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Launching an Outdoor School Program

Grants to Oregon Nonprofits, Schools, and Agencies
for Outdoor Education Programs for Grades 5-6

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Gray Family Foundation (FF)

Deadline Date:



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Grants to Oregon nonprofit organizations, schools, IHEs, districts, and government agencies to provide fifth and sixth grade students with a high-quality outdoor-oriented educational experience. Funding is intended to improve access to outdoor programs, integrate environmental education into the educational system, and to introduce students to the diverse traditions and knowledge relating to the environment.

The Gray Family Foundation’s Launching an Outdoor School Program seeks to increase the capacity of schools and outdoor school providers to deliver high-quality outdoor school experiences to all Oregon 5th or 6th grade students.

The Gray Family Foundation seeks requests that serve three categories of programs:

- Planning grants for schools or districts. These grants will support the planning required to launch or revise an outdoor school program in geographic regions or among communities currently with limited or no outdoor school opportunities. Schools, districts or ESDs can submit a request for a planning grant to support launching an outdoor school program with the intention of applying for programmatic funding from OSU-Extension in the future.

- Planning grants for outdoor school program providers. Current or prospective outdoor school program providers may request funds to plan how to better serve all 5th and 6th grade Oregon students. Specifically, Gray FF seeks to increase the capacity of program providers to deliver high quality, culturally responsive programming to better serve all Oregon communities.

- Program grants to schools or student groups currently ineligible to apply for OSU Extension outdoor school funding. Gray FF acknowledges that there are limitations of how OSU Extensions funds may be distributed which may exclude private, charter and home school students from eligibility. Gray FF will accept requests for programmatic grants to help these students participate in the outdoor school experience.

A planning grant may be used to support any necessary activities to launch or revise an Outdoor school program which may include but is not limited to: identifying school, district and community needs and opportunities for outdoor school; program planning; curriculum development; partnership development; staff/volunteer development; and other activities to lay the foundation for implementing a successful outdoor school program.

The Foundation will give preference to:
- Programs 5 days in length.
- Programs that give scholarships to students in need (every student able to participate) and programs of schools exhibiting high need (i.e., Free and Reduced Lunch).
- Programs that engage college or high school students as mentors.
- Programs that have extensive community support and well-developed partnerships.
- Programs that incorporate pre- and post-trip curriculum work.
- Programs that assess both short- and long-term changes in participants’ understanding of required standards, natural systems, and environmental literacy.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164223

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Foundation will consider proposals submitted by schools, districts, colleges, government agencies or 501(c)3 non-profit organizations serving Oregon. Any sponsored program provider activities should align with the applying organization’s mission.

Funding is not eligible for requests that include:
- Delivery of outdoor school programming for districts and ESDs eligible through OSU-Extension funding; please refer to OSU-Extension funding for this purpose
- Program delivery support for program providers
- Summer camps, day camps, etc.
- Planning outdoor school experiences that will serve students outside the targeted 5th or 6th grades
- Capital campaigns, site improvements or acquisitions of land
- Purchases or activities that occur prior to grant decision
- Deficit funding or elimination of operating deficits
- Annual fund appeals or endowment funds
- Religious activities
- Grants or loans to individuals

Pre-Application Information:

Foundation trustees meet four times annually to make decisions on Launching an Outdoor School grant requests. The grant review process begins after receiving a completed application and usually takes four to six weeks. If you have a time sensitive request, the Foundation generally recommends applying by the following dates and grant awards will be made until funds are fully expended.

- Applications received by January 15 will generally be considered in mid-February.
- Applications received by April 1 will generally be considered in mid-May.
- Applications received by July 1 will generally be considered in mid-August.
- Applications received by October 1 will generally be considered in mid-November.

Eligible institutions should submit a letter of interest (2 pages maximum) and a budget of applicable expenses for consideration to the Gray FF.

Contact Information:

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

Submit LOI to

Rachael Bashor
Phone: 503-552-3511

1221 SW Yamhill St., Suite 100
Portland, OR 97205

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oregon