supports Oregon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. In 2022, OCF announced the second cohort of Thriving Entrepreneurs grants. The program, launched in 2021, prioritizes funding for organizations that serve people of color, women and rural entrepreneurs. These 2022 grants supported 26 organizations providing technical assistance, mentorship and access to capital for under-resourced entrepreneurs around Oregon.
A Time to Gather Once Again
The simple pleasure of conversation
In May 2022, OCF friends joined in person and virtually for the annual meeting, reconnecting and finding inspiration in keynotes Reverend Nontombi Naomi Tutu and Ron Suskind’s reflections on common ground and the value of working together for the greater good. In October, for the first time since 2018, OCF volunteers and stakeholders gathered for our volunteer Leaders Gathering. The events left participants uplifted and renewed for the collective work ahead.