March 12, 2018

Get ready to submit your Healthy Environment grant proposals!

I am pleased to announce Meyer's 2018 Annual Funding Opportunity. Through this opportunity, Meyer will invest approximately $3.6 million to advance the Healthy Environment portfolio vision of nurturing a resilient natural environment, while supporting the well-being of Oregon's diverse cultures and communities.

Starting March 15 — with a deadline of 5 p.m. April 18 — the Healthy Environment portfolio begins accepting Initial Applications that advance one of the following portfolio goals:

  1. Support efforts that mutually achieve community well-being, economic vitality and environmental stewardship.
  2. Ensure that environmental impacts and benefits are equitably distributed among communities.
  3. Support a movement for a healthy environment that is effective and relevant for all Oregon's diverse communities.
  4. Ensure that natural systems are healthy and able to adapt to changing conditions and long-term impacts.

This is the third round of annual funding in Meyer's new program structure. Last November, we announced the 2017 grants supporting a broad range of forward-thinking efforts for a healthy environment in rural and urban communities across Oregon. This year, we will continue to look for partners who share our commitment to disrupting the extractive systems that are harming the environment and our communities across Oregon and implementing programs and policies that are just, sustainable and work for all.

There are no big changes to the application process this year, but we made some refinements to streamline the application and make it easier for you to navigate. We also created information resources to help clarify areas where we received a lot of questions. Following is our "top seven list" that we think are most relevant to Healthy Environment portfolio applicants for the 2018 funding opportunity.

  1. How to pick a portfolio goal for your application. We get a lot of questions about which goal applicants should select for their request. We recommend that you not only assess the alignment of your request with one of the portfolio goals but that you also zero in on the outcome categories connected to each of the goals. Consider your project-specific outcomes and how they fit into the one or two outcome categories for any one of the portfolio goals. In addition, take a look this list of what doesn't fit specific to this funding opportunity to help guide you.
  2. If you select "organizational capacity" as an outcome for your request in Goal One or Goal Four make sure you also make the programmatic connection to our goals clear. Strong applicants for capacity building grants in these two goals will be those whose core programmatic work advances one of the other outcomes in that goal. For more details, check out our goals and outcomes information.
  3. What's a "collaborative grant" for the purposes of Meyer's annual funding opportunity? We know that organizations are partnering with other organizations in many informal and formal ways, and we believe that this is a valuable strategy for making change in our communities. However, for the purposes of a collaborative grant application, we've got something specific in mind. Check out this new information to help you understand how we are defining collaboratives for the purposes of a collaborative application and answer other common questions about Meyer's collaborative grants.
  4. Demographic data collection from your staff and board — let's make it happen! Last year we simplified our demographic data request to applicants, and the new process seems to be working better for groups. However, last year we found that demographic data collection by Healthy Environment portfolio applicants was substantially lower compared with our other portfolios. Here's the data from our 2017 grant applicants:
    Diversity of applicant organization's staff and board
  5. We encourage applicants to take this request to heart, and we hope to see more complete results this year. One way this information is important is to establish a baseline of how your organization reflects the communities you serve. Here is a tip sheet that D5 Coalition put together on how to do this. And, if you are successful with your grant, we will be looking for how you plan to address this issue during the grant period.

  6. More on what we mean by diversity, equity and inclusion. We continue to have a robust discussion with prospective grant applicants and others about what Meyer means by equity and what our expectations are for applicants. Although we expect the dialogue to continue, we've also put together some new resources in an effort to answer your questions. These include The DEI Journey, Is Your Organization Ready? and Understanding Meyer's DEI Spectrum Tool.

    In addition, our Applicant Resources page includes tools and resources to help you understand how we think about and assess diversity, equity and inclusion in the context of organizations' internal operations and their mission and programs.
  7. Clearer direction on what dollar amount to request and what support type to pick. This year, the request amounts for the different grant types (capacity, operating, project or capital) are more consistent across all the portfolios. We've also clarified our support type definitions and provided more guidance on what amount to request by sharing the average size of 2017 grants.
  8. Operating support candidates are very specific. For the Healthy Environment portfolio, operating support grants will primarily be awarded to organizations working on public policy and systems change; key intermediaries and networks that serve the interests of many organizations working for a healthy environment; or key organizations or networks that play a unique role in the field and that have wider impact for the sector (e.g. is a field leader in Oregon or nationally). All operating support grantees will have demonstrated internal and external commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; the strongest candidate organizations will also demonstrate diversity, equity and inclusion leadership in the context of the community and field where they work. Please contact us at questions [at] mmt.org to discuss whether your organization is a good fit for operating support.


Getting more info

If you'd like to discuss the 2018 Annual Funding Opportunity and your proposal plans, please participate in one of the upcoming information sessions or contact us at questions [at] mmt.org. Make sure to also review Candy Solovjovs' recent article about the funding call, which offers guidance and tips relevant to all the portfolios.

Our work together is now more important than ever. Please don't hesitate to get in touch to discuss your ideas and questions.

Jill