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Development Resources: A Guide for Grantseekers

When looking for a grant to help fund your Oregon sesquicentennial project, it is important to keep a few considerations in mind:

Finding a Foundation or Government Grant Program for your Project

We’ve listed below some of the major foundations, state agencies, and federal agencies that have grant programs serving Oregon.  The Oregon Foundation Databook is another popular source of information about foundations based in Oregon.  The Databook’s website contains a page with links to the websites of many Oregon foundations: www.foundationdatabook.com

A good source of information for finding grants from the federal government is www.grants.gov

The Regional Arts and Culture Council, which serves Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties, manages a grant program as well as providing information for sources of funding for arts and culture programs.  Their website is www.racc.org.

Another way to identify foundations that might fund your program is to find out which foundations and agencies have funded similar programs.  For instance, if you are planning an exhibition of art related to Oregon, you might look at the websites for local museums or visual art organizations and see who their major donors are. 

Do you qualify?

Many foundations and government agencies award grants only to organizations that have been accorded nonprofit status by the Internal Revenue Service, under 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code.  If your organization does not have 501(c)(3) status, you may still be able to apply for a grant by using a qualified nonprofit organization as a “fiscal agent”—that is, to receive your grant funds, pass them through to you, and oversee your use of the funds.

Some granting entities, especially government agencies, will also grant funds to Native American nations, local government groups, or schools.  A few foundations and some government grant programs will award funds to individuals.


Depending on the foundation or agency, it can take up to nine months or more after you turn in a grant application to find out if you will be awarded a grant.  Make sure you plan well in advance.

Know the Donor

Before you prepare a grant application, be familiar with the types of projects the donor usually funds, the size of gifts made, and the donor’s mission.  You can usually find this information on the donor’s website or in the Oregon Foundation Databook.

If you have more questions about how to find funding for your project, please feel free to contact Oregon 150’s Project Coordinator, Angela Sanders, at [email protected].


This is a list of some of largest foundations in Oregon and a few national foundations that might be of interest, but it is by no means comprehensive.  We suggest you explore the websites of each foundation, when possible, to see if your project meets the foundation’s requirements.  Other sources for finding foundations are listed above.

Autzen Foundation
P.O. Box 3709
Portland, OR  97208
Robin Stewart, Adminstrator
[email protected]

Bank of America Foundation

The Collins Foundation

Ford Family Foundation
The largest foundation in the state.  Primarily funds projects in rural Oregon.

Fred Meyer Foundation
In some cases, Fred Meyer will also provide corporate sponsorships or give in-kind gifts.

Getty Foundation
Grant program supports the preservation of buildings or sites that are of outstanding architectural, historical, and cultural significance worldwide.

The History Channel
The History Channel is offering Save Our History grants to history organizations, historical societies, libraries, archives, and nonprofit organizations, who partner with schools and/or youth groups on projects that teach students about their local history and actively engage them in its preservation. Application deadline: June 1. http://www.history.com/minisites/saveourhistory/

Jeld Wen Foundation
P.O. Box 1329
Klamath Falls, OR  97601
(541) 882-3451

Oregon Community Foundation (OCF)
OCF grants money through its general fund; through program-related funds such as the Historic Trails Fund; and through donor-advised funds.

Meyer Memorial Trust
The Trust administers a few different grant programs, including general grants and a small grants program.

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Nike Foundation

NW Natural Gas

Oregon Council for the Humanities

PacifiCorp Foundation for Learning

PGE Foundation

Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC)
RACC offers a variety of grants, both to arts and culture organizations and to individual artists.  The RACC website is also an excellent resource for finding additional grant opportunities.

Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust
900 SW 5th Ave, 26th floor
Portland, OR  97204
Trust officer: Phyllis Fletcher, (503) 275-4327

Spirit Mountain Community Fund

Trust Management Services, LLC
Trust Management Services (formerly called the Braemar Trust) awards grants focusing on one region in Oregon at a time.  Each region comes up for consideration every two years.  The website lists geographic deadlines for submitting grant applications.

State Funding

Upcoming OAC deadlines:

  • Operating Support: May 1, 2007
  • Arts Services: May 1, 2007
  • Arts Learning: May 1, 2007 (electronic application)
  • Arts Build Communities: October 2, 2007
  • Artist Fellowships: October 15, 2007 - visual arts, crafts, photography and design
  • Arts Recognition: Two deadlines - September 4, 2007 and January 16, 2008 (electronic application)

Oregon Cultural Trust deadlines: Applications for FY2008 Cultural Development Grants (for projects and activities occurring from August 1, 2007 through July 31,2008) are due Tuesday, May 15, 2007 (postmark or hand delivered).

Certified Local Government (CLG) program
Grants to cities and counties certified as historic preservation partners with both the state and the federal governments.  These grants can be used for a wide range of historic preservation activities, including National Register nominations, historic property surveys, preservation education projects, preservation code development, building restoration, and preservation planning. 

Historic Cemetery Grants
The Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries offers Historic Cemetery Grants for protection, rehabilitation, planning and education related to historic cemeteries. 

Oregon Arts Commission (OAC)
OAC administers a variety of grants for arts program, including grants for education and programming.

Oregon Cultural Trust
Besides administering an annual grants program, OCT grants money to county and tribal cultural coalitions, who in turn distribute the funds within their jurisdictions.

Oregon Heritage Commission:  Heritage Grants
Provides matching grants for a wide range of heritage-related projects by local, regional, or statewide groups. 

Oregon Heritage Commision:  Museum Grant Program
Provides grants to public and non-profit heritage museums statewide. 

Preserving Oregon Grants
Grant program for restoration work on National Register-listed buildings and structures. 

Federal Funding

Federal grants are listed at www.grants.gov.  Below we include a few programs that might interest organizations planning projects for the sesquicentennial.

Federal Highway Administration:  Scenic Byways Program

National Park Service:  Preserve America grant program
These matching grants are designed to support a variety of activities related to heritage tourism and innovative approaches to the use of historic properties as educational and economic assets. They go beyond the bricks and mortar grants available under Save

National Trust:  Cynthia Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors
Eligible projects include obtaining consultant services; obtaining professional advice to strengthen management capabilities; designing, producing and marketing print and video communications materials; sponsoring preservation conferences and workshops; and designing and implementing innovative preservation education programs.

National Trust:  Inner Cities Ventures Fund

National Trust:  Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation
Membership in National Trust Forum, which provides a wide range of information to those actively involved in preservation activities, is required in order to receive a grant..

National Trust:  Preservation Service Fund
Funds are available to nonprofit organizations, public agencies, or educational institutions and are generally matching grants ranging from $500 to $5,000. Eligible projects include consultant services, preservation education, and co-sponsored conferences.

National Park Service:  Save America’s Treasures Grant
Matching grants are available for preservation and/or conservation work on nationally significant intellectual and cultural artifacts and nationally significant historic structures and sites.

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