General Eligibility Requirements
In order to be eligible for funding, all organizations must:
- Be based in Oregon and/or their work must benefit those who call Oregon home; and
- Have 501(c)(3) tax exemption or have a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor
- If a group has neither federal tax exemption nor a fiscal sponsor, it must be able to cash a check in its name, and its work must be considered “charitable” or meet tax-exempt criteria per the IRS, i.e. it must be for the benefit of the larger community, not individuals or businesses.
If you are a current General Fund grantee, you must also:
- Be current on grant reports by the time the new grant starts (so for example, if your current grant is scheduled to end in June, your final report must be completed before you start work under the new grant in July); and
- Not have received a General Fund grant in the previous grant cycle.
For Rapid Response grants, you must:
- Be a current MRG grantee, with few exceptions; and
- Have an annual operating budget of under $500,000.
MRG does NOT fund:
- Individuals or businesses
- Animal welfare organizations
- Capital campaigns
- Cooperatives, health clinics, or schools
- Direct services
- Organizations that require participants in their programs to be faith or religiously affiliated
- Personal hobby, mutual benefit, and for-profit groups
- Previously funded groups that have overdue grant reports
- Scholarships or projects by individuals
- Social service agencies that don’t demonstrate a clear social change organizing focus
- Unions or direct labor organizing
- Work defined by the IRS as being non tax-exempt, including:
- Illegal activities
- Partisan activity that supports or opposes specific political parties and/or candidates for public office
- Work that has already happened or will be completed before funding would begin
Alignment with MRG
In addition to meeting our basic eligibility requirements above, organizations must be doing work that seeks long-term, systemic solutions and use community-centered, strategies and approaches that shift or build people power AND seek to dismantle oppression.
- Building or shifting power
Social change organizing addresses the root causes of critical social justice issues by bringing people together and building their power to change political, social and economic systems that perpetuate injustice. Social change organizing is a relative term and it takes different forms in different communities. No matter the community, however, social change organizing almost always involves some form of leadership development, base building, and collective action.
- Dismantling Oppression
Racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and ableism are the primary tools capitalism and patriarchy use to perpetuate injustice. While MRG recognizes the multidimensionality of oppression, MRG centers race and asks all applicants, regardless of issue area, to name ways in which their organizing work challenges institutional racism. MRG funds groups that are proactively confronting privilege and dismantling oppressive structures both within their own organization as well as in the broader community. Again, we recognize that the commitment to being anti-racist looks different across different communities and issue areas, but we prioritize funding to groups led by Black, Indigenous and People of Color, especially those who experience compounded injustice because they’re womxn and nonbinary folks, live with low-incomes and/or are houseless, are immigrants and refugees, live with disabilities, are members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, or are young folks.
In addition, we are looking to fund organizations that:
- Are strategic and impactful: MRG funds groups that will have a deep impact in their community and that, if funded, will be effective in moving their social change work forward.
- Are organizationally effective: We are looking to partner with groups that will be able to accomplish what they set out to do. We look for groups that have an organizing plan, the skill and capacity to accomplish their goals, and a concrete fundraising plan.
- Build and/or support movements: Grassroots, community-based groups are much more successful when they are part of a broader movement for social justice. Effective movement building requires that groups understand how their work fits in with other social justice issues and communities. As groups grow and develop, we expect them to build deep relationships and partnerships with other groups working on the same and broader issues.
- Understand—and are committed to—community leadership: We believe that the people most impacted by an issue are best suited to address it. MRG asks all applicants, regardless of issue area, to show how the leadership of their organization represents the people most impacted by the issues they’re trying to solve.