Building Community: Annual Funding Opportunity

Meyer Memorial Trust


Grant amount: Up to US $250,000

Next deadline: Jul 7, 2018 5:00pm PDT

Later deadlines: Apr 18, 2019 5:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit College / University

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Oregon

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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Overview:

Meyer believes that Oregonians thrive most when they are part of vibrant and supportive communities — when they can see promising paths for themselves, when they can influence decisions that affect them, and when they have safe spaces to connect with others and express their shared humanity. We recognize that the promises of inclusive, engaged and creative communities have been systematically denied to some populations while being readily accessible to others. When disparities cease to exist, Oregon will become a place where everyone can live up to their full potential.

Building Community Program

The Building Community portfolio focuses on supporting work that uproots social and economic inequities and provides access to opportunity for all. We invest in nonprofits and collaboratives that change systems and improve conditions for communities of color, people living in poverty, and other marginalized populations. We are especially interested in partnering with organizations that are committed to integrating diversity, equity and inclusion into their internal structures and operations.

Funding Goals

The Building Community Portfolio supports organizations and collaboratives across the state that engage and serve a diversity of people through their programs and services. Applicants are asked to select one of following three goals that best relates to their proposed work, as well as up to two of its associated outcomes. In each of the goal areas, we are especially interested in partnering with organizations that are committed to integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion into their internal structures and operations.

Goal 1: Invest in strategies that dismantle inequities + create new opportunities to advance equity

Advancing equity will require organizations to work toward changing systems and policies to ensure that all people receive fair treatment and have access and opportunity to achieve their full potential. This means identifying and dismantling the barriers that create inequities and inhibit full participation of historically marginalized communities. Doing this work effectively also involves reviewing internal operations to ensure that systems, policies and a culture exist where all people can thrive.

Intended Outcomes:

  • Equity Focus: Increased commitment to equity among organizations and improved understanding of how to advance equity through their work. Applicants are likely to be more competitive by including internal diversity, equity and inclusion strategies that further their mission.
  • Organizational Capacity: Strengthened long-term health and capacity of key organizations, intermediaries and collaborations that advance equitable outcomes.
  • Applicants are likely to be more competitive if ideas about diversity, equity and inclusion are considered when developing strategies to improve and sustain organizational health (e.g., operations, policies and procedures, finances, staffing).
  • Innovation: Identification and expanded use of innovative strategies and collaborative efforts that promote equity.
  • Policy + Systems Change: Increased equitable opportunities and reduced disparities through changes in public policy, systems and institutional practices.
  • Equitable Outcomes: Improved outcomes for populations experiencing disparities. Applicants are likely to be more competitive by connecting programs and services to a broader context and systems change. 

Goal 2: Support efforts to encourage and strengthen civic engagement + public participation in democratic processes

When the people most affected by disparity suffer, we all suffer. And when they benefit, we all benefit. When people have the ability and opportunity to engage with and improve their own communities, they develop a sense of belonging and gain some ownership over social problems and solutions. To achieve this goal, we aim to build the strength and capacity of organizations planning on or already promoting civic engagement in order to increase the representation and deepen the participation of diverse communities in decisions that impact them.

Intended Outcomes:

  • Equity Focus: Increased commitment to equity among organizations and improved understanding of how to advance equity through their work. Applicants are likely to be more competitive by including internal diversity, equity and inclusion strategies that further their mission. 
  • Organizational Capacity: Strengthened long-term health and capacity of key organizations, intermediaries and collaborations focused on democracy and civic engagement. Applicants are likely to be more competitive if ideas about diversity, equity and inclusion are considered when developing strategies to improve and sustain organizational health (e.g., operations, policies and procedures, finances, staffing).
  • Innovation: Identification and expanded use of innovative strategies and collaborative efforts that strengthen civic engagement and democratic participation.
  • Policy + Systems Change: Increased equitable opportunities and reduced disparities through changes in public policy, systems and institutional practices.
  • Community Influence: Increased engagement and support of diverse and committed community leaders operating in positions of influence who promote public decision-making that reflects community priorities.

Goal 3: Support arts + cultural initiatives that create inclusive communities

Arts and culture have the potential to highlight Oregon’s diversity, connect people to each other, build inclusive communities and create social change. With this goal, we aim to harness our state’s creativity and artistic talents in order to foster engagement, promote equity and build appreciation for the differences that make us unique. Arts and culture organizations are encouraged to apply, but other types of organizations that are interested in utilizing an artistic or creative approach to their work are also eligible.

Intended Outcomes:

  • Equity Focus: Increased commitment to equity among arts and cultural organizations and improved understanding of how to advance equity through their work. Applicants are likely to be more competitive by including internal diversity, equity and inclusion strategies that further their mission. 
  • Organizational Capacity: Strengthened long-term health and capacity of key arts and cultural organizations, intermediaries and collaborations focused on inclusive community engagement. Applicants are likely to be more competitive if ideas about diversity, equity and inclusion are considered when developing strategies to improve and sustain organizational health (e.g., operations, policies and procedures, finances, staffing).
  • Programming + Audiences: Increased culturally-specific and culturally relevant programming that results in greater diversification of audiences and participants

Types of Grants

Project: For specific and discrete projects that are of high priority to an organization and its community or constituents .

Project grants from the Building Community portfolio range from $40,000 to $175,000 over one, two or three years; the average in 2016 was $70,000 per year.

For large collaboratives, we will consider grants of $250,000 for up to three years. To learn how Meyer defines a collaborative for this purpose, please visit www.mmt.org/apply/applicant-resources/collaborative-proposals

Capacity Building: To strengthen an organization’s ability and infrastructure to advance its mission .

Capacity building grants are typically made in the range of $60,000 to $150,000 over one, two or three years; the average in 2016 was $60,000 per year. We will consider requests of up to $175,000 over three years. For Technical Assistance and collaborative planning efforts, grants of up to $35,000 will be considered.

Operating Support: For an organization’s overall strategic goals .

General operating support will be awarded only to organizations, collaboratives, and key intermediaries that address priorities of historically marginalized populations and demonstrate an internal DEI commitment, and stability and success in their core work.

Typical awards are $50,000 to $75,000 per year and are sized in relation to the organization’s annual operating budget such that Meyer’s grant does not constitute more than approximately 10-20% of the total budget. We will consider requests of up to $150,000 over two years for organizations with operating budgets over $1 million.

Capital: To support the purchase or construction of capital assets expected to have a long useful life.

Building Community awarded only two capital grants in 2016, both of which were less than $100,000. This year we will consider a very limited number of capital requests of up to $250,000 when a direct and compelling connection to improving conditions for priority populations is clear.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Applicants must
    • Fall into one of these categories:
      • a nonprofit agency recognized as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service, a public educational institution, a government or recognized tribal agency, or an organization that is requesting funding for a project that has a charitable, tax-exempt purpose
    • Seek funding for work that takes place within the state of Oregon;
    • Provide equal opportunity in leadership, staffing and service regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, political affiliation or religious belief
    • Not require attendance at or participation in religious/faith activities as a condition of service delivery nor require adherence to religious/faith beliefs as a condition of service or employment.

Preferences:

  • The Building Community portfolio prioritizes funding for work that improves conditions for the following populations:
    •  People of color
    • Immigrants and Refugees
    • Oregonians living on low incomes
    • Women and girls
    • Crime/abuse survivors
    • Indigenous peoples and Tribes
    • Aging/elderly people
    • People with disabilities
    • LGBT people

Ineligibility:

  • We are unable to fund:
    • Work that does not have a significant impact in Oregon 
    • Direct grants, scholarships or loans to individuals
    • Endowments
    • General fund drives, annual appeals, special events or, except in rare cases, conference sponsorships
    • Program Related Investments (loans and guarantees) to a specific project*
    • Elimination of operating deficits
    • Medical research
    • Animal welfare
    • Hospital capital construction
    • Projects/organizations that do not meet our nondiscrimination policy
    • Earmarks for purposes of influencing legislation
    • Any expenditures that would violate Meyer’s, or a grantee’s, tax-exempt status
  • The following are not strong fits for Building Community’s annual funding opportunity:
    • Efforts to advance equity through programming when the organization has not undertaken at least some tasks to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into their internal structures and operations. (In such cases, a request to support internal DEI work may be a better fit.
    • Plans to launch or expand programming that were developed without meaningful engagement of the people being served.
    •  Direct services that are not tied to or informed by broader efforts to change the root causes and systemic conditions that make the services necessary.
    • Organizational capacity building efforts that are not informed by an analysis of how diversity, equity and inclusion fit into the project.


About this funder:

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