LIFE Center Fund

Meeting critical needs in North, Northeast and Southeast Portland.


The LIFE Center Fund of Oregon Community Foundation was established in 2005 to continue the legacy of the Low Income Family Emergency (LIFE) Center, which closed in 2005. Rather than simply distributing basic need items, the LIFE Center also honored each individual’s dignity by providing opportunities for self-improvement and personal empowerment.

Grants Program

The LIFE Center Fund awards two-year grants to provide food, clothing, household items, prescription and hygiene assistance, and school supplies to people in critical need in North, Northeast and Southeast Portland. Up to $10,000 is available per year for two years. Please review our Request for Proposals for more information.


OCF will accept applications from organizations that are tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). Proposals will be accepted from organizations outside Portland city limits if the proposal narrative and project budget specifies that grant funds will be allocated for North, Northeast and Southeast Portland residents. Grants cannot be made directly to individuals.

Priority is given to the following:

  • Applications that clearly describe how this grant will help to provide services that will continue the LIFE Center legacy, and how it would help to meet gaps in current services.
  • Organizations with smaller operating and project budgets where a $7,500 to $10,000 grant from the LIFE Center Fund will have a clear impact.
  • Organizations that haven’t received LIFE Center funding in the previous grant year.
  • Applications that offer specifics about the site(s) and location(s) where services will be provided, the target population to be served, and how that fits the criteria of the LIFE Center Fund.
  • Requests that show evidence of some secured community contributions, ideally toward both grant years (the LIFE Center Fund does not require a specific dollar amount or percentage).
  • Multiyear project budgets that detail how a grant from the LIFE Center Fund would be applied.

Please review our Request for Proposals for more information about eligibility. Please note: General requests for support of an organization’s overall operating budget will not be competitive.

Use of Fiscal Sponsors and Re-granting

Organizations or projects that are not 501(c)3 tax exempt entities may apply using a fiscal sponsor. Fiscal sponsorship may only be used to support an independently-governed nonprofit, volunteer association, or like body. Fiscal sponsorship agreements must include signatures from representatives of both the fiscal sponsor and organization receiving fiscal sponsorship.

In addition, fiscal sponsors must certify that they will provide active oversight and take responsibility for the use of the funds as specified in the application. A fiscal sponsor may be permitted to submit more than one application, particularly in rural regions. This exception requires prior permission from OCF which may be requested by emailing

Application Process

Required Attachments

  • Multiyear project budget showing projected revenues and expenditures and how our funds would be allocated
  • List of current board members, including affiliations and contact info
  • Organization budget for the current year (or, if the organization is quite large, just the department budget)
  • Most recent audited financial statements (if available)
  • 501(c)(3) tax-exemption letter from the IRS
  • Letter(s) of support directly related to the project (optional)
  • Additional project info: graphic, schematic or timeline (optional)
  • If using a fiscal sponsor, a letter from the director or chair of the sponsoring organization accepting responsibility for project oversight and the appropriate expenditure of the grant funds. Fiscal sponsorship agreements must include signatures from representatives of both the fiscal sponsor and organization receiving fiscal sponsorship.
  • If using a fiscal sponsor, complete and submit the Fiscal Sponsorship Details form with the sponsoring organization’s information.

Grantee Reporting

Applicants receiving a grant from the LIFE Center Fund will be asked to submit a report for Year 1 activities via a renewal grant application and a report form following the second and final year of the grant. Further instructions will be provided to grantees.

Past Grants 

LIFE Center Fund Grant History, 2010-2021

Staff Assistance

For more information, please contact:

  • Michael Oreste, Program Officer, Donor Impact: