We see our role as working to dismantle barriers to equity and improve conditions so that all Oregonians can reach their full potential. That means we intend to focus on areas where we feel Meyer has the best opportunity to make a real impact for Oregon.
Meyer funds work that strongly aligns with our funding priorities and strategies. Proposals to support work that falls outside these priorities will not be successful.
We 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.
We prioritize funding for projects that:
Offer the strongest opportunities for us to further our vision and goals;
Address disparities and increase equity for historically under-resourced communities;
- Represent innovative and systemic approaches to addressing the root causes of problems;
- Will have a lasting impact by changing policies, systems and institutional practices or by building sector strength and community capacity;
- Are based on thoughtful planning and research, including constituent involvement in defining the problem and solutions and analysis of relevant data and planning documents;
- Leverage additional financial and in-kind resources including partnerships and community support.
- Fall into one of these categories: a 501(c)(3) public charity or be fiscally sponsored, 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 are unable to fund:
- Work that does not have a significant impact in Oregon
- Direct grants, scholarships or loans to individuals
- General fund drives, annual appeals, special events or conference sponsorships
- Program Related Investments (loans and guarantees) to a specific project*
- Elimination of operating deficits
- Medical research
- Animal welfare
- Hospital capital construction
- Projects/organizations that do not meet our nondiscrimination policy (below)
- Earmarks for purposes of influencing legislation
- Any expenditures that would violate Meyer’s, or a grantee’s, tax-exempt status
Meyer’s Nondiscrimination Statement for Grant Applicants
Meyer Memorial Trust values organizations that reflect and promote diversity in Oregon, organizations that disrupt systems of privilege or exclusion, and organizations that ensure services are delivered to people who have historically experienced discrimination or have been underserved.
We regard a nondiscrimination statement as a “screening in” policy. The idea is to encourage partnership with nonprofits that incorporate inclusion into their work, create diverse governance boards and staff, and value the role equity plays in serving their constituents. The ultimate goal is to determine common ground between an organization’s practices and Meyer’s overarching equity vision of ensuring a flourishing and equitable Oregon where all residents can reach their full potential.
But in issues of equity, there are tensions.
Often those tensions reveal themselves when our values collide with dire need for certain services. For instance, we may occasionally consider funding organizations that don't exactly meet our requirements but whose work is either extremely valuable to those who have been underserved or will reach marginalized communities that are not otherwise being served. In such cases, we will evaluate whether equity will on balance be best served by making an exception to our own policy.
In all cases, we will be transparent about our reasoning for supporting such organizations.
We ask all applicants to confirm and self-certify to the following: "Our policies and practices provide equal opportunity to all qualified individuals in leadership, staffing and service, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion and any status protected by law."
If an organization self-certifies to be in compliance, then their application will be considered. If upon further consideration/due diligence it comes to our attention that the organization’s policies or practices may not reflect our values of inclusivity, we will take the following steps:
• Engage leadership of the organization in a conversation around our concerns of perceived discriminatory policies or practices, and determine their ability and interest in eliminating or ameliorating such policies or practices.
• Evaluate and weigh the benefits to be delivered to the population to be served and the form and extent of perceived discrimination. For example, we will consider where organizational policies are not inclusive but practices and service delivery appear to be or where a literal or strict interpretation of the nondiscrimination clause may negatively impact disadvantaged and marginalized populations, such as where there is no other viable service provider.
• Document our concerns with the organization’s board chair and executive director, including the fact that they may not receive future Meyer funding, and where applicable, establish a shared timeline for change or markers of progress to be made against the perceived discrimination.
• If an award is to be made, Meyer will be transparent and publicly recognize our dilemma in our grants announcement and explain why we are funding even though the organization does not appear to comply with a literal interpretation of our nondiscrimination statement.
• Where appropriate, we will engage other co-funders to discuss and assist our evaluation of the dilemma.
We adopt this approach at Meyer to ensure a level of integrity, consistency and transparency as we apply our evolving equity lens in service to our mission. We encourage policies and practices that promote inclusivity, and values of equity and humbleness will guide the application and interpretation of our nondiscrimination policy. In all instances, accountability and transparency regarding our process and conclusions are essential.
Screening Policy for Faith-Based/Faith-Affiliated Organizations
We also ask religious organizations to comply with the “no proselytizing” directive in Fred G. Meyer’s will establishing the trust. His values continue to guide our decision making. He did not want to support proselytizing of any sort. Therefore, we ask applicant organizations to certify the following: "We do not require attendance or participation in religious/faith activities as a condition of service delivery, nor do we require adherence to religious/faith beliefs as a condition of service or employment."