March 26, 2020

Philanthropy Acts Fast to Support Oregon Nonprofits and Small Businesses

First round of grants from Oregon Community Recovery Fund: $2M statewide to community action organizations on front lines of COVID-19

OCF announces new fund for immediate financial relief to small businesses  through grants to nonprofit community lenders

Philanthropic partners, businesses and individuals across the state have quickly responded with contributions to the Oregon Community Recovery Fund – approaching $5 million to date – with the first round of grants deploying this week.  Oregon Community Foundation (OCF), hosting the fund, notified community action organizations throughout Oregon of $2 million in grants.

Grants were awarded to non-profit organizations across Oregon, and include:


  • Mid-Columbia Community Action Council in The Dalles ($37,400)
  • NeighborImpact in Redmond ($72,600)
  • United Way of Deschutes County in Bend ($30,000)


  • Communities in Action in Ontario ($35,200)
  • Community Action Program of East Central Oregon in Pendleton ($46,200)
  • Community Connection of Northeast Oregon ($38,500)

Portland Metro

  • Central City Concern in Portland ($41,500)
  • Clackamas County Social Services in Oregon City ($97,000)
  • Community Action of Washington County in Hillsboro ($52,500)
  • El Programa Hispano Católico in Gresham ($41,500)
  • Impact NW in Portland ($41,500)
  • Native American Youth & Family Center in Portland ($41,500)
  • Oregon Human Development Corporation in Tigard ($52,500)
  • United Way of the Columbia-Willamette in Portland ($79,000)
  • Urban League of Portland $(41,500)

North Coast

  • Community Action Team in St. Helens ($49,500)
  • United Way of Columbia County in Rainier ($19,000)

North Willamette

  • Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency in Salem ($99,000)
  • United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley in Salem ($49,000)
  • Yamhill Community Action Partnership in McMinnville ($43,000)

South Coast

  • Oregon Coast Community Action in Coos Bay ($44,000)
  • United Way of Southwestern Oregon in Coos Bay ($22,000)

South Willamette

  • Community Services Consortium in Albany ($71,000)
  • Greater Douglas United Way in Roseburg ($24,000)
  • United Community Action Network in Roseburg ($64,900)
  • United Way of Lane County in Springfield ($75,000)
  • United Way of Lane County – COVID-19 Response Fund in Springfield ($45,000)
  • United Way of Linn County in Albany ($36,000)


  • ACCESS in Medford ($63,000)
  • Klamath and Lake Community Action Services in Klamath Falls ($41,800)
  • United Way of Jackson County in Medford ($32,000)


  • Community Action Partnership of Oregon ($15,000)
  • MRG Foundation ($200,000)
  • OCF: Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund ($300,000)
  • OCF: ECFLC Collaborative Administrative Fund ($20,000)

With inputs from a network of volunteers, community leaders and partners, OCF has moved quickly over the past week to provide funding and resources to nonprofits in order to fill gaps in funding not met by the public or private sector during the crisis. The goal is to mobilize and deploy flexible resources where and when they are critically needed, focusing most on Oregon’s most vulnerable populations.

Also, on Wednesday Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) launched a new philanthropic fund to support Oregon’s small business owners as they grapple with the realities of severely constricted economic activity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Seeded with a $300,000 investment from OCF, the Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund will provide emergency capital to nonprofit community lenders in both urban and rural communities, increasing these lenders’ capacity to offer low-interest and no-interest loans and technical assistance to small businesses. Small businesses dealing with reduced sales and revenue can use the loans to continue to retain employees until economic activity picks up in a few months.

“The Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund and Oregon Community Recovery Fund are two great opportunities for Oregon businesses, large or small, to support nonprofits, business owners and their employees during this crisis,” said Greg Ness, chair of the board of the Oregon Business Council and chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Standard. “I’m pleased to see so many Oregon companies working together with OCF and many philanthropic partners to help Oregonians during these unprecedented times. We need to ensure small businesses and their employees weather this storm so they can quickly get back on their feet when it passes.”

Grant funding for nonprofit lenders to support Oregon’s small businesses

Without immediate assistance to pay for operating costs, many Oregon small businesses such as childcare centers, restaurants, and other businesses vital to urban and rural communities are being forced to close their doors and lay off employees.

The Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund will help nonprofit lenders cushion the impact of lost revenue for small businesses until more state or federal resources are available or business resumes.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses employ 55% of all Oregon employees and make up 99.4% of all Oregon businesses.

“We recognize this fund represents just a portion of the assistance that will required to help Oregon’s small businesses weather this storm,” OCF President and CEO Max Williams. “If leaders in philanthropy, government, and the private sector can align their funding in this critical moment, we can position small businesses to emerge from this crisis intact, ready to resume their central role in their communities and the statewide economy.”

OCF is working closely with state and city partners to ensure that funds are well coordinated and deployed equitably across the state. The fund will be active for at least six months to provide immediate relief across the state.

“Very few small business plans include a global pandemic,” said Palo Alto Software CEO and OCF Board Director Sabrina Parsons of Eugene. “We recognize the urgent need for people to stay at home to promote public safety, but when business slows, operating costs don’t disappear. The only thing that will get us through this crisis is access to funding to cover expenses until we can open our doors again.”

Nonprofit lenders eligible for grant funding include Community Development Financial Institutions, Economic Development Districts, and Economic Development Agencies for Oregon cities and tribes that have experience providing loans and grants to small businesses in their region. Qualifying organizations may apply for grant funding at the OCF website.

Generous community partners are supporting this fund. They include:

  • Bank of America
  • Columbia Bank
  • KeyBank
  • NW Natural
  • Oregon Growth Board/Business Oregon
  • Portland General Electric (PGE)
  • Umpqua Bank
  • US Bank
  • Wells Fargo

Anyone may contribute to the Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund. Donations can be made online at

About Oregon Community Foundation 

Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) puts donated money to work in Oregon – more than $100 million in grants and scholarships annually. For nearly 45 years, 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 generous Oregonians–creates measurable change. For more information about OCF, please visit: