Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for Justice Oregon for Black Lives funding?

The Justice Oregon 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 Black Oregonians. Throughout the development of the initiative, the Justice Oregon team 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.

To support this request, we’ve limited the number of narrative questions in this application, will accept applications that have been prepared for other funders and will also accept video applications as an alternative to the written narrative section. We will offer general operating support when applicable.

While this process is not perfect by any means, we hope to continue to learn and adapt in response to feedback from our community, grantees and grantmaking peers.

New applicants will need to create a profile in GrantIS, Meyer’s online application portal. The activation process can take several days, so please be sure to set up your account well in advance of the application deadline. To do so, please visit: https://grantis.mmt.org/questionnaire.

Applicants with existing GrantIS accounts: Please check that your organization’s information is up to date by visiting https://grantis.mmt.org.

 

Can I apply for Justice Oregon funding if I have an existing Meyer grant from a different portfolio?

Current Meyer funding will not disqualify an organization from applying for funding from Justice Oregon for Black Lives.

 

I received multi-year funding from Justice Oregon previously. Can I apply again?

In conversations with our community advisory board, the Justice Oregon team heard a call to fund as many Black-led and Black serving organizations as possible. Therefore, if an organization has already received multi-year funding from Justice Oregon for Black Lives, they are ineligible for additional funding until their current grant cycle ends. These organizations may still apply for other Meyer funding opportunities. If you have questions about eligibility, please reach out to us questions [at] mmt.org.

 

Meyer’s guidelines provide a range of funding amounts. How do I know how much I should ask for?

The requested amount should take into consideration the overall project size, project complexity, organization size and other funding sources, and the potential of organizational tipping. Tipping occurs when a large contribution from a single donor to a 501(c)(3) causes that organization to fail the IRS public support test and is therefore "tipped" out of public charity status. We encourage organizations to speak with their accountants and tax advisors when deciding on request amounts. Read more about tipping here.

 

Are collaborative funding proposals to support two organizations more likely to be received favorably? What if oneof the organizations has an existing Meyer grant ?

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.

Therefore:

  • 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 Grantis. Learn more about fiscal sponsorships.

 

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 will 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, this initiative is designed to fund organizations with culturally specific programming for Black Oregonians.

 

Why is Justice Oregon for Black Lives 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 the initiative. These five areas have been uplifted by communities across conversations as priorities for Black Oregonians.

 

The work of my organization aligns with several priority areas. How do I know which one to apply under?

Justice Oregon 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.

 

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?

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. If you have additional questions about our advisory committee or have relevant experience in one or more of our identified priority areas, please contact justice-oregon [at] mmt.org.

 

Does Justice Oregon for Black Lives have an interest in supporting organizations outside of Oregon?

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 after we submit our application?

The entire process from application to funding takes about eight to fifteen weeks.

First, a Grant Review Committee made up of Black community leaders across the state works with Meyer staff to inform and develop recommendations for funding. The Justice Oregon team then conducts due diligence follow ups to learn more about the work of applicants. As part of the grant review process, Meyer staff may follow up with questions and/or a site visit with key members of your team to better understand your proposal.

Award decisions and funding amounts are then finalized by Meyer staff and notification letters are issued. Funding is generally paid out in the month following the award notification.

 

How do I keep up with Justice Oregon for Black Lives 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
  • Endowments
  • 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

 

Applicants must:

  • 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.