February 2016 Awards Announced

88 percent of the grants fall under Meyer’s new, focused portfolios

Meyer Memorial Trust made 42 grants totaling nearly $3.6 million to a variety of tax-exempt organizations in February. These grants bring the total awarded since Meyer began operating in 1982 to $698 million.

Most of the grants fall under Meyer’s new, focused portfolios — building community, supporting a healthy environment, ensuring housing opportunities and underpinning an equitable education for all Oregonians. Of those, twenty-five of the awards were made under Meyer’s Affordable Housing Initiative, exploring cost-efficiencies, supporting private market units, preserving existing properties and helping to build the capacity of organizations collaborating to address affordable housing needs across Oregon. Those grants range from a $10,500 grant for technical assistance in support of a Section 8 security deposit loan project in Clatsop County, to a $150,000 grant to pilot a flexible, collaborative, cost-efficient, modular approach to housing development in Multnomah County.

A dozen more grants were made under Meyer’s Willamette River Initiative, including a $48,854 grant for work ranging from outreach and training to support conservation practices on organic farms along the river and its tributaries in Benton County, to a $149,937 grant for floodplain restoration at Salem’s Minto Brown Island Park.

Established in 1982, the Meyer Trust is one of the largest private foundations in Oregon, with assets of roughly $728 million in December. Over its lifetime, Meyer has awarded grants and PRIs to 3,194 organizations in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Meyer funds ongoing initiatives related to affordable housing and the Willamette River, to support large arts organizations through a partnership with other large regional grantmakers, and to buttress education policy, research and engagement through the Chalkboard Project. Meyer no longer accepts grant requests for work done outside of Oregon.

On March 9, Meyer will announce funding opportunities for our grants focusing on building community, supporting a healthy environment and ensuring housing opportunities. Funding opportunities for our Equitable Education Portfolio will rollout later in 2016. Visit the events page at mmt.org for details on a series of information sessions, including in-person and virtual open houses, beginning in mid-March.

Meyer is governed by a six-member Board of Trustees, which includes Debbie Craig, John Emrick, George Puentes, Charles Wilhoite, Toya Fick and Darleen Ortega.

A glimpse at the February awards by the numbers

Twenty-six grants, totaling just over $2.48 million, and representing 69 percent of all Meyer funding awarded this month, fall under the category of human services. That includes an AHI Cost Efficiencies grant of $148,200 to Lane County’s SquareOne Villages to pilot a rural, tiny house village model and to develop a toolbox and training kit focused to replicate the approach in other Oregon communities, and nine AHI Sustaining Portfolios grants of $150,000 to develop and implement property-specific portfolio preservation plans in Umatilla, Columbia, Lincoln, Marion, Clatsop, Polk and Multnomah counties.

Three grants, totaling $184,937, focus on social benefit, including a $25,000 grant to the University of Oregon for the New Natural Resource Economy project, a public-nonprofit sector collaboration to help small, rural firms in eastern Oregon take advantage of emerging opportunities, and a technical assistance grant of $10,000 for communications support for Causa of Oregon.

There are two education-related grants, each for $75,000. One, awarded to the AVID Center, aims to increase the capacity of teachers outside of the Portland Metro area to equitably prepare students for college and their careers. The second helps build organizational capacity at the Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality.

And eleven grants, totaling $769,770, or 21 percent of all funding awarded in February, focus on conservation and the environment benefit. Those include a grant of $38,828 to the Calapooia Watershed Council for habitat restoration at Bowers Rock State Park, a 568-acre wooded oasis just west of Albany, and a grant of $199,525 to the Willamette Riverkeeper to restore the floodplain at Willamette Mission State Park, just north of Keizer.

February grants by county and focus area

Download the list of February 2016 awards by county HERE>>

Download the list of February 2016 awards by focus area HERE>>

Here at mmt.org, we welcome your comments — critical, supportive or otherwise. We reserve the right to remove comments if they contain the following: off-topic statements or links, vulgarity, abusive content, personal attacks or spam. Those who violate this policy will be blocked from commenting.