Grant Reviewer Volunteer Position Description

Volunteer Position Description & Information

Grant Reviewer, 2019

We Encourage You to Volunteer

Portland Children’s Levy (PCL) is recruiting volunteers to review and score grant applications.  We seek grant reviewers that represent a broad cross-section of Portland's diverse communities.

This is your opportunity to influence decisions about which services PCL funds. The scores assigned by volunteer reviewers, along with additional considerations, help PCL’s Allocation Committee make final decisions about which programs to recommend for investments. The Committee’s recommendations are submitted to the Portland City Council for approval. 

PCL will provide stipends to volunteer reviewers who complete grant reviews and scoring outside of paid work time.

Background Information

Established in 2002 and renewed by Portland voters for the third time in the Spring of 2018, the Portland Children’s Levy (PCL) is a city property tax that raises funds to support children and families. Through a competitive application process, the Levy will invest $68 million in three-year grants next spring at community-based services to work on the following goals:

  • Prepare children for school
  • Support children’s success in and out of the classroom
  • Reduce racial and ethnic disparities in children’s well-being and school success

PCL funds in six program areas: Early Childhood, After School, Mentoring, Child Abuse Prevention & Intervention, Foster Care and Hunger Relief. Visit our website to learn more about the Portland Children's Levy.

Grant Reviewer Qualifications

PCL seeks to create groups of grant reviewers with a mix of experience and knowledge in:

  • Assessing, advising or managing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion of organizations and services for children, youth and families
  • Providing, participating in or navigating services in one or more of PCL’s six program areas (such as teachers, community leaders, and advocates working for children/families’ wellbeing)  
  • Reviewing or writing grant proposals for services for children, youth or families
  • Studying or researching topics related to one or more of PCL’s six program areas

To be eligible to serve as a grant reviewer for the Portland Children’s Levy, reviewers must live, work, play, worship or go to school in the city of Portland.

Grant reviewers are also expected to:

  • Think critically about the grant applications
  • Use the evaluation criteria provided by PCL to review and score the applications
  • Not have a conflict of interest with any application they review

Volunteer Grant Reviewer Responsibilities and Time Commitment and Sign Up

  • Attend the reviewer training to learn how to review and score applications (2.5 hours)
  • Independently review and score grant applications using the scoring criteria provided by PCL. Estimate 8-10 grant applications per reviewer, with a total of 160-200 pages of information, to be read, reviewed, and scored between 12/4/19 and 1/21/20 (24-30 hours) 
  • Contact PCL staff for direction if you have questions during the review process
  • Phone check-in with PCL staff mid-way through the review process (15-20 minutes)
  • Meet with PCL staff to submit and review your completed score sheets and provide feedback, via a survey, about ways to strengthen the grant application review process (30-45 minutes)

PCL estimates needing 75-80 volunteer grant reviewers; actual number of reviewers needed depends on number of grant proposals received.  PCL prefers volunteers sign-up using this electronic form. PDF & MS Word versions of the sign-up form are available upon request by contacting lisa.hansell@portlandoregon.gov

Selection Process

PCL staff will review volunteer sign-up forms as they are received. Volunteers who meet the reviewer qualifications and commit to fulfilling the grant reviewer responsibilities listed above will be invited to be part of the reviewer pool.

PCL staff will:

  • assign volunteer reviewers a set of grant applications based on reviewers’ knowledge and experience in a specific program area.
  • create groups of 5 reviewers to read and score the same set of applications.  Each application will receive scores from 5 reviewers.

The goal is to create reviewer groups that include a balance of experience and knowledge in organizational management and racial equity, diversity, and inclusion, and content area and program delivery experience and knowledge.

After we receive grant applications and balance the reviewer groups, it is possible that not all volunteer grant reviewers will be needed. PCL staff will be in touch to confirm participation by November 26th.

Volunteer Sign-Up Deadline

Volunteers can sign up any time between now and November 1, 2019.  PCL staff will review information submitted by volunteers on a rolling basis and until PCL has filled all volunteer positions.  PCL must fill all volunteer positions by December 1, 2019 to assure adequate review of grant applications in time for funding decisions.

Questions

To talk with someone about this volunteer opportunity or for assistance completing the sign-up form please email lisa.hansell@portlandoregon.gov or call 503.865.6061.