August 09, 2022
OCF Issues $8.7 Million in Community Grants, Prioritizing Historically Underserved Communities
OCF donors step up with $2.4 million to help meet recovery needs
Portland, Ore. – August 9, 2022 – Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) announced today it is awarding over $8.7 million in new community grants including $2.4 million in donor funds to directly support community grant requests from 371 nonprofit organizations throughout the state. Prioritized grants are being issued to community organizations serving disproportionately impacted communities in Oregon, including communities of color and under-resourced rural communities. The awards will benefit communities and neighbors living in all 36 Oregon counties.
“Due to significant demand, it was clear that we would not be able to fund every critical funding request from the Community Grants program alone. Donors from every part of our state stepped forward to help close the gap of ongoing needs of communities” said Kirsten Kilchenstein, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Oregon Community Foundation. “The generosity of OCF donors clearly signals that they want their communities to thrive. This level of collaborative and responsive grantmaking affirms that we can do so much more for Oregon when we work together.”
“There is so much unmet need in the Santiam Canyon and surrounding community that has escalated after the wildfires, COVID and with increasing inflation,” said Lee Wipper, who advises on OCF grantmaking from the Doris J. Wipper Fund, established through her late mother’s estate plan. “It's humbling and a privilege to support these requests, and I love the idea of different funds joining forces to fulfill the grants.”
“Many of our youth are struggling to grow up in an ever changing and, at times, chaotic world,” said donor Kathie Eckman of Bend, Oregon. “Joining resources with Oregon Community Foundation from our family's donor advised funds was a given for us along with our deep appreciation and support for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend with their youth and community focus.”
Historic Volume of Community Grant Requests in 2022 Reflects Depth of Need
OCF’s Community Grants Program received an historic 960 applications representing $24.5 million in requests from Oregon nonprofits in 2022. The volume of applicants reveals the ongoing needs of communities recovering from past crises in Oregon and struggling to meet ongoing needs. “OCF’s 2022 Community Grant recipients reflect the responsive nature of a diverse base of nonprofits from every part of the state,” said John Chang, Senior Program Officer, Oregon Community Foundation, Oregon.
“We recognize the significant role nonprofits have in meeting ongoing and emerging needs in Oregon. Their deep roots in the communities they serve is critical, especially during this recovery period.”
OCF maintained a strong commitment to supporting historically underserved populations and awarded 61% of the grants to smaller, nimble nonprofits meeting key community needs. Selected grantees include nonprofits providing arts, cultural and educational programs, and those focused on equity, health, housing and human services. Following is a small sampling of some of the 371 organizations in Oregon receiving 2022 Community Grants and donor funding from OCF. [A complete list of all 371 of the 2022 Community Grant recipients, organized by region, can be found in OCF’s online Press Room.]
Boys & Girls Club of Warm Springs $20,000 OCF Community Grant
(Via Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County)
To expand the Healthy Kids Initiative to Native youth attending the Warm Springs Boys & Girls Club.
“Warm Springs youth are vibrant, strong and deserving of the same opportunities that other communities can access,” said Bill Tsoukalas, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County. “Support from Oregon Community Foundation allows us to provide enhanced services to the youth of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs completely free of charge, while implementing crucial academic success, STEM and healthy lifestyles programming.”
Bohemia Food Hub $28,000 OCF Community Grant
To install safety upgrades on kitchen equipment, translate kitchen materials, and provide a funding match for a food truck.
“Bohemia Food Hub has developed an ecosystem for entrepreneurs from under-served groups to explore food business ideas at low risk, with resources in place to support them,” said Kim Johnson, Owner. “Oregon Community Foundation’s Community Grant will allow us to further professionalize our infrastructure; install safety upgrades to donated equipment; and develop multilingual onboarding materials, kitchen manuals and equipment guides.”
High Desert Partnership $20,000 OCF Community Grant
To support coordination and program development of the Youth Community Collaborative for Harney County and Burns Paiute youth.
“The Community Grant from Oregon Community Foundation will help support a full-time, dedicated coordinator to grow High Desert Partnership’s youth programming opportunities in Harney County,” said Brenda Smith, Ph.D., Executive Director. “This funding will support more students in career level internships, more entrepreneur students paired with mentors and build a natural resource-based summer internship program to include Burns Paiute Tribe youth as well as non-tribal youth."
Josephine County Food Bank $20,000 OCF Community Grant
To support the Youth Internship Program, a new job training program that will enhance social mobility and prepare youth to be career ready.
“Josephine County Food Bank aims to mitigate impacts of poverty through the Youth Internship Project, which empowers youth through a work-ready internship for Josephine County youth experiencing social and economic inequalities,” said Kristin Smith, Farm Manager. “Our mission is to connect low-income youth to monitorships and skills training to spark harmony where we gather to cultivate strengths, laughter, healthy and a resilient community.”
United Way of Southwestern Oregon $50,000 OCF Community Grant
To help establish a new family relief nursery for Coos County. [Continued]
“Coos County has one of the highest rates of individuals entering the foster care system,” said Sara Stephens, Coastal Families Relief Nursery founder and board member. “We look forward to opening Coastal Families Relief Nursery to invest in upstream, evidence-based programs to support children and families. We couldn’t do it without support from area foundations and donors like Oregon Community Foundation.”
Complete List OCF’s 2022 Community Grant Recipients
A complete list of all 371 of the 2022 Community Grant recipients, organized by region, can be found in OCF’s online Press Room.
About Donor Funding through Oregon Community Foundation
Oregon Community Foundation manages more than 3,100 charitable funds, stewarding donor contributions toward investments in communities across the state.
Donor co-funding of Community Grants in 2022 included $1.4 million in advised fund support and $1 million in unrestricted funds to the Oregon Community Recovery Fund.
About OCF’s Community Grants Evaluation Process and Program
For more than 20 years, OCF’s Community Grants program, with strong support of OCF donors, has invested in strengthening the social fabric of our communities by responding to emerging and pressing needs facing all Oregonians.
Local volunteers representing every region provide grant evaluation in partnership with OCF staff and Board, donating upwards of 5,000 hours of time to help their neighbors in need. This year, 152 volunteers generously donated time to OCF’s Community Grants evaluation process.
To learn more about volunteering with OCF, please visit: Resources for Volunteers » Oregon Community Foundation (oregoncf.org).
About Oregon Community Foundation
Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) works with donors and volunteers to award grants and scholarships to every county in Oregon. From 2020 to 2021, OCF distributed more than $560 million, supporting more than 4,000 nonprofits and 6,000 students. With OCF, individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds that meet the needs of diverse communities statewide. Since its founding in 1973, OCF has distributed more than $2 billion toward advancing its mission to improve lives for all Oregonians. For more information, please visit: oregoncf.org.