Thank you, Oregon, for taking care of each other. Scroll down to see the impact of ongoing recovery work and how you can support fellow Oregonians in rebuilding communities.
When the pandemic surged, so did your donations. When calls for justice amplified, so did your voices. When businesses and livelihoods disappeared, you showed up to help. When wildfires blanketed the state, you gave again. Oregon Community Foundation grantmaking has nearly doubled over last year, helping countless Oregonians in need. Thank you to all who have donated time, treasure and talent. Your efforts make a tremendous difference. We have a long road ahead, but with fellow Oregonians like you, we’ll get there. We’re all in this together, Oregon. Let’s keep taking care of each other.
2020 has been a year like no other. At the request of communities, funding partners, business leaders and the State of Oregon, OCF created or facilitated nine emergency funds in eight months in response to social, economic, health and wildfire emergencies. Learn more about each fund, the support they continue to give and partners who made this tremendous response possible.
Unprecedented grantmaking helps those hard-hit by COVID-19 and wildfires across the state. OCF is listening, learning and deepening efforts to reach the most vulnerable and historically underserved communities of color and poor rural families who have been disproportionately impacted by these crises. *All grants, not limited to COVID and wildfires.
Despite fear, worry and an unknown future, Oregonians donated quickly and generously to help others around the state in the wake of COVID-19 through the Oregon Community Recovery Fund.
In direct response to COVID-19, Oregonians directed giving to support those suffering in the wake of the pandemic, donating twice as much to OCF funds from January to June of 2020 as they did during the same time period in 2019. Still, magnitude of need continues to grow. Thank you Oregon, for your generosity. Please keep giving.
Emergency funds supported nonprofits serving people in need in every corner of Oregon. Flexible, responsive grant funding ensures resources move quickly to where they’re needed most.
By listening to communities and nonprofits across the state about where their needs were greatest, OCF deployed more than $87M to organizations on the front-lines of Oregon's many crises, such as BIPOC-focused nonprofits working to overcome systemic injustices, community organizations supporting areas decimated by wildfire, and to organizations providing stable housing. With the pandemic cases rising, economic uncertainty at home and in our small local businesses, Oregon is still on the road to recovery. Let’s keep taking care of each other, Oregon.
How does OCF work?
OCF awards grants to nonprofit organizations in accordance with donor wishes. Some donors choose to set up funds to support a specific cause or organization, or a specific region. For example, a donor may specify that all grants from their gift be used to support education for kids in rural areas. Many donors support pooled funds with gifts of any size, joining efforts with others to respond to a community need, such as wildfire recovery, racial equity, affordable housing and homeless strategies. Some donors choose to support a Discretionary Fund, which lets OCF decide where to award grants to meet the greatest needs.
A community foundation is a grantmaking public charity dedicated to improving the lives of people in a specific geographic area. Community foundations pool contributions from individuals, families and businesses to support effective nonprofits in their communities. All community foundations share the common goal of amplifying the impact of donors, nonprofit organizations, and the community as a whole.
Community foundations accept gifts of various sizes and types from private citizens, businesses, other foundations and government agencies. Gifts such as cash, real estate, stock and insurance can be contributed to a community foundation. Gifts are also made from bequests and by living donors through various types of funds.
Community foundations have similarities to private foundations, yet are organized differently. A private foundation is established with funds from a single source (such as a family or corporation) and most are closely managed and governed by the founders and their families or close associates. In contrast, a community foundation receives funds from a diverse group of many different donors, including individuals and private organizations, and its grantmaking supports the wishes and interests of these donors. It also must be governed by a diverse board of directors.
We have seen how the crises of 2020 have compounded existing inequities, resulting in disproportionate impacts on Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), low-income Oregonians and rural communities. Every sector of society that OCF supports is grappling with the need for systems change: education, arts & culture, housing, business infrastructure, health care, and more.
How we are working to address these disproportionate impacts is informed by the findings in our newly released research report, Cornerstones: Economic Mobility and Belonging in Oregon. Working with Harvard-based research group Opportunity Insights, the report combines Census tract level data of economic opportunity with qualitative examinations of what helps kids in high opportunity neighborhoods succeed.
We are looking forward to embracing the changes needed in 2021 to better serve Oregonians and help our communities begin to recover and rebuild from the incredible hardship of 2020.
How you can help.
Check in with friends, family and neighbors. Donate food, clothing and emergency items. Volunteer. Make a donation online below. If you are an OCF donor, give at MyOCF or contact a donor relations officer in one of five regional offices across the state. Together, we can rebuild an equitable, resilient, interconnected Oregon.
Moving Forward in Partnership
As we turn our attention to what comes next, we are grateful for Oregonian generosity, resilience and empathy. In particular, partnerships with Meyer Memorial Trust and The Ford Family Foundation will help us all leverage private, public and philanthropic donations to work collectively for Oregonians whose communities have been devastated by wildfires across a state already reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic and consequences of racial injustice. These foundational partners bring combined, unique expertise and understanding of communities together to bridge the challenges our state will face in the aftermath of these fires. This partnership of cumulative impact and shared values reflects a unified commitment for a stronger and more resilient Oregon. The Community Rebuilding Fund aims to leverage public investment with private and philanthropic investment to catalyze a rebuilding effort for a stronger Oregon.