Annual Funding Opportunity

The Building Community portfolio considers proposals that further our vision of strong individuals, organizations and communities supporting equitable outcomes for all.

Our 2018 application window is now closed. Meyer will invite the most promising applicants to submit a Full Proposal in mid-June. Once invited, organizations have three weeks to submit a full proposal, due in July. Meyer makes final award decisions in November, with funding available to organizations in early 2019.

>> See a resource packet for Building Community's 2018 Annual Funding Opportunity

About Building Community

Creating a multicultural society where all people can realize their full potential requires shared responsibility. This means that communities should define their own path, address power imbalances and create conditions that allow for greater connections with others. It also means holding institutions and systems accountable and challenging different forms of oppression in our own practices and elsewhere.

The Building Community portfolio will support work that addresses social, political, economic and other injustices. We seek to invest in nonprofits, networks and collaboratives that strive to change systems and improve conditions for marginalized communities. We are especially interested in partnering with organizations that recognize the different ways in which issues of inequity show up in their work and communities and are actively engaged in addressing resulting disparities.

We believe that lasting change requires work at multiple levels, and we will support efforts that focus on people, organizations and broader systems aimed at creating equitable outcomes for all.

Equity commitment

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

All applicants — regardless of where in their equity journey they may be today — 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 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 either:

  1. Community connection + belonging;
  2. Strong nonprofit leaders + organizations; or
  3. Civic engagement + systems change.

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

Available funding

Meyer anticipates awarding approximately $4.3 million through this Building Community funding opportunity for capacity-building efforts, projects, programs, operating support and capital support that will advance our Building Community funding goals.

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:

  • Aging/elderly people

  • Crime/abuse survivors

  • Immigrants and/or refugees

  • Indigenous communities and tribes

  • People with disabilities

  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or other sexual/gender identities

  • People of color

  • People living on low incomes

  • Women or girls

Our support for these populations will include investments in rural, underserved communities. See for more information.

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

Grant Types + Amounts

Capacity Building Support — primarily supports internal organizational and collaborative needs

  • Capacity building grants will be $10,000 to $185,000 total over one to three years. Generally, larger awards support multiple years
  • Grants for technical assistance and collaborative planning efforts — two types of capacity building — are generally up to $35,000

*In 2017, the average size of a Building Community capacity building grant was $92,000 over two years. The average size of a technical assistance or collaborative planning grant was $35,000 over one year.

Project Support — 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. To learn how Meyer defines a collaborative for this purpose, please visit

*In 2017, the average size of a Building Community project grant was $100,000 over two years.

Operating Support — unrestricted support

  • Awards will be up to $75,000 per year for two or three years and are sized in relation to the organization’s annual operating budget — no more than 20 percent of that budget
  • General operating support will be awarded only to organizations, collaboratives and key intermediaries that address priorities of marginalized populations and demonstrate an internal DEI commitment and stability and success in their core work


Capital Support — primarily supports land or physical property

  • The Building Community portfolio will consider a limited number of capital requests of up to $200,000 over one to two years. To be considered, capital requests must demonstrate a clear, direct and compelling connection to improving conditions for priority populations. Building Community awarded only two capital grants in each of the last two annual funding opportunities

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

Note: Organizations that have an active multi-year grant through a previous Meyer Annual Funding Opportunity are not eligible to apply for a 2018 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.


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

Application process

Meyer uses a two-step application process for our annual funding opportunity. Initial Applications are welcome from any eligible organization seeking to advance one of the portfolio’s goals. After reviewing Initial Applications, we will invite the most promising applicants to submit a full proposal.

Applicants should:

  1. 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.

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

    2. 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.

Meyer will notify organizations in mid-June whether or not they are invited to submit a full proposal. If invited, organizations will have three weeks to do so.

After reviewing proposals and following up either in person or over the phone, we anticipate making final award decisions by the end of 2018, with funding available to organizations in early 2019.

More Questions?

  • Read our Your Questions page
  • Participate in one of our community information sessions
  • 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