Robust application response speaks to great need in Oregon
When Meyer released our much-anticipated 2016 Spring Funding Opportunities a few months ago, we weren’t sure what the interest and response would be.
Afterall, while our mission to advance a flourishing and equitable Oregon remains constant, our focused funding approach on impact, equity and inclusive communities through portfolios is brand new — both for our community partners and for Meyer.
Suffice it to say, the robust response to our funding invitations was beyond what we imagined. All told, we received 675 Inquiry Applications, requesting a total of over $95 million through our Housing Opportunities, Building Community and Healthy Environment portfolios.
Those are sobering numbers. In all, Meyer anticipates distributing approximately $36 million in grant dollars this year, including grants made under our Spring Funding Opportunities, Affordable Housing and Willamette River initiatives, Chalkboard Project, foundation collaborations, legacy programs and upcoming funding opportunities to support leadership development and capacity builders.
On the upside, we are inspired and humbled by the dedication, energy, collaboration and ideas reflected in these applications. We are grateful that Oregon has so many amazing organizations and leaders diligently working to make our state a better, flourishing and equitable place.
At the same time, the response presents a daunting challenge to decide which proposals to move forward to the next step of our process and which to decline at this stage. There is a sizable gap between dollars requested and funds available — the $11 million Meyer allocated for this funding opportunity is dwarfed by the $95 million our partners are asking for. We know these are important decisions for our community and for Meyer. We do not take them lightly.
Over the course of the coming weeks, we will be inviting some applicants to submit full proposals and letting others know that their requests won’t be moving forward. With such a large gap between need and resources, it’s clear that some really good projects won’t be funded because other proposals are simply a stronger match with our goals, including our commitment to advancing equity. There are others that do not appear to quite align with our goals or funding approach or don’t seem quite ripe for a Meyer investment. Regardless of the outcome, we welcome all applicants to contact us for feedback on the decision.
We are truly excited and appreciative that so many organizations are interested in partnering with Meyer to advance equity and inclusion in housing, the environment and Oregon’s communities. Stay tuned, and remember that future opportunities are just around the bend.
A special note for our Building Community applicants: given the volume of applications received in this portfolio (410 inquiries requesting a total of more than $60 million), some decision notifications may extend a few days past our projected 45-day turnaround time. Thanks so much for your continued patience.
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