We open our Annual Funding Opportunity today in a moment of great uncertainty: Oregon is under a state of emergency, schools across the state are closed, offices, including Meyer, are shuttered while staff work remotely, store shelves are empty and all of us are asked to distance ourselves from one another.
Amidst the unsteady conditions caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Meyer is thinking of our grantee partners. We recognize that our nonprofit partners and the communities they serve — particularly the most vulnerable populations — are being impacted in numerous ways. Our approach will be guided, in part, by both the changing landscape and the insights of our partners.
We are moving quickly to identify ways to respond with support that complements government action and field leadership. We are currently in conversation with other Meyer trustees and staff as well as other philanthropic partners to create responses so the important work of the social sector can move carry on in the face of this crisis. We will share those as they become clearer. Please stay tuned.
In the meantime, we want to provide some stability and opportunity to access support for your work and be clear about what we know for now. Here are the current specifics related to the Annual Funding Opportunity:
- AFO applications may be submitted starting today and through April 13.
- Our funding priorities, process and timeline remain the same as last year.* We will continue to use our one-step application and staff will reach out to applicants as part of the review process.
- Meyer staff will work from home through March 31st and Program staff will be available to discuss grant application ideas by contacting questions [at] mmt.org (questions[at]mmt[dot]org). You can also contact grantops [at] mmt.org (grantops[at]mmt[dot]org) for questions about our online application system, GrantIS.
- In order to provide equitable access to our process, we have created video tutorials for each of the four portfolio areas here. If you aren’t sure which portfolio your organization fits in, you might find the 2020 AFO Overview video tutorial is a better place to start, linked here.
- Our applicant resources page is another area where you can find answers to your grantmaking questions. While Meyer staff are working remotely, general inquiries can also be left on our voicemail at 503-228-5512, which we are monitoring.
For current grantees, we would also like to share that:
- We recognize this developing situation may affect your ability to carry out work that you have planned as part of our funding. As always, we want to offer you flexibility. If your operations are impacted as you respond to the coronavirus pandemic, please contact your Meyer grant contact to discuss how to best proceed.
- While we are working remotely, we have plans in place to ensure our ability to make grant payments with minimal disruption.
- As we make any possible adjustments, we will remain true to our stated values around equity, our priority populations and our portfolio areas.
* Unlike last year, the Building Community portfolio will be accepting proposals from the field — and with a particular emphasis on systems change. Applicants will be able to apply under two different goal areas, including Civic Engagement and Community Connection and Belonging. These goal areas are similar to those that have been put forth over the past few years. We’re asking applicants to demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, accountability to communities served and experience implementing strategies designed specifically to address the priorities of people of color, Indigenous communities, or immigrants or refugees.
It is times like this that reinforce the importance of your work for a flourishing and equitable Oregon. Thank you for all that you do. We are with you as our communities confront the challenges that lie ahead. And we will keep you apprised as we move forward together.
— Kaberi, Matt, Jill, Dahnesh and Theresa