Our Funding Priorities
In addition to meeting our basic eligibility requirements, organizations must be doing work that seeks long-term, systemic solutions by utilizing community organizing as a tool for progressive social change AND dismantling oppression.
- Community Organizing for Progressive Social Change
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
Institutionalized oppression in the form of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and ableism is the primary tool 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 this commitment looks different across different communities and issue areas, but we prioritize funding to groups led by people of color, women, low-income people, immigrants and refugees, people living with disabilities, LGBTQ folks and youth; and groups based in a rural area.
Further, we are looking to fund organizations that can:
- Be 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.
- Be 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 issue addressed by their proposed project.
Each year, MRG awards nearly $500,000 to grassroots organizations across Oregon through two primary grantmaking opportunities:
- General Fund Grants, awarded twice a year in Spring and Fall.
- Responsive Grants, awarded on an ongoing basis until funds run out.
Each program has specific funding criteria and application timelines; please read carefully about each one here.