Grants & Scholarships


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

    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
  • Eligibility & Competitiveness

    Most Common Reasons for a Decline

    1. Little or no funding has been secured
    2. Community support is not evident
    3. Project request is operating support 
    4. Applicant is a frequent grant recipient


    • Must have 501(c)(3) status as a public entity (not a private foundation) or have a qualified fiscal sponsor.
    • Cannot apply until previous grant funded projects have been completed and reports submitted.  
    • One application per 12-month period. 
    • Cannot apply for the same project twice.

    Activities Typically Not Eligible for Funding

    • Events or performances (either one-time or annual) unless they will result in significant growth in ongoing organizational capacity, financial stability or audience diversity
    • Annual fund appeals and contributions to endowments
    • Projects in individual schools
    • Grants to subsidize participation (scholarships) or re-granting programs
    • Purchases or activities that occur prior to grant decisions
    • Deficit funding
    • Replacement of government funding
    • Lobbying to influence legislation
    • Scientific research
    • Religious activities 

    How often can an organization apply for a Community Grant?

    • If you apply and receive a grant, you cannot apply for another grant until at least 18 months after your first application was submitted*
    • If you apply and do not receive a grant, you cannot apply for another grant until at least 12 months after your first application was submitted

    *does not apply to multi-year grants, who submit a renewal application 12 months after their initial application


    Original Application Date

    Grant Awarded?

    End of Grant Period -Report Deadline

    Eligibility to apply for another Community Grant

    July 15, 2015

    Yes, awarded November 5, 2015

    November 5, 2016

    January 15, 2017 or later

    July 15, 2015

    Yes, awarded November 5, 2015 with an invitation to reapply (Multi-year renewal)

    See renewal application date

    Renewal Application due July 15, 2016

    July 15, 2015

    No, application declined

    Not applicable

    July 15, 2016

  • Application Process

    Application Process

    Applications are accepted through MyOCF.
    The next application window opens June 1 and closes July 15 at midnight. 
    Renewal applications follow the same process as new application


    Spring Cycle: Applications accepted December 1 to January 15 at midnight with board decision in May.
    Fall Cycle: Applications accepted June 1 to July 15 at midnight with board decision in November. 

    PLEASE NOTE: We strongly recommend using Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer to fill out your application. Safari has been found to have some technical difficulties.

    These are documents you will be uploading at the end of your application:

    • 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status letter from the IRS
    • Board of directors list, including contact information, affiliations, plus the skills and experience each contributes to the organization
    • Organization budget for current year
    • Organization budget for past year
    • Most recent audited financial statements (if available)
    • Multi-year project budget (if applicable)
    • Project graphic, schematic or timeline (optional)
  • Grantee Reporting

    Grantee Reporting

    A grantee progress report is due one year after the grant award. Please submit the grant evaluation form by email to

    What if my project is delayed or off-track?

    We know that projects do not always begin on time; unexpected events can interfere with progress, and projects sometimes fail despite good planning and intentions. Our philosophy is that if all of our grant-funded projects are successful, we are not taking enough risks.

    Please do not delay submitting your report for fear our reaction will be negative. Also, please feel free to contact us with any questions. We can delay a report due date if your situation calls for it.

  • Staff Assistance

    Staff Assistance

    Portland Office: 503.227.6846

    For proposals in Clatsop, Columbia, Lincoln, Tillamook, Polk, Marion, Yamhill, Clackamas, Hood River, Multnomah, and Washington counties, please contact:

    Eugene Office: 503.227.6846

    Inquiries are temporarily being routed to Portland for proposals in Benton, Douglas, Lane and Linn counties. Please contact:

    Bend Office: 541.382.1170

    For proposals in Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Sherman, Wasco, Wheeler, Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, and Wallowa counties, please contact:

    Medford Office: 541.773.8987

    For proposals in Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake counties, please contact: