Oregon Community Foundation Announces $10 Million in Statewide Grants and $11.5M in Scholarship Awards
The foundation’s Fall grant cycle includes funds directed toward helping Oregonians struggling with housing and homelessness
Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) announced that it has distributed nearly $10 million in new grants across the state, including $4.2 million through the Community Grants Program, the foundation’s largest and most accessible grants program. Nonprofits in urban, rural and suburban communities received more than 460 individual awards.
All OCF grants are designed to reflect the unique priorities of local communities. This grant cycle, the foundation saw a notable increase in requests for funding to support Oregonians experiencing homelessness.
Last year, OCF commissioned a comprehensive report on housing and homelessness, noting the dual crises of a lack of affordable housing, coupled with the increasingly complex needs of a chronic homeless population. Grant requests this cycle range from emergency service support for low-income populations in Mill City, to transitional support for those moving into affordable housing in the Portland metro area.
“OCFs Community Grants program is a unique statewide resource that gives nonprofits flexibility to ask for what they think they need to better serve the community,” says OCF Senior Program Officer Melissa Hansen, who oversees the Community Grant Program. “The volume of applications helps us to stay informed and better respond to pressing needs in each community, including counseling donors and prospective donors on where they can deliver greater impact in the areas where they live.”
Hansen noted that because of the relationships developed both with nonprofits and donors, the Community Grant awards this cycle were boosted significantly by donor contributions: over $1M out of the $4.2M awarded.
OCF also awarded $11.5 million in scholarships to more than 3,000 students as they entered the 2019 school year, a high-water mark in scholarship grants, in large part thanks to OCF donor scholarship funds.
“As one of the largest community foundations in the nation, we are privileged to work with a robust network of generous and passionate donors, volunteers and community leaders who help us identify and support initiatives that enhance community vitality,” said Max Williams, President and CEO of Oregon Community Foundation. “Record-setting giving from donors during this grant cycle is yet another indicator of values-driven philanthropy that helps support Oregon’s most vulnerable communities and improve access to opportunities that contribute to a stronger Oregon.”
OCF’s community grants this cycle support a diverse range of community projects and needs, with notable emphasis on support of Oregonians experiencing homelessness and in need of affordable housing:
The Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency is receiving $52,000 for year one of three years’ potential funding to open a new resource center in rural Mill City, providing emergency services and resources to individuals who are low-income and/or experiencing homelessness.
The Mid Rogue Foundation has been granted $50,000 for construction of Foundry Village in Grants Pass, a tiny house community that will provide short term housing and case management services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
Mosaic Medical, serving Central Oregon, is receiving $19,000 to purchase a new vehicle for their mobile community clinic providing primary healthcare services to individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness, underinsured or uninsured.
Transition Projects in Portland is receiving $50,000 to improve equitable outcomes for people transitioning from homelessness to housing in Multnomah County by providing comprehensive equity, diversity and inclusion training to staff.
These community grants are a small, yet integral part of OCF’s total grantmaking, which delivers more than $100 million in grants to projects and work across the state every year through a variety of funds, including donor-advised, community-advised, discretionary and designated resources that support key impact areas throughout the state.
OCF Fall 2019 Community Grants by Region
The balance of the $10M in OCF grants this cycle include awards across a variety of OCFs primary impact areas, including funding for arts, education and economic vitality projects.
About Oregon Community Foundation
Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) puts donated money to work in Oregon – more than $100 million in grants and scholarships annually. Since 1973, OCF grantmaking, research, advocacy and community-advised solutions have helped individuals, families, businesses and organizations create charitable funds to improve lives for all Oregonians. Impactful giving – time, talent and resources from many creates measurable change.