MRG Foundation has established a Community Response Fund that will rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations at the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak in Oregon.

On March 13, MRG Foundation’s Board approved the release of $300,000 — 30% of our operating reserves — to start this fund. As the philanthropic, business, and government communities join us, we will update this page with a list of partners and total funds available for immediate disbursement. We ask that you join us in this effort by making a bold gift that matches the urgency of this moment and the depth of the need that is already rising.

 

Our Community Response Fund will provide flexible resources to groups in our region led by and working with the communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the social and economic consequences of this outbreak. 

Just like our partners in Seattle, we will do this without asking for applications or reports—instead, we will have absolute trust in our communities. This means we will direct one-time operating dollars to current MRG grantees and partners— and groups around the state that have deep roots in and strong organizing experience within our communities, and are working directly with folks who: 

  • Are without healthcare, insurance and/or access to paid sick days
  • Are part of the houseless community
  • Have limited English language proficiency
  • Are healthcare or gig economy workers
  • Belong to communities of color, among others. 

At this time, MRG is not accepting requests for funding. In keeping with our values and funding priorities, we will—in partnership with our activist grantmakers—direct our Community Response Fund dollars to organizations that address systemic inequities and whose work focuses on both organizing most-impacted communities at this time, and anticipating the long-term effects of the outbreak. 

The Community Response Fund is designed to respond to the need among grassroots, social justice organizations to shift their work and address the long-term effects of the outbreak. The Fund is not meant to duplicate the work of public health officials.

 

COMMUNITY RESPONSE FUND PARTNERS

Anonymous Donors

Brink Communications

Dancing Hearts Consulting

L’Chaim Fund of MRG Foundation

Marjory Hamann and Ben Lischner Fund of MRG Foundation

Meyer Memorial Trust

Northwest Health Foundation

Oregon Community Foundation

Renew Oregon

The Collins Foundation

The Ford Family Foundation

Women’s Foundation

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

I’m an individual who’s been affected by COVID-19. Can this Fund help me?
We understand many individuals and families have been affected by the outbreak already and more will continue to be affected. While the Fund is not able to provide grants to individuals, it is funding community-based organizations that have experience in and a history of providing people and families with services and support. As we begin to award grants, we will post them here. Please check back for a list of the organizations that may be able to assist you. If you are looking for resources now, please consider calling 211 or visiting the Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 resource page or the Multnomah County COVID-19 resource page.

My organization is interested in resources from this Fund. Can we be considered?
We understand the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for services, lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, and other challenges. In order to move resources quickly, we are not hosting a formal application process for the Fund. You may email us at covid19@mrgf.org to make sure we are aware of your needs and can keep them in mind as the granting process progresses.

2 responses to “MRG COVID-19 Community Response Fund

  1. Thank you so much for your commitment in our communities. The Mid-Valley Literacy Center serves refugees and immigrants who have no other way of continuing to learn English in order to become productive citizens. Attending small group tutoring sessions taught by our volunteer tutors is their life-line. Thank you for helping them!

  2. Your most recent funding cycle did not include Uhuru Sasa, the long standing ‘inside-the-walls” education, advocacy and organizing group representing the needs and voices of African American men incarcerated at Oregon State Penitentiary.
    While many of us are suffering in the eye of the storm of COVID-19, but it is the prisoners, particularly African American, Latino and Native men and women in Oregon’s penal system, who are at serious risk and without most access routes to independent resources. They are most in danger from sheltering-in-place, from shutdowns of services, and social distancing by providers.
    In response, Uhuru is increasing knowledge sharing about this deadly threat inside, and outside to families and our community, and trying to bridge the isolation of no visitors.
    I would hope your ‘grant reviewers’ would remember Uhuru Sasa’s significant contributions inside and outside, and support them in this time of need.

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