March 14, 2018

Moving good forward

We open Meyer's 2018 Annual Funding Opportunity today! Our annual funding call invites applications from organizations, programs, initiatives and collaboratives determined to make systemic changes so the Oregon we live in and love becomes a state built on a foundation of equity. This is the third annual funding call since we redesigned Meyer's programs in 2016.

We launched our new funding program after 33 years as a mostly responsive grantmaker. In those days, the awards reflected a wide array of need based on the myriad requests we received. In Oregon, there's hardly a town without a sign marking a library, a food pantry or community gathering space this foundation helped to fund. Our impact was often just that tangible. Today, the impact is no less real, but it aims to be deeper and more profound.

Since our redesign, Meyer's grantmaking has grown significantly more focused. We've made 342 annual funding opportunity awards in the areas of community, education, housing and the environment since 2016, totaling $40 million. Through those grants, Meyer has supported the work of the Oregon For All coalition, a group of social justice nonprofits working to prevent policies that harm immigrant communities; the efforts of Craft3, working to establish a clean water loan program that helps Oregon homeowners, many of them low-income, repair or replace failing septic systems; the goals of Reading Results, aimed at increasing the number of benchmark level third-grade readers among historically underserved students in Multnomah County and the Nancy Devereux Center, guiding people experiencing homelessness in Coos County to find and keep permanent housing. These and hundreds of other awards reflect the innovation, intention and impact of organizations committed to removing barriers and creating pathways toward a more just and equitable Oregon for all.

As I wind down my role as Meyer's chief executive officer, I'm extremely grateful to our nonprofit partners who have leaned in with us over the past two years to help shape our equity-based funding portfolio frameworks and share their insights on equity, policy and systems change, innovation, risk and opportunity to deepen Meyer's impact.

I feel a great sense of hope for the future of Oregon as a result of our state-wide partners' dedicated work and collaboration. It is a true privilege and honor to support and work shoulder-to-shoulder in moving your good efforts forward.

We eagerly look forward to reviewing applications received this year!

Doug