Healthy Environments: Statewide Program - Annual Funding Opportunity

Meyer Memorial Trust


Grant amount: US $4,000 - US $250,000

Anticipated deadline: Apr 18, 2019 5:00pm PDT (Letter of inquiry)

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: General Operating Expense, Applied Project / Program, Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Oregon

Location of residency: Oregon

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Overview:

About Healthy Environment

Our environmental investments are grounded in the belief that a flourishing and equitable Oregon depends on healthy ecosystems and clean water and air for all. Through the Healthy Environment portfolio, we work toward this in two ways: a Statewide Program that aims to build an inclusive environmental movement and engages and supports nonprofits working on a range of place-based and statewide efforts to protect and improve the environment, and the Willamette River Initiative, a 10-year commitment by Meyer to improve the health of the watershed that more than two-thirds of Oregonians call home.

Our environmental investments are grounded in the belief that a flourishing and equitable Oregon depends on healthy ecosystems and clean water and air for all.

Statewide Program

The Statewide Program works to protect and improve the health and resiliency of Oregon's environment while addressing the systems and structures in our communities that create unfair advantages for some groups and disadvantages for others in their access to a healthy environment. We prioritize efforts that aim to alter the status quo, and we value community-led approaches that align resources and organizations for greater impact.

Goals + Outcomes for statewide program funding

Goal 1: Achieve the mutual goals of community well-being, economic vitality and environmental stewardship

Intended outcomes

  • Innovation + Scaling: Identification and expanded use of effective models and strategies that provide measurable social, economic and environmental benefits
  • Policy + Systems: Adoption and implementation of public policies, public investments and institutional practices that provide measurable social, economic and environmental benefits
  • Organizational Capacity: Strengthened long-term health and capacity of key organizations, collaboratives and networks

Examples of what we might fund

We recognize that many organizations identify with this goal and hold sustainability as an organizational value. Please note, however, that projects funded in support of this goal must demonstrate measurable environmental, economic (e.g. jobs, wealth, income) and social impacts. If you will not be able to measure impact in all three of these areas, do not select this goal. Instead, please assess whether your proposed project might be a stronger fit with one of the other goals.

Projects funded under this goal could address a wide range of issues, including (but not limited to) building Oregon's sustainable food systems, addressing climate justice and clean/renewable energy, improving community livability and the built environment, addressing public health concerns related to the environment, or building the restoration economy. We aim to help spark or accelerate efforts aligning with this goal at different scales: a single site, one or more neighborhoods or communities, a city, a region, or statewide.

In general, fundraising capacity building grants are a low priority in this goal. For other capacity building projects, strong applicants will be those whose core programmatic work advances one of the other outcomes in this goal (policy + systems or innovation + scaling). 

These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects funded under this goal. To see more examples, visit our grants database. We invite other ideas that would further our goals and intended outcomes.

Goal 2: Ensure that environmental impacts + benefits are equitably distributed among communities

Intended outcomes

  • Community Influence: Increased emphasis on the priorities of communities experiencing disparities to shift and broaden perspectives and reform existing systems and institutions
  • Increased Opportunities: Increased opportunities for communities experiencing disparities to benefit from nature and investments in environmental protection
  • Reduced Burdens: Reduced environmental health burdens on communities experiencing disparities
  • Organizational Capacity: Strengthened long-term health and capacity of key organizations, collaboratives and networks

Examples of what we might fund

Examples of the types of environmental disparities we aim to address include (but are not limited to) the exposure of Oregon's farm and forestry workers to pesticides and poor living conditions, disproportionate health burdens impacting Oregon's Native communities as a result of high levels of toxics exposure and inadequate protection of traditional food sources, the disparate impacts of air pollution and industrial pollutants on many of Oregon's most racially diverse communities, and poor access to parks and nature by many low-income communities and communities of color.

These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals and intended outcomes.

Goal 3: Support a movement for a healthy environment that is effective + relevant for all of Oregon's diverse communities

Intended outcomes

  • Equity Focus: Increased commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion among organizations working for a healthy environment and improved understanding of how to advance equity through their work
  • Collaboration: Increased collaboration and sector alignment that engages diverse constituencies toward shared environmental priorities
  • Narrative Change: Increased emphasis on the concerns and interests of diverse communities in the public discourse related to a healthy environment

Examples of What We Might Fund

We recognize that building an inclusive environmental movement in Oregon means that the current movement needs to change. To do this, organizations must learn to think differently about their work, including learning about other communities and cultures to make sure that their approach and how they operate respects and includes them. It means building new relationships. It also means developing new stories and narratives to describe the change we are trying to create so that the words we use to explain our vision for the future does not reinforce the status quo and existing power structure that favors certain communities and identities over others.

Examples of projects that we fund to advance this goal include (but are not limited to) support for organizational diversity, equity and inclusion training, planning and implementation; collaborations between organizations that serve or are led by communities experiencing disparities, environmental organizations and other nontraditional partners; and support for key intermediaries and coalition builders to advance coordination, effectiveness and impact of the field as a whole. In addition, funded projects may include communications research, message framing and creative engagement to change and expand the narrative of Oregon's environmental movement.

These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals and intended outcomes.

Goal 4: Ensure that natural systems are healthy and able to adapt to changing conditions + long-term impacts

Intended outcomes

  • Ecological Health: Expanded use of new, promising and proven strategies for protecting or restoring ecosystems and critical natural resources to ensure their long-term health
  • Policy and Systems: Adoption and implementation of public policies, public investments and institutional practices that support healthy ecosystems and natural resources
  • Organizational Capacity: Strengthened long-term health and capacity of key organizations, collaboratives and networks

Examples of what we might fund

Projects may focus on protecting and restoring the full range of Oregon's ecosystems, including forested mountains, deserts, agricultural valleys, rivers and wetlands, shrub- and grass-covered plains, beaches, and nearshore marine ecosystems.

We will prioritize landscape-scale and statewide efforts, including public policy work aimed at establishing new funding and new protection and restoration strategies, as well as efforts that aim to implement existing plans and policies based on sound ecosystem management principles. We expect that funded organizations will demonstrate a commitment to equity, operationalize it in their work and demonstrate progress over time.

In general, fundraising capacity building grants are a low priority in this goal. For other capacity building projects, strong applicants will be those whose programmatic work is landscape-scale and/or statewide.

These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals and intended outcomes.

Equity commitment

Equity is a central tenet in all Meyer’s grantmaking. 

All applicants — regardless of where in their equity journey they may be today — must demonstrate a commitment to ongoing growth through the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) principles into both their external programming or services and internal structures and operations.

Grant Types + Amounts

Capacity Building Support — primarily supports internal organizational and collaborative needs

  • Capacity building grants will be $10,000 to $185,000 total over one to three years. Generally, larger awards support multiple years
  • Grants for technical assistance and collaborative planning efforts — two types of capacity building — are generally up to $35,000

*In 2017, the average size of a Healthy Environment Statewide Program capacity building grant was $120,000 over two years. The average size of a technical assistance or collaborative planning grant was $25,000 over one year.

Project Support — primarily supports programmatic work

  • Project grants will be $10,000 to $185,000 total over one to three years. Generally, smaller awards support grassroots organizations and larger awards support multiple years. 
  • For collaboratives, we will consider up to $250,000 total over two to three years. To learn how Meyer defines a collaborative for this purpose, please click here. If you are interested in a grant for a larger collaborative project, please contact a member of our Healthy Environment team to determine whether or not your collaborative project is a good fit for a large request and to receive guidance on the amount to request 

*In 2017, the average size of a Healthy Environment Statewide Program project grant was $115,000 over two years

Operating Support — unrestricted support

  • Awards will be up to $75,000 per year for two or three years and are sized in relation to the organization’s annual operating budget such that Meyer’s operating grant does not constitute more than approximately 20 percent of the organization’s total annual budget
  • General operating support grants will primarily be awarded to organizations working on public policy and systems change; key intermediaries and networks that serve the interests of many organizations working for a healthy environment; or key organizations or networks that play a unique role in the field and that has wider impact for the sector (e.g. is a field leader in Oregon or nationally)
  • All Healthy Environment operating support grantees will have demonstrated internal and external commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; the strongest candidate organizations will also demonstrate diversity, equity and inclusion leadership in the context of the community and field where they work
  • We strongly encourage you to contact program staff to determine whether your organization is a good candidate for an operating support grant

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

Eligibility:

  • We seek to partner with organizations that:
    • Share our goals and vision for change
    • Are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in their organizations and partnerships
    • Have a track record of effective work directly related to our funding priorities or have identified such work as a strategic and mission-aligned priority over the grant period
    • Collaborate with other organizations in their community, within the same sector and/ or across sectors
    • Recognize and can articulate the intersection between their organization’s work and broader policies and systems
    • Have effective leadership that engages a base of community support
    • Demonstrate the administrative capacity, financial planning and organizational commitment to implement their proposed project
    • Are committed to understanding and evaluating the impact and effectiveness of their work
  • 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.
  • All proposals must advance one of the following Healthy Environment Statewide Program funding goals:
    • Achieve the mutual goals of community well-being, economic vitality + environmental stewardship
    • Ensure that environmental impacts + benefits are equitably distributed among communities
    • Support a movement to ensure a healthy environment that is effective + relevant for all of Oregon’s diverse communities
    • Ensure that natural systems are resilient and able to adapt to changing conditions + long-term impacts

Preferences:

  • We prioritize funding for projects that:
    • Offer the strongest opportunities for us to further our vision and goals
    • Address disparities and increase equity for historically disadvantaged communities
    • Represent innovative and systemic approaches to addressing the root causes of problems
    • Will have a lasting impact by changing policies, systems and institutional practices or by building sector strength and community capacity
    • Are based on thoughtful planning and research, including constituent involvement in defining the problem and solutions and analysis of relevant data and planning documents
    • Leverage additional financial and in-kind resources including partnerships and community support.

Ineligibility:

  • Applications that do not make a strong and clear connection to at least one of Meyer’s intended outcomes will not be successful.
  • 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
  • What Doesn't Fit
    • The following are not a strong fit for the annual funding opportunity:
      • Environmental education, outdoor learning and outdoor recreation projects and programs, unless they are part of a larger effort that demonstrates measureable environmental impact or systems change.
      • Projects that support public health impact or food access benefits, but do not demonstrate measurable environmental impact.
      • School or community garden programs unless they are linked to a larger-scale sustainability or environmental systems change strategy.
      • Single-site/small-scale restoration, stewardship and acquisition projects unless they are part of a landscape-scale/systems change strategy
      • Efforts to advance equity through programming when the organization has taken no steps to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion principles into their internal structures and operations
  • Organizations that have an active multi-year grant through a previous Meyer Annual Funding Opportunity are not eligible to apply for a 2018 Funding Opportunity grant except in specific cases. 


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