Community Rebuilding Fund Grants

The Community Rebuilding Fund launched in response to Oregon’s devastating 2020 wildfire season which forever changed many of Oregon’s vibrant rural communities. The long rebuilding process ahead will also forever impact these communities.  Recognizing equitable, inclusive and resiliency-based rebuilding is essential, the Fund centers the needs of Oregon’s vulnerable residents most impacted – including Latinx, Tribal and rural community members. The Fund supports community-led rebuilding that engages residents in shaping the future of the diverse and dynamic places they call home.

The Fund was formed by a partnership between Oregon Community Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, and The Ford Family Foundation and in addition to each partner, is primarily funded through individual, corporate and foundation support. The Fund is particularly interested in supporting capacity, transferable approaches, and collaborative initiatives aligned with the Fund’s values.

Rebuilding, Recovery and Resiliency Grants

The Community Rebuilding Fund offers Rebuilding, Recovery and Resiliency grants. This funding track supports a range of project, capacity, capital, technical assistance and planning needs as communities continue their rebuilding work.  All grants will further the Fund’s goal of supporting impacted communities as they rebuild stronger in keeping with the Fund’s values of resiliency, equity and responsiveness.

The framework for the Rebuilding, Recovery and Resiliency grants has been co-designed with an Advisory Team comprised of people who have lived through the fires and represent the communities most impacted.  They have crafted a list of elements that will make a strong proposal.  These elements will also determine how the majority of the funding is awarded.

Elements of a Strong Proposal

Rebuilding, Recovery and Resiliency grants will support nonprofit organizations that are:

  • Community-led; use a “for us, by us” mentality and work collaboratively
  • Addressing survivors’ needs directly
  • Offering programs and services that are accessible and open to all and to organizations that conduct outreach in ways necessary to serve diverse, vulnerable and/or hard to access communities and/or populations
  • Serving a variety of needs but with particular emphasis on organizations addressing mental health, community wellness, environmental ecosystem health, and preparation for future disasters
  • Preparing their community or the population(s) they serve for greater future resiliency, including addressing systemic inequities that contribute to a variety of barriers especially for vulnerable populations
  • Less able to access other resources for wildfire response and recovery

Nondiscrimination Policy

OCF does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ability/disability, age, status as a veteran, national origin or any other protected class. Applicants for Community Rebuilding Fund grants must hold similar standards in the provision of services.

Application Details

FUNDS AVAILABLE

In 2021, OCF anticipates awarding at least $5,000,000. We aim to fund a mix of proposals in communities across Oregon impacted by the 2020 wildfires.

TIMELINE

There is one opportunity to apply for a Recovery, Rebuilding and Resiliency grant in 2021.  The application opened on June 1, 2021 and closed on July 1, 2021.  As part of the decision-making process, applicants may be contacted for additional information or a virtual site visit during the summer.  Notice of funding may be provided as early as August, but all decisions may not be finalized until November 2021.

GRANT TYPES AND AMOUNTS

It is anticipated that most grants awarded will support projects up to one year in duration with some awards for multi-year projects up to three years in length. Applicants may apply for capacity building, project specific funding, capital projects, and planning projects. Staffing expenses are allowed.  Please review the “Elements of a Strong Proposal” above to learn more about what types of requests will be prioritized. Applicants should apply for the amount they need and clearly describe why they need that amount. Grants will range from small to large, depending on the project, and most will not exceed $250,000. It is anticipated that a majority of grants will fall in the range of $25,000 to $150,000 though there is no set minimum.

Application Process

The application window opened June 1, 2021 and closed July 1, 2021, with all decisions to be made by early November 2021.

Online applications are accepted through MyOCF

To see the list of application questions, please visit here.

GENERAL ORGANIZATIONAL ELIGIBILITY

  • 501(c)(3) organizations, Tribal entities and government entities are eligible to apply. Additionally, other types of organizations may work with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor to submit an application. Applicants must submit formal paperwork confirming the fiscal sponsor relationship.
  • Organizations with an active Community Grant, Oregon Community Recovery Fund grant or any other OCF grant are eligible to apply.
  • Organizations planning to apply for a Community Grant in the Fall may submit either a Community Grant application or a Community Rebuilding Fund grant application, but not both if the request would be for the same project. An applicant may apply for both programs if the projects are clearly different.
  • Organizations may apply for a Community Rebuilding Fund Recovery, Rebuilding and Resiliency grant only once. If an organization received a Capacity and Response grant from this Fund earlier this year, it is still eligible to apply for this Recovery, Rebuilding and Resiliency grant program.

What We Look for in Strong Proposals

The strongest proposals will:

  • Address a clear and compelling community need
  • Have goals/work that are relevant to the recovery and rebuilding efforts related to the 2020 wildfires
  • If the project addresses the needs of a specific population, have staff and board with appropriate cultural expertise to serve that population
  • Demonstrate that people with lived experience are meaningfully leading and/or influencing the work
  • Reflect realistic goals and solid planning
  • Show strong potential to build the organization’s stability, effectiveness or capacity
  • Demonstrate strong community support, including the support of people being served
  • Clearly communicate the role and potential impact of an OCF grant in this moment
  • Have a realistic plan for securing remaining funds needed to carry out the work within the grant period
  • If the proposal involves new staff or other significant on-going expense, explain how they are thinking about sustainability 

Priority will be given to organizations that:

  • Primarily serve one or more priority populations (Tribal, Latino, rural communities)
  • Are reasonably positioned for long-term organizational viability
  • Support OCF in advancing equity, diversity and inclusion through our funding
  • Reflect a strengths-based orientation
  • Work to create positive, substantive change 

Additionally, the Community Rebuilding Fund’s Advisory Team has determined additional elements of a strong proposal outlined above and again below. These elements will also determine how the majority of the funding is awarded.

Rebuilding, Recovery and Resiliency grants will prioritize support for organizations that are:

  • Community-led; use a “for us, by us” mentality and work collaboratively
  • Addressing survivors’ needs directly
  • Offering programs and services that are accessible and open to all and to organizations that conduct outreach in ways necessary to serve diverse, vulnerable and/or hard to access communities and/or populations
  • Serving a variety of needs but with particular emphasis on organizations addressing mental health, community wellness, environmental ecosystem health, and preparation for future disasters
  • Preparing their community or the population(s) they serve for greater future resiliency, including addressing systemic inequities that contribute to a variety of barriers especially for vulnerable populations
  • Less able to access other resources for wildfire response and recovery

Activities We Typically Won’t Fund in 2021

  • Purchases or activities that occur prior to grant decisions
  • Deficit funding
  • Funding for public entities to replace government dollars
  • Lobbying to influence legislation (a particular bill)
  • Religious activities
  • Annual fund appeals and contributions to endowments

How to Apply

The application window opened June 1, 2021, and closed July 1, with decisions to be made as early as August and no later than early November 2021. 

Important! In an effort to expand access to more avenues of funding at OCF, organizations who choose not to submit a Community Rebuilding Fund application are invited to share their current needs with donors by completing this Organizational Profile Tool.

Organizations that apply for a Community Rebuilding Fund Grant may have information about their proposal shared with OCF donors and funding partners. We encourage applicants to provide clear and complete project descriptions to support donor connections.

Questions?

Please see the FAQ section at the bottom of this page. 

A Community Rebuilding Fund Open Office Hour on was held via Zoom on Tuesday, June 15 from 11 am -12. p.m. Meeting recording available here.

For questions about the program and submitting a competitive application, please contact Kristin Monahan, Project Manager, kristin@kelleynonprofitconsulting.com.

For technical assistance in preparing and submitting the online application (application window opens June 1), please email grants@oregoncf.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline for applications? If approved, how long will it take to receive funding?
What geographic regions are eligible to apply for funds?
Is this program accepting multi-year requests?
Are 501(c)(3)s the only organizations eligible to apply?
How do I apply for funding from the Community Rebuilding Fund?
Can my organization submit more than one application?
I recently received or applied for a different grant from OCF. Am I eligible to apply for the Community Rebuilding Fund Recovery, Rebuilding and Resiliency Grants?
What does the term “culturally specific” mean to OCF?
What is OCF’s definition of a “rural-based organization”?
What is OCF’s definition of an “under-resourced” community?
How can our organization share our needs with OCF advised fund donors so they may also contribute to our efforts?
I represent an organization that was invited to reapply to the Community Grants Program in fall 2021. May we also apply to the Community Rebuilding Fund?
Who may I contact at OCF to discuss this program further?
I’m having trouble with the online application system. Who do I contact for assistance?