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Community and Civic Engagement Small Grants Program

Grants to Oregon Nonprofits for Community
Benefit Projects in Eligible Regions

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) and Southwest Neighborhoods (SWNI)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/13/20 5:00 PM Receipt


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Grants of up to $2,000 to Oregon nonprofit organizations and community groups to encourage community members to take leadership roles in community benefit projects. Priority will be given to underserved and underrepresented communities. Projects should engage and benefit community members in Southwest Neighborhoods Coalition area of Portland.

Portland’s Community & Civic Engagement Small Grants Program offers the opportunity to engage citizens and neighborhoods across the City. By offering seed-money, training, and technical support, the program enables residents to identify community needs, develop collaborative projects, and see their ideas through to completion. The Community & Civic Engagement Small Grants Program builds the skills and capacity of project leaders to shape the place where they live. Increased capacity creates confidence, and from confidence grows ongoing engagement of new community leaders.

Proposed projects must directly involve and engage the community as active participants and achieve one or more of the following goals:

  • Increase the number and diversity of people who are involved and engaged in the broader community
  • Strengthen community capacity to create change by building community leadership, identity, skills, relationships, and partnerships
  • Increase community impact on public decisions and community life
Applicants are encouraged to accomplish these goals through building strong community participation, and partnerships between neighborhood, business, and community-based organizations.
Preference will be given to applications:
  • Submitted by, or in direct partnership with, organizations predominately led by and/or involving people from historically underrepresented or underserved communities including communities of color, immigrants and refugees, low income people, renters, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ people.
  • That have strong community support and involvement as demonstrated by volunteer hours and donated or discounted services over applications that are primarily coordinated and executed by paid personnel.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164704

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant proposals can range from $200 to $2,000.

Term of Contract:

Proposed projects must begin after February 17, 2020 and be able to be completed by January 17, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Applications will be accepted from nonprofit organizations, community groups, and collaborative project teams.
- Individuals are not eligible to apply.
- The applicant must be a nonprofit tax exempt organization, have fiscal sponsorship from a nonprofit tax-exempt organization or government entity, or apply for fiscal sponsorship through SWNI.
- Past SWNI Community & Civic Engagement Small Grants Program recipients must have completed their project and submitted their final reporting paperwork. Current SWNI grant recipients must contact SWNI prior to applying to verify sufficient progress towards completing their grant project.

Partnerships are encouraged but not required. To qualify as a partnership, the partnering organization must contribute to the project in a substantial and meaningful way. This could include providing critical resources, services, or technical expertise, or collaboratively executing the project. For each organization identified as a partner, the applicant must submit a formal letter of support from the partnering organization that outlines their specific role in the project.

Projects must take place in and benefit the residents in the Southwest Neighborhoods Coalition area.

Funds cannot be used for:
- Costs that may be incurred in preparing this application or evaluating the project
- Direct social services such as food baskets or health clinic services
- Ongoing general organizational support such as rent, utilities, or staff
- Direct grants, scholarships or loans for the benefit of specific individuals
- Fundraising activities or community events that cost money to attend (Events may have a suggested donation.)
- Capital projects, unless built by volunteers
- Items intended for sale

Pre-proposal Conference:

Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of SWNI’s grant information workshops in November or December. Workshops will include an overview of project criteria and eligibility requirements, tips for writing successful grant applications, and opportunities for attendees to ask questions and get feedback on project ideas. To RSVP for one of the workshops please email John Tappero.

Small Grant Workshops:

Wednesday, November 13th 2019
6:30-8:00 PM
MAC 7688 SW Capitol Hwy Room 8

Tuesday, December 3rd 2019
6:30-8:00 PM
MAC 7688 SW Capitol Hwy Room 8

Pre-Application Information:

Applications may be emailed or hand delivered to SWNI and must be received by 5 PM on Monday, January 13, 2020.

Grant Timeline:
- Grant applications available: October 21, 2019
- Grant applications due January 13, 2020
- Awards announced no later than February 17, 2020
- Projects must be completed no later than January 17, 2021
- Final report and documentation no later than January 31, 2021

SWNI recommends that applicants submit their application at least a few days early to ensure there is time to respond if notified that their application is incomplete.

Interested community members are strongly encouraged to attend one of SWNI’s grant information workshops and to contact SWNI Program Coordinator John Tappero for feedback on their project idea or draft application.

Contact Information:

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

If you have questions about the application or submission process please contact John Tappero, Program Coordinator, at (503) 823-4592 or

Application submissions should have the subject line: NA Small Grant Proposal (An electronic receipt will be sent).

Hand Deliver: SWNI, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy, Room 5, Portland OR 97219, M-F 9 am to 5 pm

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oregon: City of Portland (Southwest Neighborhoods Coalition Area)

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