Annual Funding Opportunity

Meyer's 2021 Annual Funding Opportunity will open on March 15, apply by Monday, April 19.

Each year the Building Community portfolio considers proposals that further our goal of building a community based on belonging and connection in which all Oregonians experience social, political and economic justice.

>> Building Community 2021 Annual Funding Opportunity resource packet

Google Doc | Microsoft Word (.docx) | PDF

>> Preview the application questions

Google Doc | Microsoft Word (.docx) | PDF

About Building Community

The Building Community portfolio envisions a community based on connection and belonging in which all Oregonians experience social, political and economic justice. We want to shape the way people conceive of “community” so that equity is seen as a common cause.

We believe that moving toward this vision requires support for transformational change and an authentic reckoning with historical and current causes of disparities experienced by some populations in Oregon. It also means that we all share responsibility to dismantle those disparities, hold institutions and systems accountable, and challenge racism and other forms of oppression in our own practices and elsewhere. 
In service of this vision, the Building Community portfolio supports efforts to change systems and improve conditions for communities that have been — and still are — unseen, displaced or discriminated against. We invest first and foremost in work designed to benefit communities of color, Indigenous people and Tribes, and immigrants and refugees, particularly where they may experience intersecting oppressions such as related to gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, nationality or immigration status.

Learn more about Meyer's vision for building community

Equity commitment

Equity is a central tenet in all Meyer’s grantmaking. 

All applicants — regardless of where in their equity journey they may be — must demonstrate a commitment to ongoing growth through the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) principles into both their external programming or services and internal structures and operations.

Learn more about how Meyer thinks about equity at

Funding goals

Meyer has identified several intended outcomes under each of the following Building Community funding goals. Applicants will be asked to indicate which primary goal (only one) and which of its associated outcomes (up to two) their proposed work best supports. Applications that do not make a strong and clear connection to at least one of Meyer’s intended outcomes will not be successful.

All proposals must advance outcome(s) related to one of the following funding goals:

• Civic engagement, policy and leadership
• Connection and belonging

Available funding

We strive to support organizations and collaboratives across the state that engage and serve a diversity of people. The Building Community portfolio prioritizes funding for work that supports the following populations and helps them to thrive:

• Immigrants and/or refugees
• Indigenous communities and Tribes
• People of color

Read the full details on our Building Community funding goals, intended outcomes and examples of what we may fund in this round.

What doesn't fit

The following are not strong fits for the Building Community annual funding opportunity:

• Efforts to advance equity through programming when the organization has taken no steps to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion principles into their internal structures and operations

• Plans to launch or expand programming that were developed without meaningful engagement of the people being served

• Direct services that are not tied to or informed by broader efforts to change the root causes and systemic conditions that make the services necessary

• Organizational capacity building efforts that are not informed by an analysis of how diversity, equity and inclusion fit into the project

• Capital projects will not be funded

Grant Types + Amounts

Operating Support — unrestricted support

Awards will be up to $100,000 per year for one or two years and are sized in relation to the organization’s annual operating budget such that Meyer funding is not overprescribed in the budget and funding sources are mixed

General operating support will be awarded only to organizations, collaboratives and key intermediaries that address priorities of this portfolio’s priority populations and demonstrate an internal DEI commitment and stability and success in their core work

Project — primarily supports programmatic work

Project grants will be $10,000 to $185,000 total over one to three years. Generally, smaller awards support grassroots organizations and larger awards support multiple years

For collaboratives, we will consider up to $250,000 total over two to three years (Learn how Meyer defines a collaborative for this purpose)

Technical Assistance — short-term interventions by an outside consultant who assists an organization strengthen internal leadership, management and governance, and by developing strategies, systems, structures and skills

Grants for technical assistance and collaborative planning efforts — are generally up to $35,000 

Learn more about these types of grants at


Funding goals + outcomes

Goal: Civic Engagement and Systems Change

A more inclusive, participatory democracy is essential for transforming structures, policies and practices that are based on othering and benefit the few rather than the many. By strengthening civic engagement, we can balance power and correct inequities that deeply affect our most vulnerable communities.

Intended Outcomes

• Equity centered policy: Public policies that address concerns of priority populations are developed and/or monitored

• Support for leaders: Leaders from priority populations are supported in their roles to advocate for community concerns

Accountability: Policymakers are increasingly accountable to priority populations

Examples of what we might fund

Pilot projects seeking to change institutional systems that create or perpetuate disadvantages for some communities over others

Approaches that utilize community organizing, civic participation and/or collective action as catalysts for systemic change 

Initiatives that seek to amplify the voices of under-represented communities in policy and political arenas 

Healthy and sustainable collaborations based on trust and transformative rather than transactional relationships

Use of restorative justice practices, destigmatizing the experiences of others and fostering cultural awareness and other approaches that build empathy

  • These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals, strategies and intended outcomes.
  • Goal: Community Connection, Belonging and Systems Change

    Meaningful connections within and between communities build the sense of belonging that is essential for a just society. Creating and sustaining such connections requires acknowledging that we are all susceptible to dominant culture narratives that exclude and marginalize. To create community, we must articulate and embody an affirmative, long term vision and name and hold central the world in which we want to live, rather than focusing solely on the one we do not want.

    Intended Outcomes

    • Dialogue and education: Public dialogue and education help to authentically address historic and current causes of disparities

    • Shared narratives: Opportunities for priority populations to express their own stories increases understanding of shared narratives

    Examples of what we might fund

    Initiatives that bring communities together by bridging divides and promoting healing and understanding

    Organizations that highlight the strengths and contributions of diverse communities, elevate underrepresented voices, and change the narrative through various forms of self- and collective expression

    Creation of shared narratives that promote a sense of collective responsibilities

  • These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals, strategies and intended outcomes.

View a list of the awards granted through this portfolio’s 2020 funding opportunity.

Who we fund

We seek to partner with organizations that:

Share our goals and vision for change

• Are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in their organizations and partnerships

• Have a track record of effective work directly related to our funding priorities or have identified such work as a strategic and mission-aligned priority over the grant period

• Collaborate with other organizations in their community, within the same sector and/ or across sectors

• Recognize and can articulate the intersection between their organization’s work and broader policies and systems

• Have effective leadership that engages a base of community support

• Demonstrate the administrative capacity, financial planning and organizational commitment to implement their proposed project

Are committed to understanding and evaluating the impact and effectiveness of their work

For more information, including Meyer’s general eligibility criteria, please visit

Note: Organizations that have an active multi-year grant through a previous Meyer Annual Funding Opportunity are not eligible to apply for a 2021 Annual Funding Opportunity grant except in specific cases. For more information, please see the Eligibility and Alignment section at or contact your assigned Meyer program staff.

Organizations that HAVE applied to Meyer before should:
Update their profile in GrantIS, Meyer’s online application portal. please visit and check that your organization’s information (e.g., mailing address, FTE, board members) is up to date.

Organizations that HAVE NOT applied to Meyer before should:
Visit: to create an account. The activation process can take several days, so please be sure to set up your account well in advance of the application deadline.

Submit applications no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, April 19.
After reviewing proposals and following up either in person or over the phone, we anticipate making final award decisions between July and November 2021, with funding disbursed between August 2021 and February 2022.


To determine if your project is a good fit, please review the following information:

• Our Approach

• Who We Fund 

• Applicant Resources

• Building Community + Outcomes

Application process

Meyer uses a one-step application process for our annual funding opportunity. Applications are welcome from any eligible organization seeking to advance one of the portfolio’s goals.

Applicants should:

Create or update their profile in GrantIS, Meyer’s online application portal. The activation process can take several days, so please be sure to set up your account well in advance of the application deadline.

New GrantIS users, please visit: to create an account.

Applicants with existing GrantIS accounts, please visit and check that your organization’s information (e.g., mailing address, Board members, etc.) is up to date.

Submit their grant application no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, April 19.  

More Questions?

Read our Your Questions page

Register here to join our information session on Monday, March 1, 2021, at 10:00 am

Contact us at questions [at] or 503-228-5512 to contact a Building Community team member directly with questions about this funding opportunity

Contact us at grantops [at] with questions about GrantIS