Community Grant Program

Oregon Community Foundation

Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $50,000

Next anticipated deadline: Jan 15, 2019 12:00am PST

Later anticipated deadlines: Jul 15, 2019 12:00am PDT

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Capital Project, Applied Project / Program, Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Oregon

Location of residency: United States

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Program Goals 

The Community Grants Program is a broadly accessible, responsive statewide grants program. Its long-term goals are to strengthen the social fabric of our communities and improve the lives of all Oregonians. This program responds to evolving, community-identified needs and builds civic leadership and engagement.

Guiding Principles

  • We believe that creative and sustainable solutions come from people who work in partnership to address common needs and aspirations.
  • We give high priority to investments that create positive, substantive change and attempt to resolve problems at their source.
  • We recognize and respect Oregon's diverse regions and populations, and we seek to advance equity, diversity and inclusion through our programs

Four Funding Priorities & Objectives for Each 

  • Health & Wellbeing of Vulnerable Populations (30%-40% of grants)
    • Improve community-based health and wellness, including oral and mental/behavioral health
    • Address basic human needs, such as food, housing and related services
    • Improve the quality of life, safety and self-sufficiency of at-risk populations
  • Educational Opportunities & Achievement (30%-40%)
    • Promote social, emotional and cognitive development of young children, including programs that support and educate parents and efforts that engage volunteers
    • Expand academic support, mentoring and recreational programs for children and youth, particularly to close the achievement gap
    • Broaden workplace, career and postsecondary experiences and opportunities for youth
    • Improve adult literacy, skill development, education and workforce training
  • Community Livability, Environment & Citizen Engagement (10%-20%)
    • Promote leadership development, volunteerism, immigrant integration, and civic participation
    • Support stewardship and appreciation of Oregon’s outdoor spaces and scenic beauty
    • Address social, economic and environmental challenges or opportunities by bringing together disparate stakeholders
    • Preserve places essential to communities’ civic and historic identities
  • Arts & Cultural Organizations (15%-25%)
    • Strengthen and stabilize arts and cultural nonprofits, and support collaborative efforts
    • Cultivate and support appreciation of diverse cultures and art forms
    • Deepen community-based arts education for children and adults
    • Encourage audience engagement, particularly to reach underserved populations

Project Types

Community Grants help nonprofits better serve their local communities, with awards generally for:

  • Program development or expansion
  • Modest capital projects
  • Building the capacity of a nonprofit to strengthen or stabilize its operations

See additional specifications on Developing a Strong Community Grant Proposal

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


  • Must have 501(c)(3) status as a public entity (not a private foundation) or have a qualified fiscal sponsor.
  • OCF does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disabilities, age, status as a veteran, national origin or any other protected class.
  • Applicants for Community Grants must hold similar standards in the provision of services.
  • If a project is funded, the grantee may not submit the same project again (unless the project was offered a multi-year opportunity).
  • Large awards and multi-year awards are offered, but not frequently.


  • We give high priority to investments that create positive, substantive change and attempt to resolve problems at their source.
  • Preference is given to nonprofit applicants who have NOT received multiple Community Grants in recent years.


  • If no funding has been secured or no local support is evident, it is almost impossible to be competitive. 
  • The Community Grants Program is not a source of ongoing annual funding for an organization.
  • Also, OCF does not support the same project twice.
  • If you apply and DO NOT receive a grant, you may not apply for another grant until 12 months after your previous application was submitted.
  • If you apply and DO receive a grant, you may not apply for another grant until 18 months after your previous application was submitted.
  • Activities Typically Not Eligible for Community Grant Funding: 
    • Events or performances (either one-time or annual) unless they will result in significant growth in ongoing organizational capacity, financial stability or audience diversity
    • Annual fund appeals and contributions to endowments
    • Projects in individual schools
    • Grants to subsidize participation (scholarships) or re-granting programs
    • Purchases or activities that occur prior to grant decisions
    • Deficit funding
    • Replacement of government funding
    • Lobbying to influence legislation
    • Scientific research
    • Religious activities

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary