Oregon Community Foundation 2023 Community Grants Program Changes

For 25 years, the Community Grants Program, with strong support of OCF donors, has invested in strengthening the social fabric of communities by responding to the many challenges facing Oregonians. The 2023 Community Grants Program will continue to provide flexible funding for nonprofits addressing pressing needs of communities across Oregon.


  • We are introducing a letter of inquiry (LOI)
  • There will be two grant cycles, each offering distinct types of funding

Program Goal

To provide equitable access to funding for organizations serving communities’ most pressing needs throughout Oregon.

General Organizational Eligibility

501(c)(3) organizations, Tribal entities and government entities are eligible to apply. Additionally, other types of organizations may work with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor the LOI and application. Applicants must submit legal paperwork confirming the fiscal sponsor relationship.

IMPORTANT: Organizations, except for religious organizations, must be registered with the Oregon Department of Justice and Oregon Secretary of State in order to be eligible to apply for grants from OCF.

Funding Priorities

Total funding available to support nonprofits will be determined in 2023. Historically, OCF has allocated $6.5M in funds to support organizations and their impact in Oregon. We recognize the needs of communities they serve will far exceed the funding available through this grant program. A broad range of nonprofits are eligible to submit a letter of inquiry. We will prioritize funding for work that is clearly addressing community-identified needs in support of the following populations across urban and rural regions of Oregon:

  • Black, Indigenous, Latinx and people of color
  • Immigrants and/or refugees
  • People experiencing disabilities
  • People living on low incomes
  • People living in under-resourced communities and/or communities lacking critical infrastructure
  • People who are homeless/unsheltered
  • People who identify as LGBTQIA+
  • Survivors of domestic violence and/or child abuse

New Elements for 2023

Letter of Inquiry

Applicants that meet the eligibility guidelines according to the type of funding they are seeking are encouraged to submit a letter of inquiry (LOI). The LOI is an abbreviated application on which applicants briefly outline their funding request. Program staff and trained volunteers will review the LOI for program fit — alignment with the program guidelines, funding priorities, and available funding — before inviting competitive applicants to formally apply by submitting supplemental information.

Cycles and General Timeline

There are two grant cycles in 2023, each offering distinct types of funding:

  • Spring 2023: General Operating Support
  • Fall 2023: Organizational Enhancement

See this table for a breakdown of each cycle’s funding type, timeline, and eligibility.

For additional eligibility guidance, see this flow chart.

Applicant Webinar

We will host an applicant information session on February 15, 2023, at 10 a.m. for the Spring cycle (general operating support). Please register here to hold your spot for the webinar (limited spots available). If you’re not able to attend this session, a recording of the webinar will be made available on the Community Grants webpage.

If your organization is interested in organization enhancement support (capacity building, project/program, capital), please check back for information on the Fall cycle applicant webinar in June.

Connecting with OCF Staff About Your Proposal 

After the February 15 webinar and the final program updates have been posted, program officers will be available for 30-minute meetings (one per organization) to support those interested in applying for general operating support in the Spring 2023 cycle. We’ll share more information about how to schedule a meeting in our early February update.

Review Criteria

Criteria used to determine the competitiveness of an application will be provided in February 2023 along with the application questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions on OCF’s website here.

This article was originally published on https://oregoncf.org/grants-and-scholarships/grants/community-grant-program/.