Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for Justice Oregon for Black Lives funding?
Meyer uses a one-step application process for our annual funding opportunity. The Justice Oregon for Black Lives application and reporting processes stand in contrast to traditional funding models that often add burden to already under-resourced organizations serving marginalized populations, especially those led by and serving people of color. Throughout the development of the initiative, Justice Oregon for Black Lives has been in conversation with Black communities across Oregon who have clearly and repeatedly asked for a process that enables them to learn alongside Meyer while still prioritizing the needs of their beneficiaries. We’ve listened and responded with a three narrative question application, accepting applications that have been prepared for other funders, and moving away from dominant culture worship of the written word by accepting video applications answering these questions (note: please limit video applications to 10 minutes). While this process is not perfect by any means, in our first year we hope to continue to learn and adapt according to feedback from community, grantees and learning from other portfolios and funders.
We used to accept grant applications through Meyer’s GrantIS application portal, but we are currently switching to GivingData. We will add GivingData help here after the transition has been completed. Read more about our transition from GrantIS to GivingData.
Can I apply for Justice Oregon funding if I have an existing Meyer grant from a different portfolio?
Because the commitment to Black communities is in addition to the portfolio support Meyer has, current Meyer funding will not disqualify an organization from applying for funding from Justice Oregon for Black Lives.
Meyer’s guidelines provide a range of funding amounts. How do I know how much I should ask for?
The request amount should take into consideration the overall project size, project complexity, organization size and other funding sources. To truly impact systems change and enact programming that improves the life of Black Oregonians, we suggest funding requests of $50,000-$200,000 or above unless that amount is too high of a percentage for an organization’s overall budget(~20% of an organization’s budget).
Are collaborative funding proposals to support two organizations (where a clear and genuine collective impact can be demonstrated) more likely to be received favorably? Even if one organization has an existing Meyer grant (from a different portfolio)?
Meyer values collaboration. (Read more on that here.) Collaboration allows nonprofits to tackle complex, systemic issues by bringing all stakeholders together to coordinate their efforts to achieve lasting impact. Justice Oregon for Black Lives recognizes the ways in which equitable collaboration can achieve population and systems level impact toward Black liberation. Collaboration also enables Black leaders and Black serving organizations to leverage each other’s expertise to better serve their collective populations.
Considerations for funding a collaborative include:
Organizations may submit an additional grant application on behalf of a collaborative even if they are also applying for a grant to support their own organization's work or they have an active Meyer grant.
Collaboratives can apply for up to $200,000, with a possible exception if an organization could end up with Meyer funding constituting too high a percentage of its overall budget (~20%).
We understand that deep collaboration takes significant time and resources and we support these efforts through our grantmaking.
Can we use a fiscal sponsor for our grant application?
Yes, Meyer allows 501(c)(3) organizations to fiscally sponsor grant applications for other organizations that do not have that specific tax-exempt status. The fiscal sponsor organization will need to submit the grant application and if the grant is approved, will become the grantee and recipient of the grant award. Your organization and your fiscal sponsor should be registered in our grant application software. Learn more about fiscal sponsorships.
Do these portfolio changes allow for organizations to apply who have applied in the past 1-2 years?
Prior applications to Meyer have no bearing on a group’s eligibility to apply for this Call for Proposals (CFP).
Will Justice Oregon for Black Lives offer one year or multi-year funding grants?
In line with what we heard from conversations with Black communities, Justice Oregon for Black Lives will offer multi-year support, beginning with awards of up to two years.
Can you define “Black serving organization” and what types of services you will be considering for the upcoming CFP?
Justice Oregon for Black Lives seeks to support organizations that actively improve the livelihood of Black Oregonians and are oriented toward long-term strategic change. While we recognize and support intersectional efforts to uplift all BIPOC people, Justice Oregon hopes to fund organizations with culturally specific programming for Black Oregonians.
Why is Justice Oregon focused on these five priority areas?
Since the founding of Justice Oregon in June 2020, our program model has utilized participatory grantmaking principles, ensuring community wisdom guides every step of our process. From mid April to late July 2021 we engaged Black Oregonians in three advisory committees and several community engagement roundtables earlier in the year. The focus of these convenings were to gather feedback and recommendations regarding initiative strategic priorities, outcomes and structure for JOBL. These five areas have been uplifted by communities across conversations as priorities for Black Oregonians.
The work of my organization aligns with several Justice Oregon priority areas. How do I know which one to apply under?
Justice Oregon for Black Lives recognizes the intersectionality within each of the five priority areas, as well as the ways these areas mutually reinforce each other toward the ultimate goal of Black liberation. Applicants may select one priority area that best aligns to their work and include information about alignment with one or more of the other priority area goals in the proposal narrative. We anticipate that for most organizations, the strongest connection with one priority area and goal will be clear. Furthermore, if you are working in one of these areas but on different outcomes, we want to hear from you. Please reach out to justice-oregon [at] mmt.org with questions about priority areas and associated goals.
Where are goals and outcomes for Shifting Black Narrative through Arts & Culture and Addressing Trauma and Healing for Black Communities priority areas?
As Meyer is relatively new to funding both of these strategic priority areas, we partnered with community advisory boards in the fall/winter of 2021 to help identify high-level outcomes and goals for impact. In March 2022, we opened an additional, invite-only Call for Proposals for organizations who expressed interest in funding focused on these two areas. We expect to announce funding for those areas in June.
How will funding decisions be made?
In keeping with Justice Oregon’s trust in the expertise of community, we will assemble a small group of community leaders to make recommendations on funding allocation. While we rely on the expertise of these leaders, Justice Oregon will continue to share decision-making power with those who hold fiduciary responsibility within Meyer (i.e., our CEO and the Board of Trustees).
How can I become a member of one of the Justice Oregon advisory boards?
At this moment, the Justice Oregon team is in conversation with multiple community members across the state to co-develop the initiative. We realize Black community is not a monolith and there are distinct issues and work that should be supported. Therefore, Justice Oregon will continue to solicit feedback from community members on a rolling basis as our processes evolve and we dive deeper into the work of striving toward Black liberation over the next four years. If you have additional questions about our advisory committee, please contact justice-oregon [at] mmt.org.
Does Justice Oregon for Black Lives have an interest in supporting organizations that may serve Oregonians as well as programming in other states?
Our biggest concern is where the impact of the work that we fund will be felt. Meyer’s service area is the state of Oregon, so our funding is focused on impact throughout the state and only in this state (although we acknowledge this is a colonial boundary that does not have primary relevance for communities that have been on this land since time immemorial). We do fund work in Oregon that is done by organizations that work here and also work in other states. We sometimes fund work in Oregon that is done by organizations with headquarters or other infrastructure located out of state.
When can we expect to hear back from Meyer after we submit our application?
Awards for the first three community-identified priorities have been announced. We expect to announce awards for the remaining two priorities (Arts & Culture and Addressing Trauma and Healing for Black Communities) in Summer 2022.
How do I keep up with Justice Oregon news and updates?
Please make sure to sign up for our newsletter.
Are there other opportunities to apply for funding with Meyer?
Meyer is a member of the Oregon Immigrant and Refugees Funders Collaborative, which supports organizations working to address impacts of anti-immigrant policies. Applications for this work are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.
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, except in rare cases, 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
- Earmarks for purposes of influencing legislation
- Any expenditures that would violate Meyer’s, or a grantee’s, tax-exempt status
Fall into one of these categories: a nonprofit agency recognized as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service, 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.