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Public Program Grants

Grants to Oregon Nonprofits and Tribal Organizations
for Programs Addressing Important Community Issues

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Oregon Humanities

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

12/16/18 11:59 PM


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Grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to Oregon nonprofit organizations and tribal organizations for programs that address complex issues for the betterment of the community. Applicants must submit a Letter of Interest prior to a Full Proposal. Funding is intended to support community-based programs that bring local residents together to explore ideas from a variety of perspectives.

Public Program Grants support programs across Oregon that get people together to explore challenging questions and strive for just communities.

Oregon Humanities supports a diversity of program subjects and formats that encourage broad public participation and fit the criteria below. The Foundation is particularly interested in funding programs that creatively and innovatively engage participants. Programs can be in multiple languages or be in a language other than English, but applications and reporting must be submitted in English.

The criteria for funding is as follows:

- Engage community members as active participants, not just as an audience
- Explore issues or ideas from a variety of perspectives
- Help participants make meaning for themselves and their community
- Respond to an important community opportunity or challenge
- Involve community partnerships

The Foundation will support an organization's efforts to engage the public with completed media, such as a film, book, or performance, if those engagement efforts fit the criteria above. Oregon Humanities will support the creation of content or media, such as blogging, podcasts, or oral histories, if such efforts are part of a larger, community-based program that fits the criteria above.

All applicants must demonstrate how a proposed program benefits and is open to members of the general public, who must form a significant portion of participants.

Requested Oregon Humanities funding may support program-related expenses including but not limited to salaries/volunteer hours, benefits, honoraria, travel, supplies and materials, printing and duplication, postage and telephone, equipment and services (including audio and video documentation of the program for preservation or dissemination purposes), facilities rental, publicity, and ADA access.

Additionally, applicants may request an indirect cost rate of up to ten percent of the total request to Oregon Humanities. Indirect costs are costs that are incurred by an organization in the execution of its activities but which cannot be easily connected to a particular activity, including (but not limited to) the following: general overhead costs, such as bank, payroll processing and audit fees; liability insurance; office equipment purchases or maintenance not directly related to the project.

All applicants must be in a good financial position and demonstrate capacity to undertake the proposed program.

Oregon Humanities is committed to bringing people together across difference. Their mission is to connect Oregonians to ideas that change lives and transform communities. Their vision is for an Oregon that invites diverse perspectives, explores challenging questions, and strives for just communities.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 146521

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Foundation awards Public Program Grants between $1,000 - $10,000. The average Oregon Humanities grant is $4,000.

Term of Contract:

All 2019 Public Program Grant programs must begin after April 1, 2019.

All program expenses and activities must take place during the grant period defined in the proposal. Grant periods begin on the first day of the month during which expenses are incurred or activities take place and end on the last day of the month during which expenses and activities cease.

The Foundation does not fund multi-year requests.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations with budgets under $1.5 million and incorporated as nonprofits in the state of Oregon, as well as Oregon's federally recognized tribes, are eligible to apply. Nonprofit applicants do not need to be federally recognized 501(c)(3) organizations. The Foundation encourages proposals from groups across the state, including those organizations that may not define their mission as humanities-based.

Organizations that are not nonprofits may apply using a fiscal sponsor if the fiscal sponsor meets the eligibility requirements. Fiscal sponsoring organizations may have a budget over $1.5 million but cannot have a role in planning, coordination, or delivery of the program associated with the grant. Fiscal sponsors must be incorporated as nonprofits in the state of Oregon or be one of Oregon’s federally recognized tribes. Applicants should contact Oregon Humanities prior to initiating a grant proposal to discuss fiscal sponsorships.

Organizations that have an open Responsive Program Grant may apply for a Public Program Grant in support of a different project.

Due to limited grant funds and a commitment to making humanities programming available in communities who've historically lacked access to funding and humanities programming opportunities, Oregon Humanities staff and grants committee takes into consideration whether proposed programming is based in and led by rural communities and/or communities of color. The Foundation also accepts and encourages proposals from organizations or proposed programming that do not directly meet their funding priorities.

Organizations are not eligible if any of the following apply:

- They do not meet the eligibility requirements listed above
- A final report from an earlier Oregon Humanities grant is outstanding
- An earlier Oregon Humanities grant is still open
- They have already applied for a Public Program Grant in the current grant cycle

Organizations that do not meet the eligibility requirements above but are developing programming that fits with the criteria outlined above are encouraged to collaborate with community partners or other organizations that are eligible to apply for Oregon Humanities funding.

The Foundation does not fund the following:

- Programs that are not open to the general public
- Organizational marketing efforts
- Multiyear requests
- Individual research or activities
- Courses for credit or school-based programs
- Scholarships, fellowships, or awards
- Event tickets
- Health and social service delivery
- Film production
- Writing or publishing projects
- Visual arts, performances, or living histories
- Capital projects (i.e., renovation or purchase of equipment, buildings, or land)
- Museum collection acquisition
- Permanent staffings

In addition, the Foundation does not support:

- Lobbying or fundraising activities
- Unallowable costs such as alcohol, entertainment, or first-class travel
- Activities that advocate for a particular political or social party, agenda, or action

Pre-proposal Conference:

Prospective applicants are encourage to attend one of the Foundation's Grant Webinars to learn more about the grants program and writing a compelling proposal. Webinars will be held Wednesday, September 19, at noon and Tuesday, September 25, at 3:00 p.m.

To register for a webinar:

Pre-Application Information:

Letters of interest for 2019 grants are due October 21, 2018, by 11:59 PM.


Letters of interest - Submitted online by 11:59 p.m., October 21, 2018
Invited proposals - Submitted online by 11:59 p.m., December 16, 2018
Award decisions announced -Late February 2019
Funded programs begin - After April 1, 2019

Step One - Letter Of Interest:

Applicants should complete the online letter of interest form by 11:59 PM on October 21, 2018. Letters submitted in any other format will not be considered. Applicants should not send supplemental materials. The program director listed in the letter of interest will receive a confirmation email when the letter of interest has been submitted.

Applicants and co-applicants may submit only one letter of interest per grant cycle. Once the deadline has passed, Oregon Humanities grant staff will contact the program director regarding whether a full proposal will be invited.

Step Two - Grant Proposal:

If a full proposal is invited, the applicant will be asked to provide answers to a series of questions about the program and to complete a one-page budget form. Proposals must be submitted via the online system by 11:59 PM on December 16, 2018. The link to the online proposal form will be sent to the program director listed in the letter of interest. No supplemental materials should be submitted. The program director listed in the full proposal will receive a confirmation email upon submission of the proposal.

Prior to submitting a letter of interest, applicants are encouraged to contact Program Coordinator Kyle Weismann-Yee.

Organizations may apply as coapplicants if both meet eligibility requirements. Coapplicant organizations assume cost-sharing responsibilities for program revenue and/or expenses.

Matching Requirement and Cost Share:

An Oregon Humanities Public Program Grant request should not constitute more than fifty percent of the applicant's program budget. All requests must be matched at least dollar-for-dollar with earned, contributed, or in-kind revenue from the applicant or co-applicant. Unallowable costs such as alcohol, entertainment, or first-class travel may not be used for cost share.

Funding provided for the program by the applicant and coapplicant, including grants or cash contributions received from third parties that are applied to the program, constitute cash cost share. Staff salaries and benefits, supplies, and program admission or registration fees (which must directly support the grant activities) are all part of the applicant's cash cost share.

In-kind cost share is the dollar value of goods, services, space, and volunteer time contributed to the program by third parties. In-kind contributions are to be reflected in both the revenue and expense sections of the applicant's budget. Volunteer time may also be valued at $24.14/hour when calculating in-kind cost share.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To submit the Public Program Grants Letter of Interest Form:

For questions, contact:

Kyle Weismann-Yee, Program Coordinator
(503) 241-0543, ext. 112
(800) 735-0543, ext. 112

Oregon Humanities
921 SW Washington St., Suite 150
Portland, OR 97205

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oregon