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Meyer Memorial Trust announces $5.6M in grants

At its July program meeting, Meyer Memorial Trust awarded 29 grants and program related investments, totaling just over $5.6 million, for organizations across Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Five grants, totaling more than $113,000, focus on social benefit: $5,000 to support Verde’s community engagement process for the Living Cully Plaza; and $100,000 to help the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District expand to five districts in Oregon.

Other awards stand out. A grant of $55,000 supports services for adult and child survivors of domestic violence within Washington County, another for $56,050 helps Linn County watershed councils participation in the Willamette Model Watershed Program, and a grant of $250,000 will help improve ADA accessibility at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s entrance courtyard and outdoor performance space.

Meyer Memorial Trust, established in 1982, is one of the largest private foundations in Oregon, with current assets over $795 million. Over its lifetime, MMT has awarded 8,858 grants and PRIs, totaling nearly than $684 million, to 3,171 organizations in Oregon and Southwest Washington. In March, we closed our Responsive Grants and Grassroots Grants programs to reorganize our grant-making into four priority focus areas: affordable housing, education, the environment and Oregon’s resilient social sector. The Trust continues to fund ongoing initiatives related to affordable housing and the Willamette River, support large arts organizations through a partnership with other large regional grant-makers, and buttress education policy, research and engagement by the Chalkboard Project. While Meyer continues to approve grants already submitted for work in Clark County, Wash., the Trust no longer accepts new grant requests from outside of Oregon.

The Trust is governed by a board of trustees, which includes Debbie Craig, John Emrick, Orcilia Zúñiga Forbes, George Puentes and Charles Wilhoite.

A glimpse at the July grants:

Thirteen grants and program related investments, totaling $2.55 million, and representing 45 percent of all MMT funding awarded in July, fall under the category of human services: Those include a grant of $14,425 to support financial capacity, board development and fundraising efforts at the Community Alliance of Tenants in Washington County, and $150,000 to strengthen core services provided by the Portland Women’s Crisis Line for domestic and sexual violence survivors.

One education grant, totaling $365,000, will help build a permanent home in the Rockwood neighborhood for Open Meadow Alternative Schools.

Three awards, totaling more than $322,000, focus on conservation and the environment: a grant of $$66,700 to support the Willamette Riverkeeper’s work in the Willamette Aquatic Invasives Network (WAIN), and $200,000 to WaterWatch, which includes a $150,000 grant for streamflow protection and restoration and $50,000, through the MMT’s Willamette River Initiative, for analysis of long-term agricultural and municipal demands on the Willamette River.

Two grants and two program related investments, amounting to more than $1.85 million are health-related. They include a $250,000 grant and a loan for $750,000 to construct a wellness center at La Clinica in Medford. A grant of $250,000 and investment of $600,000 will help Northwest Human Services in Salem to increase clinical facility space.

Three arts and culture grants, equal to six percent of the July awards, total $411,000. A grant of $86,000 will help build capacity at Columbia Arts in Hood River, an art center that connects artists and residents in the greater Columbia River Gorge community with arts education, performance and visual arts. Another grant of $75,000 offers core support to Oregon Humanities.

And five grants, totaling more than $113,000, for two percent of this award batch, focus on social benefit: $5,000 to support Verde’s community engagement process for the Living Cully Plaza; and $100,000 to help the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District expand to five economic development districts in Oregon.


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