If you have questions that aren’t covered here, check out our eligibility page, our grantmaking overview page, our general fund grant page, and our rapid response grants page. If you still have questions, please email us at email@example.com and we will respond within 48 hours.Expand All | Collapse All
General Fund grant applications open in the Spring and Fall each year. With slight variations, our deadlines look like this:
Fall Cycle 2019
- Opens: August 2, 2019
- Deadline: September 13, 2019
- Decisions: Early December
Spring Cycle 2020 – estimated
- Opens: March 1
- Deadline: April 15
- Decisions: July 1
Responsive grants open on July 1 each year and we accept applications on an ongoing basis until we run out of funds.
MRG Foundation will be going through strategic planning in 2019-2020, which may affect grant deadlines and opportunities in 2020. To make sure you don’t miss any announcements about grant opportunities, please sign up to receive MRG’s electronic newsletter and/or follow us on social media.
When funding cycles are open, you will find applications in our Grant Programs page along with information about eligibility and requirements.
To find out whether your proposal might be a good fit, please take a look at our eligibility requirements and our grantmaking approach pages. If you have questions or if you’d like to find out more about what we look for in grant applications, send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can schedule a time to chat.
Please note that each cycle, MRG receives more applications than we are able to fund. If you are not funded, we will be happy to give you feedback on your application.
You cannot apply for more than one General Fund grant at a time. You can, however, submit grant applications for Travel or Critical Response grants and General Fund grants at the same time.
Click here to find out more about our Grants Programs.
Our General Fund grants may be used for general operating support or special projects. Our Responsive grants generally fund travel for rural organizations, or for discrete and specific projects that are responding to opportunities or crises.
For more information about our grants programs, please visit our Grant Programs page.
MRG awards about 15 General Fund grants each cycle, totaling about $225,000.
For General Fund grants, awards generally range between $5,000 and $15,000 depending on organizational need/budget.
Responsive grants have different maximum amounts depending on the type. You can visit our Grant Programs page to find out more about them.
MRG’s grantmaking decisions are made by a Grantmaking Committee, a group of volunteers that is made up of activists and community organizers who are themselves directly involved in solving their communities’ most urgent issues.
This model is radically different from traditional philanthropy. Control of funding by grassroots organizations and activists ensures that funding is directed where it is needed most and that power is shared among communities, not held by individuals.
Our model also ensures that community organizers get to develop and exercise their leadership by serving on the committee, as well as learn about issues and organizations from across Oregon.
For specific dates, you can check out our Grant Programs page.
Generally, Fall Cycle finalists (those who will go on to receive site visits and participate in Presentation Day) are notified by early November and grantees are announced in early December. Spring Cycle finalists are notified by early May, and grantees are announced in early July.
After being notified, grantees receive an award letter, which they must sign and return to MRG. They can expect to receive a check two weeks after MRG receives the signed agreement.
We are looking for evidence that groups carefully thought through what they will need to do their work well. MRG grantmakers will look at your budget to confirm that your revenues and expenses are reasonable and consistent with the work you described in the application narrative. If your budget is missing key line items, grantmakers will question how well you have thought through your project.
Grantmakers will also look at your budget as a reflection of your organizational values. For example, if you say in your application narrative that your staff’s welfare is a priority, your budget will tell grantmakers whether you are paying (or at least attempting to pay) living wages and benefits that make your employees feel valued.
If you need a template for a project or operating support budget, you may download one here.
MRG prides itself on supporting groups, regardless of tax-exempt status, coming together to solve problems and address the needs of their communities. That means we fund tax-exempt organizations, fiscally sponsored groups, and groups that are neither tax exempt nor have a fiscal sponsors.
We're a larger budget organization doing work that's difficult to fund. Can we apply for funding from MRG?
MRG funds primarily small, grassroots organizations (generally with budgets under $500,000). However, we are willing to make an exception and consider a larger organization’s grant application ONLY if the work they are doing is so controversial, radical and/or disruptive that practically no one else will fund it.
In doubt, contact us at email@example.com or 503-289-1517, ext. 3.
No. You are eligible to apply for MRG grants (provided you meet all other eligibility requirements). We just can’t make grants that are “earmarked for lobbying.” For a more thorough explanation of what foundations can and cannot fund re: lobbying, here’s a great resource from Bolder Advocacy.
Yes. For eligibility purposes, we look at the applicant group’s budget, not its fiscal sponsor’s.