Every five years the Levy conducts a Community Engagement process to inform funding priorities for the new funding round. The Levy worked with the firm Empress Rules to conduct the community engagement process in Fall 2018 and Winter 2019. Empress Rules sought perspectives from diverse stakeholders on the most effective and most needed services for children, especially children most affected by historical inequities, through surveys and focus group discussions.
The full Community Engagement Report, Executive Summary and Appendix were completed in April 2019. Key findings include:
- Levy-funded services should be culturally relevant and responsive to the communities being served.
- Direct service staff of funded programs should reflect the cultures and speak the languages of those being served.
- Funded programs should include families in planning and evaluating programs and services.
- The Levy should include marginalized communities when allocating resources and making investment decisions.
- People most affected by historical inequities resulting from racism and discrimination should be in leadership positions at organizations, including the Levy, to improve equity of opportunity for children and families.
Using this input, local data and research, PCL will establish service strategies and priorities for each of the Levy’s six funding areas. PCL anticipates final decisions by the Levy Allocation Committee on service strategies and priorities by the end of June 2019. All decisions will be made at public meetings with time allotted for public comment.
In tandem with the Community Engagement process, Portland State University completed a Process Review and presented its Grantmaking Improvement Report/Recommendations to the Allocation Committee in February 2019. The report offered several recommendations to improve the way the Levy conducts its grantmaking process, including increasing transparency and/or equity practice throughout the process.
The Allocation Committee is currently considering implementing one of the report recommendations to create a Small Grants Fund. PCL is interested in community feedback on the current outline for the Small Grants Fund, Take a one-minute survey to provide feedback. The Allocation Committee will consider feedback and whether to move forward with a small grants fund at the May 13, 2019 meeting.
Below is a chart of the upcoming Levy funding round