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Grants to Oregon Nonprofits, Schools, and Agencies for Arts,
Environment, Health, Education, and Preservation

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Spirit Mountain Community Fund (SMCF)

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Grants to Oregon nonprofit organizations, schools, IHEs, and government agencies for a broad range of programs and projects benefitting the funding source’s service area. LOIs are due January 11. Program areas include arts and culture, environmental preservation, education, historic preservation, health, problem gaming, and public safety.

The Board of Trustees has established eight priority funding areas that called P8's. Although projects from all of the program areas are funded, these priority areas receive special attention. Staff will designate P8 status to applications upon review.


1. Healthy Mothers, Healthy Children
The Foundation believes that by supporting programs that focus on women’s health needs, pre and post natal care, and the early health, domestic violence, and child abuse or neglect, it may have positive impact on the health of children over the course of their lives.

2. Overcoming Obesity
The Foundation supports programs that promote healthy diets, fit lifestyles and are characterized as preventative verses reactive. Projects that fit this category will focus on healthy lifestyle changes and support. This is not targeted to simply support sports teams or facilities.

3. Oral Health
Research continues to reveal the intrinsic role that oral health plays in overall physical and mental health and development of persons of all ages.


1. Ready for School
The Foundation supports programs that improve early childhood learning and development to empower each child’s learning to their full potential.

2. Reading Success
One of the most foundational requirements of a successful education is reading proficiency. Too many children who do not accomplish reading proficiency in the early grades are left behind and are hampered in the rest of their leaning. The Foundation supports programs that create and support young successful readers.

3. Effective Education for All
The Foundation desires that all children, including those who experience challenges to their learning success, have the support they need to reach their best academic abilities. Children who struggle in school and those considered at risk need and deserve additional support. The Foundation believes that programs that build on the school experience are often necessary to help these children. Valued programs include after school programs, tutoring, summer school and year-round education programs.


1. River Health

Rivers are the life blood of lands and the home of the salmon and skaqual (lamprey). It is the Foundation’s responsibility to help rivers heal and restore the fish that have always fed the people. The Foundation supports projects that protect and restore rivers and the ecosystems that they support.

-Water Quality - The water quality of rivers must be able to support a recovering and one day thriving fish population.

-River Habitat Conservation and Restoration - The Foundation supports programs that will restore and protect a living, moving and healing aquatic system.

-Fish Restoration - The Foundation supports efforts to restore healthy, wild fish populations.

-Reducing Toxic Pollution - The Foundation supports projects that reduce toxic pollution in the environment and reduce or prevent the delivery of toxic chemicals to local waters.

2. Environmental Justice

Persons of color and the economically disadvantaged are more likely to live in polluted neighborhoods and bear the harmful impacts of environmental degradation. SMCF supports projects that promote the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. The Foundation also believes that the voices and experiences of those who bear the burden of environmental damage must inform how the environment is maintained, managed, and regulated.

Capital Campaign Requests:
Capital campaign projects should be limited to those that are beyond the planning phase and have moved more towards the actual “bricks and mortar” construction phase of the project. Funding to support the later phases of a capital project will better insure that the project is successful and there will be tangible and measurable results from the investment.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177339

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Programmatic request limit: $50,000
-Capital request limit: $100,000

Term of Contract:

Multi-year funding is not available.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Foundation supports::
-501(c)3 organizations in the 11 county service area-Benton, Clackamas, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, Yamhill
-Government agencies in Polk and Yamhill Counties

Grant & Gifts to Educational Groups, Affiliates, Associations, or Organizations Policy:

It is the policy of Spirit Mountain Community Fund that Universities, Colleges, or Public School District Level Programs or their affiliates having an IRS 501(c) 3 designation, including individual schools owned or operated by a federally recognized Tribe located within the State of Oregon, are eligible to apply for grants/gifts from SMCF under the “education” category.

Individual K-12 schools whether public or charter (as defined by P.L. 107-110, NCLB and/or ORS 3380) are not eligible to apply for SMCF grants/gifts within the “education” category even if they have a 501 (c) 3 designation or affiliated agency.

Individual schools, including those that are government operated (federal or state) located in Polk and Yamhill counties are eligible to apply for a SMCF grant. District-wide groups, associations, affiliates, or organizations, located within the 11 county service area, having an IRS 501(c) 3 designation are eligible to apply for SMCF grants/gifts within the “education” category provided the proposed project serves two or more schools within the same district and/or has a significant impact on the local community.

All public, private, or faith based schools, including charter schools and their respective affiliates having an IRS 501(c) 3 designation are eligible to apply for SMCF grants/gifts under the “education” category provided the proposed project serves two or more schools within the district and/or has a significant impact on the local community. Faith based schools need to be compliant with SMCF’s Grant & Gifts to Religious or Politically Affiliated Group or Organizations Investment Policy.

Religious Affiliated Groups or Organizations Investment Policy:

It is the policy of the Spirit Mountain Community Fund that all grants/gifts to religious groups/organizations are conditional. Religious groups/organizations receiving grants/gifts from SMCF acknowledge that the clients/recipients will not be required to adopt the doctrines or beliefs of their entity nor require their clients/recipients to be exposed to proprietary media nor participate in rites/ceremonies or any other religious activity as a prerequisite for receiving service or benefit.

All religious groups/organizations, excluding Federally recognized Tribes located within the State of Oregon, accepting SMCF grants/gifts will ensure that their end users’ (clients/recipients) exposure to proprietary media or participation in ceremonies or activities are strictly voluntary on the part of the client/recipient. A religious organization or group in principal, policy or practice shall not require its’ clients/recipients to segregate themselves from customary program activities as a means of circumventing their exposure to proprietary media and/or participation in religious rites or ceremonies.

Services and benefits to clients/recipients will not be denied solely, or in part, based on the clients/recipients refusal to either adopt the doctrine or beliefs of the religious entity or participate in ceremonies or other activities sponsored by the religious group or organization.

SMCF does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, physical circumstances, national origin or any other characteristic protected by law. Grant applicants must hold similar standards. Grant applications from organizations known to have discriminatory policies will not be considered.

Fiscal Sponsorship:

Spirit Mountain Community Fund’s list of things that it does not fund states that it does not provide funding for “grants to organizations that will be passing funds on to organizations that are not tax-exempt.” That means that the Fund does not typically allow organizations to apply and act solely as fiscal sponsors for other organizations.

In some instances the Foundation will allow those types of business relationships. When the Foundation does allow them, instead of thinking about your application as a fiscal sponsorship, think of it as a partnership where one organization is partnering with another on a project.

When one organization applies for another, the applicant organization is considered the applicant. All of the requested organizational information is about the actual applicant organization. Here’s an example:

ABC nonprofit applies on behalf of the XYZ nonprofit.

ABC has their 501(c)3 and an active registration with the IRS. XYZ does not. XYZ may have a nonprofit designation by the State of Oregon, rather than the IRS, or they may have applied to the IRS but not been approved yet. (NOTE: The Internet-based grant application system verifies tax status with the IRS database. If a nonprofit agency is not active with the IRS, they will not be able to access the Foundation's system).

When ABC applies, using their active IRS tax id number, ABC is the actual applicant. ABC’s board and staff are responsible for managing grant funds and ensuring that grant deliverables are met.

That means that the board roster, financial statements, the organizational history and other documents are all from the ABC foundation. The XYZ foundation would be brought in to the applicant on the project description section as a partner agency, not the actual applicant.

Some organizations don’t understand the data requirements for the applicant organization (ABC). Remember, ABC is the legal organization that has a relationship with the Fund, and ABC will ultimately be responsible for the financial management and legal requirements for any grants made; not the partner organization since they did not meet some of the eligibility criteria (usually being a registered 501(c)3 with the IRS).


When addressing funding priorities, the Foundation remains mindful of its commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the nonprofit and government communities. Spirit Mountain Community Fund believes that when organizations embrace diversity at the Board level where resources are allocated and institutional goals are established, the likelihood that organizations will better embody and serve increasingly diverse communities is enhanced. The Foundation seeks to partner with and support those organizations that embrace the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership.

As a relatively small funder, there are some projects that simply fall out of the Foundation’s funding scope and are not eligible:
-Organizations that have not completed their previous SMCF grant.
-Debt retirement
-Domestic animal programs (Shelters)
-Economic development or community revitalization
-Events including fundraisers, conferences, concerts, and sponsorships.
-Indirect or overhead costs, except those expenses that specifically and essentially relate to the grant project. These costs should be a small percent of the total request
-Institutions that in policy or practice unfairly discriminate based on race, ethnic origin, sex, creed or religion.
-Multi-year funding.
-Pass-through funding to organizations that are not tax-exempt.
-Projects or organizations that propagandize or influence elections
-Projects within sectarian or religious organizations that primarily serve their own members or adherents.
-Replacement funding for activities or materials previously supported by federal, state or local public funds.
-Sporting complexes, equipment, or other sports-related projects.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Throughout the year, SMCF holds pre-application workshops at various locations. This step-by-step walk through of the application is free and all are welcome. Attendance is not required, but encouraged, especially for newer organizations or grant writers.

Check this link for updated workshop dates:

Pre-Application Information:

Requests may not exceed 50% of project the budget.

The Letter of Inquiry, or LOI, is your gateway to funding. It will be reviewed by staff (small grants) or the Board of Trustees (large) and you will either be invited to submit a full application, or be declined. This process includes a short eligibility quiz, contact information, a brief description of your organization, your proposal and a budget overview. You will be notified if you are accepted within a few days of the deadline.

If your Letter of Inquiry is accepted by the team, you will receive an email invitation to submit a grant application. The invitation will contain instructions, deadlines, and staff contact information.

-LOI Deadline: 10/03/2017
-Application Deadline: 11/16/2017
-Notification: 01/31/2018
-Check Presentation: 03/14/2018

-LOI Deadline: 01/11/2018
-Application Deadline: 03/14/2018
-Notification: 04/25/2018
-Check Presentation: 06/13/2018

-LOI Deadline: 04/03/2018
-Application Deadline: 06/07/2018
-Notification: 07/25/2018
-Check Presentation: 09/12/2018

-LOI Deadline: 07/03/2018
-Application Deadline: 09/05/2018
-Notification: 10/24/2018
-Check Presentation: 12/12/2018

-LOI Deadline: 10/04/2018
-Application Deadline: 12/07/2018
-Notification: 01/23/2019
-Check Presentation: 03/13/2019

Eligibility and Priorities:

LOI Instructions:

Application Instructions:

Guidance Policies:

Community Fund Calendar:

Contact Information:

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

Register for the November 8 workshop:

Apply Online:

Julia Willis, Grants Coordinator
(503) 879-1637

Spirit Mountain Community Fund:
9615 Grand Ronde Road
Grand Ronde, OR 97347

(503) 879-1400

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oregon: Benton, Clackamas, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill Counties