It's that time of year again: We are excited to invite initial applications for the 2018 Annual Funding Opportunity! We anticipate awarding over $15 million to partners who share our vision and commitment to creating a flourishing and equitable Oregon where each one of us can thrive — an Oregon filled with vibrant communities where every voice is heard and a public education system where every child has true opportunity to learn and discover and pursue dreams. A place where our amazing natural environment is healthy and strong and supports our diverse cultures and communities and where every single person has a safe, stable and affordable place to call home. If your work brings us closer to this vision, please consider applying!
All four of Meyer's portfolios — Building Community, Equitable Education, Healthy Environment and Housing Opportunities — are now accepting applications until 5 p.m. April 18. You can find details about this opportunity and how to apply here. And read what portfolio directors Theresa Deibele (Housing Opportunities), Jill Fuglister (Healthy Environment), Matt Morton (Equitable Education) and Dahnesh Medora (Building Community) have to share about the specifics of their respective portfolio opportunities.
We also invite you to join us in conversation. Over the next two weeks, our team will be holding in-person information sessions in communities across Oregon, as well as virtual sessions. Check out the schedule here and don't forget to RSVP so we can be sure to have a seat for you. During our in-person sessions, staff from all four portfolios will be on hand to provide information and answer your questions. This year, our virtual sessions will include one general session and several portfolio-specific sessions. And we are offering two new virtual sessions: one for folks interested in submitting a collaborative proposal (April 2) and one for arts and cultures organizations (April 6). We hope you will join us!
Much remains consistent with last year's annual funding opportunity, but if you have previously applied, you will notice a few changes this year. First, we listened to your feedback and have made some improvements to our application — thank you for the great suggestions! As examples, we have streamlined the demographic data we are requesting, re-ordered some sections so they are easier to navigate and reduced the number of attachments. Our Building Community and Equitable Education portfolios also look a little different, having refined their goals and outcomes to clarify what "fits," and we've added priority populations in some portfolios. We've also made modest changes to funding amounts for some types of grants and increased consistency in funding amounts across portfolios.
Keep a few things in mind as you consider applying:
- We are looking for partners who demonstrate commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and want to continue to build their own capacity — in both the services they provide and their internal operations. Learn more about how we think about this here and here.
- We value rural communities and our rural partners. We remain committed to supporting organizations and work across Oregon — last year, we funded organizations in 27 Oregon counties and work in every region of the state. Between 31 and 64 percent of each portfolio's funding supported projects that benefitted one or more rural communities.
- New-to-Meyer organizations and small organizations are welcome. In fact, over 20 percent of 2017 grantees were organizations that had never before received a Meyer grant. And if you are a smaller organization, no need to be intimidated — remember that our grants come in a range of sizes and that we are happy to provide guidance about applying — just contact us at questions [at] mmt.org.
- Different types of funding are available to meet your needs. Capacity building (including technical assistance), operating support, project support and, in some portfolios, capital construction dollars are available. Check the details for each portfolio and reach out if you have questions about what type or amount to apply for (if you are a smaller-budget organization, you can also read a helpful blog on "tipping" by my colleague Mijounga Chang).
- Applying on behalf of a collaborative? We believe in the power of working together. If your collaborative meets our criteria, we have a specific application opportunity for you so you won't have to choose between applying for your own organization or applying on behalf of your collaborative. Learn more here and sign up for our virtual Collaborative information session on April 2.
- Currently receiving Meyer grant funding? Be sure to contact your assigned Meyer team member to clarify whether you are eligible to apply to this funding opportunity. And if you are eligible but will have multiple active Meyer grants, seek guidance in determining your request amount.
- The Initial Application is an important step in our process — don't wait until the last minute! Meyer's initial application is admittedly longer than a typical inquiry, and it is also a key stage of our process. Last year, we received over 600 Annual Funding Opportunity applications and only 34 percent were invited to move forward. So we suggest you start early and give it thoughtful attention. Make sure you are registered through and can access GrantIS, our online application portal, as it can take a few days to finalize. Read the application materials and peruse the Inquiry Application questions. Browse last year's Annual Funding Opportunity grant awards for the portfolio you are interested in and take a look at our Applicant Resources. Come to an information session and follow up with us if you still have questions. We want you to make an informed decision about whether to put the time into applying and, if you do, to put your best foot forward.
We look forward to seeing you soon, and we can't wait to learn more about the amazing work you are doing to make communities throughout Oregon places where everyone is seen, valued, supported and celebrated.