Guidance & Eligibility

From everyday needs to big picture change, we support rural.

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The secret? Community.

We look for evidence of strong community buy-in for all grants. Local and regional donors, individuals and businesses can show their support through cash and in-kind donations to your project.

Eligibility 

Grant requests should meet the following requirements before consideration will be given:

  • Applicant organizations must have current 501(c)(3) Public Charity status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or be a governmental entity, or be an IRS-recognized tribe. It may not be a private foundation as defined in Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Geographical focus of project must be predominately (60% or more) for the benefit of residents of rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, Calif. We define rural as communities with populations of 35,000 or less and not adjacent to or part of an urban or metropolitan area.
  • Must include significant collaboration and community buy-in (as evidenced by in-kind and cash contributions from local and regional sources).
  • Must have at least 50% of funding (may include in-kind) for the total project budget committed before applying, with the exception of Good Neighbor Grants and Technical Assistance Grants.
  • Requests are for no more than one third of the total project cost, with the exception of Good Neighbor Grants and Technical Assistance Grants.
  • Organization must not be delinquent in filing final reports for previous grants from the Foundation.
  • Organization may not be currently receiving other grant funds from the Foundation, with the exception of Technical Assistance Grants.
  • If the organization has received prior funding from the Foundation, it must wait 12 months after the completion of the prior grant before applying again for support, with the exception of Technical Assistance Grants.

Exclusions

The Foundation does not consider funding requests for:

  • Endowments or reserve funds.
  • Debt retirement or operating deficits.
  • Indirect expenses unrelated to the project or program being funded.
  • Sponsorship of fundraising events.
  • Propagandizing or influencing elections or legislation.
  • Capital projects on university campuses.

What makes a strong proposal?

A strong proposal is ready for review. To be ready, a proposal should be well beyond the conceptual stage, have a clear plan, timeline and budget. There should be defined benefits or outcomes and a description of who and why your community is behind the proposal. Involvement of your board with cash, in-kind contributions and a community campaign are some indicators of a proposal being ready. Community participation is a primary factor in a proposal being ready. We like to see that fundraising is significantly underway with your traditional supporters, local businesses, key donors and other foundations.

Size of Grants

Our average grant size is about $50,000, and we consider grants of $100,000 or above to be a "large grant.” We highly recommend that you develop a complete fundraising plan and your request to the Foundation be a component of that plan. We generally will consider funding requests up to one third of the total project cost.

Review & Approval

After an initial review of a proposal by a committee of our staff, site visits and follow-up communications may be appropriate. We may recommend the proposal be reviewed by our Board of Directors, which meets four times a year. Smaller requests are reviewed, and a funding determination is made by senior Foundation staff. Proposals receive a response regarding the outcome of the review or next steps, if any, usually within six to eight weeks. Funding decisions take from two to six months. Smaller grants ($5,000 or less) typically can be decided in about four weeks.

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