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Community and Civic Engagement Small Grant Program

Grants to Portland, Oregon Nonprofits and Groups to Engage
the Community and Strengthen Its Capacity for Change

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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SE Uplift

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants ranging from $300 to $4,000 to Portland, Oregon project teams, community groups, and nonprofit organizations in the Funding Source's service area for community engagement projects. Funding is intended for collaborative programs to engage diverse groups of people, to build leadership, and impact public decisions. Projects must take place in and benefit the residents of the SE Uplift Coalition area.

Community and Civic Engagement Small Grants support projects that empower and involve community members to shape and create their communities.

The goals of the Small Grant Program are to 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; and increase community impact on public decisions and community life.

Now in its 12th year, the Small Grants program offers the opportunity to engage community members across the City. By offering seed-money, training, and technical support, the program enables people and organizations to identify community needs, develop collaborative projects, and see their ideas through to completion. The Community and Civic Engagement Small Grant 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.

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.

Applications will be evaluated and scored based on their alignment with grant program goals and potential impact, level of community engagement, feasibility and budget, and degree to which they advance equity.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182414

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant proposals can range from $300 to $4,000. The average Small Grants award is $2,400.

Term of Contract:

Proposed projects must begin after March 11, 2019 and be able to be completed by January 28, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Who may apply:
- Applications will be accepted from nonprofit organizations, community groups, and collaborative project teams.
- 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 SE Uplift.
- Past SE Uplift Small Grant recipients must have completed their project and submitted their final reporting paperwork. Current SE Uplift grant recipients must contact SE Uplift 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.

Who many not apply:
- Individuals are not eligible to apply.
- Proposed projects may not have received funding from SE Uplift two or more times in the past. However, previously successful grant recipients may apply for a different project, or a distinctly different phase of the project from which they received funding twice previously.

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*
- Capital projects, unless built by volunteers
- Items intended for sale
*Events may have a suggested donation.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of SE Uplift’s grant information workshops in December or January. 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. RSVP is required. To RSVP for one of the workshops please visit or access the links provided below:

December 5th from 6:00 Pm to 8:00 PM
Location: SE Uplift 3534 SE Main St Portland, OR 97214

January 8th from 6:00 Pm to 8:00 PM
Location: SE Uplift 3534 SE Main St Portland, OR 97214

If you are unable to attend, the Foundation strongly encourages you to watch this webinar recording:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications may be emailed, mailed, or hand delivered to SE Uplift and must be received by Friday, February 8, 2019. This is not a postmark deadline. Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted. Email submission is preferred.

Applications may be submitted in any language. SE Uplift 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.

SE Uplift staff are available to provide project idea advice, answer questions, review draft applications and provide feedback before the deadline. Contact SE Uplift’s Small Grants Manager to discuss your proposal, schedule a meeting, or submit a draft application for review.

Applicants will be notified of grant decisions by March 6, 2019.

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 Muz Afzal, SE Uplift’s Small Grants Manager:

Muz Afzal, SE Uplift’s Small Grants Manager
Phone: (503) 232-0010 x 319

Submit applications by email, mail, or drop-off to:

Mail: SE Uplift
ATTN: Muz Afzal
3534 SE Main St
Portland, OR 97214

Drop off: SE UPLIFT
3534 SE Main St
Portland, OR 97214
Mon-Thurs 10 AM-5 PM


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oregon: Portland - Southeast Upland Coalition Area