Throughout the pandemic, from 2020 to 2021, the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) has distributed more than $560 million in charitable support to more than 4,000 nonprofit organizations and 6,000 students in Oregon.
The financial support addresses disparities, increases community resilience and improves the lives of thousands of Oregonians, according to an OCF statement.
“The Oregon Community Foundation is in a unique position to meet the great needs facing the people of our state,” said Sonia Worcel, OCF’s community impact manager. “In 2022, we’re listening to what matters most to Oregonians and working toward a healthier, more resilient Oregon.”
Drawing on OCF research, including input from community-based nonprofit organizations, OCF will focus grantmaking in 2022 on impact areas identified as most pressing for communities as ‘they are rebuilding after the myriad crises of the past two years. Priority will be given to key areas of impact, including arts and culture, childcare and education, climate resilience, housing stability, entrepreneurship, and more.
OCF will work to address the needs and inequalities faced by rural, marginalized and underresourced communities, which have been exacerbated in recent years. “By prioritizing the resources of communities facing the greatest disparities, we will help empower all Oregonians,” said OCF Community Engagement Director Niyati Desai.
“OCF strives to deepen engagement with the communities most affected by the issues we seek to address. Through collaboration with communities, we can develop more sustainable solutions and make fairer decisions. »
The OCF has adapted its community grantmaking to create greater funding flexibility in 2022. “We aim to remain flexible to help meet community needs and evolve our grantmaking with new learnings as we are working on recovery and reconstruction,” said John Chang, senior program officer at the OCF.
Through the 2022 Community Grants Program, nonprofits can apply for grants to now support general operations, capital improvements, capacity building, and programs.
In 2021, the OCF deployed substantial support to Oregon communities, amounting to more than $334 million in grants, including $60 million in donor-advised fundraising grants to nonprofit organizations. lucrative. Last year, the OCF awarded a total of $11.6 million in scholarships to more than 3,000 students.
One of the main highlights of 2021 was OCF’s leadership role in the Community Reconstruction Fund. In partnership with the Meyer Memorial Trust, the Ford Family Foundation and the American Red Cross, this fund enables relationships between thousands of donors and nonprofits to provide essential services and support to communities recovering and are rebuilding after the devastation of the 2020 wildfires.
“The process of recovery and reconstruction will take years. Together – and with the generous support of committed partners – Oregon will recover and thrive again,” Worcel said. “We are extremely grateful to the many frontline nonprofits helping our neighbors rebuild their homes and their lives.”
The OCF also played a statewide leadership role as the financial steward of essential public and state funding through additional key public-private initiatives.
Summer Learning – In mid-March, the State of Oregon allocated millions to support summer learning and children’s enrichment. The OCF has partnered with the state and successfully deployed $41.2 million in state-funded summer education and early learning grants to all 36 counties of the Oregon. “Given the crises of the past year, the summer has been a critical time to educate and nurture children in our state,” said Max Williams, president and CEO of the Oregon Community Foundation. “OCF was proud to provide much-needed support to families and communities disproportionately affected in Oregon.”
OCF grantmaking has prioritized support for organizations addressing the specific needs of children and families from Black, Indigenous, Latina/o/x and other communities of color, immigrant communities / refugees, children from low-income families, children with disabilities and children living in disadvantaged rural communities.
The turnkey project was a state-funded grant program to help local entities acquire hotels and motels as emergency shelter for homeless people.
“The turnkey project is an example of a strategic response in a continuum of services and approaches needed to create housing stability for more Oregonians,” said Megan Loeb, OH&S housing program manager. OCF. OCF served as administrator for the turnkey project. A total of 19 properties have been acquired by local non-profit organizations, cities and counties under this innovative project, resulting in a 20% increase in the supply of accommodation beds from year-round state emergency. “OCF continues to focus on strategic housing solutions and innovative partnerships to help more of our neighbors secure long-term housing. For example, we are considering low-interest loans to community development corporations to build more affordable housing and grants to support innovative projects to accelerate the creation of affordable housing. We know it will take all sectors working in partnership to solve Oregon’s complex housing crisis.
About the Oregon Community Foundation
The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) works with donors and volunteers to award grants and scholarships to all counties in Oregon. Since its founding in 1973, OCF has distributed more than $2 billion to advance its mission to improve the lives of all Oregonians.