Community Grant Program

Application deadlines: January 15 and July 15. Apply early!
Applications submitted before midnight on June 20, 2016, will be entered into a drawing to receive one of two $2,500 grants for general operating support. Winners will be notified in July.

Funding Priorities
Eligibility & Competitiveness
Application Process
Grantee Reporting
Staff Assistance

Guiding Principles

  • We believe that creative and sustainable solutions come from people who work in partnership to address common needs and aspirations.
  • We give high priority to investments that create positive, substantive change and attempt to resolve problems at their source.
  • We recognize and respect Oregon's diverse regions and populations, and we seek to advance equity, diversity and inclusion through our programs.

Program Details

As a responsive arm of OCF, the Community Grant Program awards about 300 grants each year, mostly to small- and moderate-size nonprofits. The average grant is $20,000. OCF typically receives 350 to 425 proposals per grant cycle. Concerns central to OCF’s evaluation of proposed projects include:

  • The strength of local support for the project
  • The strength of the applicant organization
  • Whether the project addresses a significant community need

Please review the full guidelines, which include tips on submitting a competitive proposal as well as guidance on capacity-building and capital requests. OCF will also consider how well the project fits the following list of funding priorities.

Health & Wellbeing of Vulnerable Populations (30 to 40 percent of grants)

  1. Improve community-based health and wellness, including oral and mental/behavioral health
  2. Address basic human needs, such as food, housing, and related services
  3. Improve the quality of life, safety and self-sufficiency of at-risk populations

Educational Opportunities & Achievement (30 to 40 percent of grants)

  1. Promote social, emotional and cognitive development of young children, including programs that support and educate parents and efforts that engage volunteers
  2. Expand academic support, mentoring and recreational programs for children and youth, particularly to close the achievement gap
  3. Broaden workplace, career and postsecondary experiences and opportunities for youth
  4. Improve adult literacy, skill development, education and workforce training 

Arts & Cultural Organizations (15 to 25 percent of grants)

  1. Strengthen and stabilize arts and cultural nonprofits, and support collaborative efforts
  2. Cultivate and support appreciation of diverse cultures and art forms
  3. Deepen community-based arts education for children and adults
  4. Encourage audience development, particularly to reach underserved populations

Community Livability, Environment & Citizen Engagement (10 to 20 percent of grants)

  1. Promote leadership development, volunteerism, immigrant integration, and civic participation
  2. Support stewardship and appreciation of Oregon's outdoor spaces and scenic beauty
  3. Address social, economic and environmental challenges or opportunities by bringing together disparate stakeholders
  4. Preserve places essential to communities' civic and historic identities