Seeking Community Input

We have embarked upon two projects to help inform priorities, strategies, and processes for the next funding round planned for 2019-2020: a Community Engagement Process and a Grantmaking Process Improvement Project. Summaries of both plans are below, followed by a graphic that illustrates the planned timeline.

Community Engagement Process

Every five years, the Levy conducts a community engagement process to inform funding priorities for the next Levy period. Complete this quick questionnaire to get involved.

Here is a summary of the plan, broken into three main phases: Outreach, Survey and Focus Groups, and Recommendations:

Community Engagement Process Diagram

Phase 1: Outreach
November 2018 – December 2018

Distribute a questionnaire to engage community members with experience of the types of services needed for children, youth, and families to thrive.

Phase 2: Survey and Focus Groups
January 2019

Identify and engage a representative sample of participants from the following groups:

  • Families with disabilities (children or parents), youth who identify as LGBTQ, foster parents, youth in foster care/previously in foster care, immigrants and refugees, and families experiencing homelessness. Parents/caregivers and youth who identify as any of the following: Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, American-Indian/Alaskan Native, Hispanic/Latinx. Families who live in East Portland.
  • People working directly with children, youth and families from these communities in Portland/Multnomah County.

Understand perspectives from diverse stakeholders on the most effective and most needed services for children, especially children most affected by historical inequities.

Share the opportunity for community members from traditionally marginalized populations to have input in the decision-making process.

Phase 3: Recommendations
February 2019 – April 2019

Identify community solutions to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families.

Download a PDF of the Community Engagement Process Summary

Empress Rules was chosen through a competitive Request for Proposal process to plan and conduct the Community Engagement Process. Download the full Community Engagement Process Plan approved by the Levy Allocation Committee Oct. 22nd. Feedback via email to is welcome and will be passed along to Empress Rules as the process moves forward. 

Grantmaking Process Improvement Project

Thuan Dong, Research Associate, from Portland State University, Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services, School of Social Work and Alma Trinidad, Associate Professor will convene focus groups and conduct interviews with local service providers (past PCL applicants and organizations that could be potential applicants), local funders, and Allocation Committee members to:

  • Understand experiences with the PCL grant application and funding decision processes by examining experiences in the 3 main phases of the process: 
    • Pre-Application: includes applicants’ and potential applicants’ preparation/work to submit proposals
    • Application: includes RFI instructions, scoring criteria, and review process
    • Allocation:  includes staff recommendations, testimony/advocacy for proposals, and allocation decision-making
  • Identify key themes in those experiences that suggest strengths and areas for improvement in PCL’s grantmaking processes; and
  • After collecting and analyzing the data, produce a report that describes methods used to engage service providers and other key stakeholders in providing feedback, findings based on this research, and recommendations for improving grantmaking practices and processes.

Focus groups and interviews are scheduled for November and early December.  The team will complete the analysis, creation of recommendations and a draft report by the end of 2018.  The team will present recommendations to the Allocation Committee in January 2019. 

 Portland Children's Levy Timeline