MRG provides nearly half a million dollars each year to support radical, cutting edge, and grassroots social justice groups through primary grantmaking programs:
- Our general fund provides up to $20,000 to support grassroots social change groups
- Critical response grants provide up to $2,000 to help groups respond to an unexpected organizing opportunity or crisis
- Travel grants provide up to $1,000 for trainings to build the capacity of groups and leaders.
We also support social change artists based in Oregon through our Lilla Jewel Fund for Women Artists. MRG’s grantmaking decisions are made by a volunteer committee of community-based organizers who are directly involved in developing long-term solutions to complex social justice issues.
MRG is a community-supported foundation. This means that the grants we award to grassroots groups are funded through the support of hundreds of generous donors across the state. We offer a variety of strategies for donors to support social change organizing, including monthly giving, donor advised funds, planned giving, and stock gifts. See the impact that your gift can have here.
Oregon’s foundations move nearly $250 million into communities across the state each year. Where this money goes and how it’s used can have a huge impact on the future of the state, which is why MRG organizes within the wider foundation community to increase support of communities of color and community-based organizing. Partnering with other foundations and funder networks is an organization-wide effort:
- In 2013, we allied with the Oregon Community Foundation, the Collins Foundation, Northwest Health Foundation, and others to collaboratively fund groups providing legal support to undocumented youth applying for deferred action.
- In 2014, MRG’s Executive Director Sharon Gary-Smith served on the planning committee for a regional conference of funders throughout the northwest, ensuring the conference workshops and keynote speakers included voices of color and a discussion of systemic issues.
- In 2014, Deputy Director Anita Rodgers continued her service on the GRANTMAKERS program committee, coordinating workshops on funding in immigrant communities, supporting community-based organizing, and operationalizing equity.
MRG lifts up issues of race, class, and equity to spark action for social change. One way we do that is by hosting thought-provoking forums on timely issues and events. Past community conversations have included: “Race, Class, and Occupy Portland,” “Responding to Injustice: Trayvon Martin and the Voting Rights Act,” and “Vote your Values: Social, Racial, & Economic Justice at the Ballot Box,” along with various post-election and legislative briefings. See our upcoming events.