Meyer seeks to change systems that protect the status quo and create barriers to equity.
We recognize that change does not happen in isolation and that we cannot expect long-term transformative change if we focus only on narrowly defined issues. Earlier this year, I spoke during an interview and Q&A discussion about changes in Meyer’s Building Community portfolio — an interim year of focused grantmaking without an open funding call — to refine our focus, approach and support for nonprofits and organizations working toward “systems-level change” while serving communities throughout Oregon.
For Building Community, systems-level change focuses on meaningful shifts in policies, processes, relationships and power structures as well as deeply held values and norms. Our particular interest is in systems change that alleviates current and historical barriers impacting marginalized and underserved communities, specifically communities of color and Indigenous communities.
Today, our portfolio’s commitment to supporting diverse organizations and leaders serving Oregon communities has never felt stronger. Building Community is now accepting applications for the Services to Systems RFP, a new funding opportunity for nonprofit organizations that provide direct services and are interested in strengthening their connection to systems-level change work in Oregon.
The Services to Systems RFP will provide up to $80,000 in new grant funding, disbursed in two phases. Phase I funding will support involvement in a peer-focused Services to Systems learning circle, comprised of 10-12 organizations. A participation stipend of $5,000 will be provided for each organization, with a maximum of two staff members per organization. Phase II funding will be available only for participating organizations and range between $25,000 and $75,000 to implement work that deepens an organization’s connection to systems-level change. Meyer anticipates that all organizations that choose to submit plans will receive Phase II funding and will offer individualized coaching as organizations approach the plan development stage.
To be clear: The Services to Systems RFP is designed for direct service providers that have already started considering or may be taking early steps toward supporting systems change but are not yet deeply engaged in that work. Organizations that have not yet started this work or are already deeply engaged in systems change will be less competitive. We recommend reviewing Meyer’s Direct Services to Systems Change Continuum to get a better sense of what early or advanced systems change work might look like.
Organizations that have an active grant with Meyer are still eligible to apply for the Services to Systems RFP and this RFP does not stop organizations from submitting proposals for other Meyer funding opportunities. Those awarded grants under this RFP will be invited to participate in one or more convenings and will have a chance to network with and learn from other grantees in the learning circle.
An information session took place on Tuesday, July 16 to explain the learning circle style RFP in detail and answer questions. A recap of the questions and answers that arose during that info session can be found on the Services to Systems RFP Q&A page.
Applications for this funding opportunity are due by 5 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019.
Our portfolio looks forward to deepening connections with nonprofits, groups and leaders working to make Oregon an equitable, safe and prosperous place.
Building Community: Services to Systems RFP details
The Services to Systems RFP supports organizations that are primarily focused on providing direct services and not deeply engaged in systems change work but want to deepen their connection to the work. Up to $80,000 in new grant funding will be available.
Applicants will be notified of their award status in late September, with Phase I funding available in early to mid-October.
This RFP will provide up to $80,000 in grant funding, disbursed in two phases:
- Phase I funding will support involvement in a peer-focused Services to Systems learning circle, comprised of 10-12 organizations. (A participation stipend of $5,000 will be provided for each organization, with a maximum of two staff members per organization).
- Phase II funding will only be available for participating organizations and ranges between $25,000-$75,000 to implement work that deepens an organization’s connection to systems-level change.
Meyer staff will present an overview of the RFP and answer questions during an online information session on Tuesday, July 16, from 11 a.m. to noon.
To register for the session, please visit: eventbrite.com/e/building-community-virtual-information-session-services-to-systems-rfp-registration-64272075508. Attendance is encouraged but not mandatory.