Announcing Our Funding Goals, Strategies and Grantmaking Plans for 2024

Candice Jimenez of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs smiles at her daughter

I was talking to a friend recently about the moments in our lives where we felt part of something bigger than ourselves, larger than one person or organization. It’s a magical feeling — when change seems tangible and progress feels possible. (Truthfully, when you work on complex movements like racial justice, these special moments can feel pretty rare.)

Today feels like a part-of-something-special moment for Meyer Memorial Trust.

Last year, we offered a high-level look at our progress: new funding priorities that better express our mission to accelerate racial, social and economic justice for Oregon’s lands and peoples. Today, we can announce the specific goals and strategies that will guide our three issue-based priority areas: Our Resilient Places, Our Empowered Youth and Our Collective Prosperity.

Through Our Resilient Places, we will support work that builds power and capacity for frontline communities, helps us transition toward more regenerative economic policies and practices and affirms BIPOC communities' connection to place.

Under Our Collective Prosperity, we will focus on closing Oregon’s persistent racial wealth gap, holistically supporting families and caretakers and creating a just and equitable path to homeownership.

In Our Empowered Youth, we’ll continue our work reforming the education system to create opportunities for our most marginalized students and support educators and decision-makers who reflect the diversity of our students.

To view the full scope of our goals and strategies, visit our updated programs page.

Our path to these goals

We are not under the illusion that it is the work of private foundations like Meyer to define what justice looks like. Rather, it is incumbent upon us, as part of the larger Oregon ecosystem, to follow the lead set by our grantees and partners.

That’s why our path to these goals and strategies included community-specific listening sessions, one-on-one interviews, robust literature reviews, panel presentations and more. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this process — especially our grantee partners for sharing your time, wisdom and expertise.

These new goals and strategies reflect what we heard from you about what our state needs and how we can move forward together.

An open call for proposals

I am excited to share that, in August, Meyer will hold an open call for proposals for these three portfolios with grantmaking funds totaling over $12 million. You’ve told us the value of reliable, unrestricted funding so we’re offering an option to apply for multi-year and general operating support grants. You can also apply for project-specific support or as part of a collaborative with other organizations. We will also continue to offer invite-only opportunities to groups working in the three portfolio areas.

(If your work falls outside these three portfolios, other Meyer funding will continue through our special initiatives.) We'll share more details about how to apply for the three portfolios in the coming weeks. In the meantime, sign up for our e-newsletter to ensure you’re getting the latest.

Hitting the road

We want to talk more about all of this in person. That’s why, this summer, my colleagues and I are hitting the road. Members of our team will be traveling across Oregon to meet with you and talk more about this funding opportunity and Meyer’s new focus. (We will also share this information through several virtual info sessions for folks who can’t meet us in person.)

We know that Meyer is just a small part of the larger work happening every day across our state and we’re excited to reconnect with organizations we’ve worked with for years and meet groups brand new to us. Our itinerary will be shared in the coming weeks.

Thank you

We know much has changed since Meyer’s last open call in the summer of 2021, while we were still at the height of the COVID pandemic. Most of us have returned to our offices, finding some semblance of a new normal. But we’ve also seen unprecedented attacks on racial justice, reproductive rights and the transgender community.  As the world has changed, so have we. We experienced shifts in our leadership and staff and, like many of our grantee organizations, we had to find a new footing — one rooted in the justice values of our new mission.

During this period, Meyer never slowed or reduced our grantmaking — which continued primarily through invitation-only grants, renewals and special initiatives. But still, we have been anxious to open a funding opportunity to new programs and partners. This is a big moment we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Thank you for partnering with us on this journey.

We can’t wait to see you soon,