Community Grant Program

Oregon Community Foundation

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

Next deadline: Jul 15, 2020 11:59pm PDT

Later deadlines: Jan 15, 2021 11:59pm PST

Applicant type: Nonprofit

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

Location of project: Oregon

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



Community Grant Program

This is OCF's largest, broadest and most accessible grant program. Each year, hundreds of nonprofits from every corner of the state submit applications. 

We award about 175 grants per biannual grant cycle, mostly to small and midsize nonprofits.

The average grant is $20,000. Throughout the granting cycle, applications cross paths with OCF Board members, staff, advised fund donors, leadership council members and volunteer grant evaluators. Evaluation criteria includes:

  • The strength of local support for the project.
  • The strength of the applicant organization.
  • Whether the project addresses a significant community need.

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

In addition, OCF occasionally awards one-year-only “bridge” support for core operations. These are rare and it is important that:

  1. applicant’s mission is a close fit with OCF funding priorities,
  2. the need is temporary, and
  3. applicant has a clear, viable plan for replacing OCF support with more sustainable funding after the grant year.

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 charity (not a private foundation), be a public entity, 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 must hold similar standards.
  • 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.


  • Cannot apply until previous grant funded project(s) have been completed and reports submitted.
  • Cannot apply for the same project twice.
  • 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.