2019-20 Funding Round

2019-20 Funding Round Overview

UPDATE: Portland Children's Levy staff plans to publish a complete Request for Investment in late September and have grant applications due at the end of November. A tentative timeline and next steps in the 2019-20 funding process include:

  • September Allocation Committee meeting to finalize RFI (between Sept. 9th - Sept. 23rd)
  • Publish RFI: Sept. 25th
  • Bidder's Conferences: Sept. 30th-Oct. 11th
  • RFI due: Nov. 20th 
  • RFI review process: December - February
  • Opportunity for applicants to provide written and video testimony: March - Early April
  • Tentative funding decision meetings: April 20th and April 27th

Draft sections of the RFI which focused on grant applicants' Organizational Capacity and Commitment to Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and on Proven Program Design and Effectiveness were approved by the Allocation Committee in June. The AC also approved changes to the Grant Review Process and Program Area Strategies.

Background: the Levy was created in 2002 and must be approved by voters every five years. Voters most recently renewed the Levy in Spring 2018 for another five-year term beginning July 1, 2019.  PCL typically launches a competitive funding round after the Levy is renewed to make investments in programs serving children and families in Portland. 

In preparation for the funding process, PCL focused on compiling key local data on Portland’s children, revising its grantmaking process and engaging community members and service providers in discussion on needed services. Read the full reports at the links below and the findings, which focused on diversity, inclusion and racial equity:

Portland’s Children: Overview of Key Local Data. This report from Fall 2018 summarizes data from various local and state sources and provides a current snapshot of children in Portland -- who they are and population-level outcomes -- in the context of the Levy’s six program areas.

Grantmaking Improvement Study by Portland State University. This Winter 2018 study looked at the major phases of the Levy grantmaking process (pre-application, application and decision-making), and included 30 recommendations to increase transparency and equity.  PSU researchers conducted interviews and focus groups of past applicants, current grantees, other funders and Allocation Committee members to create recommendations for change.  The Allocation Committee In May 2019 approved creation of a  Small Grants Fund to improve equity of access to Levy funding for smaller organizations. The Allocation Committee plans to complete decision-making on process changes by the end of June 2019.

A Community Engagement process was conducted by Empress Rules Equity Consulting and completed in April 2019.  Empress Rules surveyed community members and service providers on needs and priorities and hosted focus groups for deeper discussions with youth, parents and caregivers from diverse communities.  Survey and focus group findings are presented in a Community Engagement Executive Summary, Final Report and Appendix. 

Staff also considered recent local data, relevant research, and state and local frameworks, along with input from other stakeholders such as Oregon Department of Human Services, the City's Office of Equity and Human Rights and other funders. The Levy also sought public input on proposed changes as well.

Stay informed on upcoming meetings in City Hall Council Chambers!