The Meyer Memorial Trust in Portland, Oregon, has announced a hundred and fifty-one grants totaling $17.3 million to nonprofit organizations in the state.
The grants are the first awarded through the foundation’s new issue-focused, equity-based Building Community, Healthy Environment and Housing Opportunities portfolios. Over the past two years, MMT surveyed nearly two thousand nonprofit leaders, who confirmed, among other things, the importance of the flexible funding provided by the trust in terms of their ability to affect policies and systems, increase their organizational capacity, fund general operations, and launch innovations.
In this latest grantmaking cycle, the trust awarded sixty-five grants through its Building Community portfolio to improve conditions for communities of color, Oregonians living on low incomes, and other marginalized populations. The awards include capacity-building grants to the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Artists Repertory Theatre, and the Rural Organizing Project. The trust also awarded forty-seven grants through its Healthy Environment portfolio to help protect and improve the health of the environment while addressing underlying disparities that affect communities of color, people living in low-income neighborhoods, and agriculture and forest workers. Recipients of those grants include the Center for Diversity, Climate Solutions, and the Northwest Forest Worker Center.
In addition, the trust awarded thirty-nine grants through its Housing Opportunities portfolio to assist underresourced communities, including communities of color, underserved rural communities, and other marginalized populations. Grant recipients include Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Luke-Dorf, and Neighborhood House.
Looking to 2017, the foundation is finalizing the framework for its Equitable Education portfolio, which will emphasize support for strategies designed to improve student achievement and close gaps in educational opportunities and outcomes in Oregon, with a focus on underserved communities.