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Community Grant Program

This is OCF's largest, broadest and most accessible grant program.  Each year, hundreds of nonprofits from every corner of the state submit applications. 

NEXT APPLICATION WINDOW IS 12/1/19-1/15-20

We award about 175 grants per biannual grant cycle, mostly to small and midsize nonprofits.

The average grant is $20,000. Throughout the granting cycle, applications cross paths with OCF Board members, staff, advised fund donors, leadership council members and volunteer grant evaluators.  Evaluation criteria includes:

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

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.

Application Guidelines

Please review our Program Guidelines, which include tips on submitting a competitive proposal as well as guidance on capacity-building and capital requests. OCF will also consider how well the project fits Community Grant funding priorities.

Eligibility

  • Must have 501(c)(3) status as a public charity (not a private foundation), be a public entity, or have a qualified fiscal sponsor.
  • Cannot apply until previous grant funded project(s) have been completed and reports submitted.
  • Cannot apply for the same project twice.

Activities Typically Not Eligible for Funding

  • Events or performances (either one-time or annual) unless they will result in significant growth in ongoing organizational capacity, financial stability or audience diversity.
  • Annual fund appeals and contributions to endowments.
  • Projects in individual schools.
  • Grants to subsidize participation (scholarships) or re-granting programs.
  • Purchases or activities that occur prior to grant decisions.
  • Deficit funding.
  • Replacement of government funding.
  • Lobbying to influence legislation.
  • Scientific research.
  • Religious activities.

Most Common Reasons for a Decline

  1. Little or no funding has been secured.
  2. Community support is not evident.
  3. Project request is for operating support.
  4. Applicant is a frequent grant recipient.

How Often Can an Organization Apply?

  • If you apply and do not receive a grant, you may not apply for another grant until 12 months after submitting your previous application. Essentially, this means one application per 12-month period if you were unsuccessful in seeking a grant.
  • If you apply and do receive a grant, you may not apply for another grant until 18 months after submitting your previous application. This means you must finish your 12-month grant period and present your post-grant evaluation before you may submit a new application – the equivalent of an 18-month period. (The only exception is a multiyear award, which requires a renewal application each year.) 
Original application
Grant awarded
End of grant period: report deadline
Eligibility to apply for another community grant
7/15/2018
11/2/2018
11/2/2019
1/15/2020 or later
7/15/2018
Yes, awarded Nov. 2, 2018, with an invitation to reapply (multiyear renewal)
See renewal application date
Renewal application due July 15, 2019
7/15/2018
No, application declined
Not applicable
July 15, 2019

Application Process

Online applications are accepted through MyOCF. Renewal applications follow the same process as new applications.

  • Spring Cycle: Application window opens December 1. Applications are due January 15 at midnight, with a board decision in May.
  • Fall Cycle: Application window opens June 1. Applications are due July 15 at midnight, with a board decision in November.

The application window for the spring 2020 cycle will be open December 1, 2019, through January 15, 2020.

Required Attachments

  • 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status letter from the IRS.
  • Board of directors list, including contact information, affiliations and the skills and experience each member contributes to your organization.
  • Organization budget for the current year.
  • Organization budget for the past year.
  • Most recent audited financial statements (if available).
  • Multiyear project budget (if applicable).
  • Project graphic, schematic or timeline (optional).

PLEASE NOTE: We strongly recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer to fill out your application. Safari has been found to present some technical difficulties.

Grantee Reporting

A grantee progress report is due one year after the grant award. Please email your progress report to reports@oregoncf.org.

What if My Project Is Delayed or Off-Track?

We know that projects do not always begin on time; unexpected events can interfere with progress, and projects sometimes fail despite good planning and intentions. Our philosophy is that if all of our grant-funded projects are successful, we are not taking enough risks.

Please do not delay submitting your report for fear our reaction will be negative. Also, please feel free to contact us with any questions. We can delay a report due date if your situation calls for it.

Please read our Tips for Nonprofits Communicating with OCF.

OCF Nondiscrimination Policy

OCF does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disabilities, age, status as a veteran, national origin or any other protected class. Applicants must hold similar standards.

Learn More

Let Donors Know About Your Nonprofit by Completing an Organization Profile

OCF is always looking to share information with donors about organizations and projects that align with their interests.

Go to Organizational Profile Form