Healthy Environment: Annual Funding Opportunity

Meyer Memorial Trust

Suggest an update

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

Anticipated deadline: May 15, 2020 5:00pm PDT

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

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?

About this funder:

Loading...

Overview:

Meyer invites proposals that further our goal of nurturing a resilient natural environment, while simultaneously supporting the well-being of Oregon’s diverse cultures and communities.

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: 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 policies, systems and institutions
  • Increased Opportunities: Increased opportunities for communities experiencing disparities to benefit from nature and 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 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. 

Goal: 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 do not reinforce the status quo and existing power structure that favor certain communities and identities over others.

Examples of projects that we fund to advance this goal include 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.

Goal 3: Ensure that natural systems are healthy and able to adapt to changing conditions + long-term impacts

Intended outcomes

  • Ecological Health: Identification and 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: Strengthening 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 systems change, landscape-scale and statewide efforts, particularly public policy work aimed at establishing new funding, protection and restoration strategies, as well as efforts that aim to implement existing plans and policies based on sound ecosystem management principles, including traditional ecological knowledge. 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.

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

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 

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 will be awarded only to organizations, collaboratives and key intermediaries that address priorities of this portfolio’s priority populations and demonstrate an internal DEI commitment and stability and success in their core work

Technical Assistance — short-term interventions by a consultant to assist an organization with specific projects

  • Grants (including collaborative planning efforts) will be up to $35,000

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.
  • 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 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 plan and organizational commitment to implement their proposed project;
    • Are committed to understanding and evaluating the impact and effectiveness of their work.

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*
      • *Meyer still provides PRIs, but in a different and more specific way. Going forward, we will focus on making PRIs to intermediaries and for purposes supporting our Housing Opportunities and Healthy Environment portfolios. 
    • 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 the Healthy Environment annual funding opportunity:
    • Environmental education, outdoor learning and outdoor recreation projects and programs, unless they are part of a larger effort that demonstrates measurable 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