Portland, Ore. The arts, students, stable housing and small businesses were some of the causes that received support from the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) through the pandemic. The Foundation announced that from 2020 through 2021, it distributed more than $560 million in charitable support to more than 4,000 nonprofits and 6,000 students in Oregon. The funds were aimed at addressing disparities, increasing community resilience, and improving lives for thousands of Oregonians. Click here for a link to the 2021 OCF report.

“Oregon Community Foundation is in a unique position to address great needs facing people across our state,” said Sonia Worcel, Chief Community Impact Officer. “Moving into 2022, we’re listening to what matters most to Oregonians and working towards a healthier, more resilient Oregon.”

Informed by OCF research, including input from community nonprofits, OCF will focus 2022 grantmaking on impact areas identified as most urgent for communities as they rebuild from the myriad crises of the last two years. Priority focus will be given to key areas of impact including arts and culture, childcare and education, climate resiliency, housing stability, entrepreneurism and more.

The Foundation reports it will work to address needs and inequities facing under-resourced, rural and marginalized communities, which were exacerbated in recent years. “By prioritizing resources to communities facing the greatest disparities we will help strengthen all Oregonians,” said Niyati Desai, Director of Community Engagement, Oregon Community Foundation.

OCF has adapted its community grant making 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 work towards recovery and rebuilding,” said John Chang, Senior Program Officer, Oregon Community Foundation. Through the 2022 Community Grants Program nonprofits can apply for grants to now support general operations, capital improvements, capacity building and programs. 2021 Highlights In 2021, OCF deployed substantial support to communities across Oregon, amounting to more than $334 million in grants including $60 million in donor advised fund grants to nonprofits.

A key highlight of 2021 was OCF’s lead role with the Community Rebuilding Fund. In partnership with Meyer Memorial Trust, Ford Family Foundation and American Red Cross, this fund enables relationships between thousands of donors and nonprofits to deliver critical services and support to communities recovering and rebuilding from the ravage of the 2020 wildfires.

“The recovery and rebuilding process will take years. Together – and with generous support from committed partners – Oregon will recover and flourish again,” said Sonia Worcel, Chief Community Impact Officer, Oregon Community Foundation. “We’re incredibly grateful to the many nonprofits on the frontline helping our neighbors rebuild their homes and their lives.” Learn more at: www.oregoncf.org/rebuilding.

OCF also served in a statewide leadership capacity as the fiscal steward of critical 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 enrichment for children.

OCF partnered with the state and successfully deployed $41.2 million in state-funded summer education and early childhood learning grants throughout all 36 Oregon counties. “Given the crises over the last year, Summer was a critical time to nurture and mentor children in our state,” said Max Williams, President and CEO, Oregon Community Foundation. “OCF was proud to deliver much-needed support to disproportionately impacted families and communities in Oregon.”

From Oregon Community Foundation:

OCF’s grant-making prioritized support to organizations responding to specific needs of children and families from Black, Indigenous, Latina/o/x, and other communities of color, immigrant/refugee communities, children from low-income families, children with disabilities, and children living in under-resourced rural communities.

Learn more at: https://oregoncf.org/community-impact/research/k-12-summer-learning-2021/.

Project Turnkey was a state-funded grant program to help local entities acquire hotels and motels for emergency shelter for people experiencing homelessness. “Project Turnkey is an example of one strategic response in a continuum of needed services and approaches to create housing stability for more Oregonians,” said Megan Loeb, Program Officer, Housing, Oregon Community Foundation. OCF served as the administrator for Project Turnkey. In total, 19 properties were acquired by local nonprofit organizations, cities, and counties through this innovative project, yielding a 20 percent increase in the state’s supply of emergency year-round shelter beds.

“OCF continues to focus on strategic housing solutions and innovative partnerships to help more of our neighbors secure longterm housing. For example, we’re looking at low-interest loans to community development corporations to build more affordable housing and grants to support innovative projects to expedite the creation of affordable housing. We know it’s going to take all sectors – working in partnership – to resolve Oregon’s complex housing crisis.” Learn more at: https://oregoncf.org/communityimpact/research/oregons-project-turnkey-report-to-the-oregon-state-legislature/.

Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) works with donors and volunteers to award grants and scholarships to every county in Oregon. From 2020 to 2021, OCF distributed more than $560 million, supporting more than 4,000 nonprofits and 6,000 students. With OCF, individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds that meet the needs of diverse communities statewide. Since its founding in 1973, OCF has distributed more than $2 billion toward advancing its mission to improve lives for all Oregonians. For more information, please visit: oregoncf.org.