2019-20 Funding Round Overview

Resources have been allocated between Levy program areas for the upcoming competitive funding round. Resources are projected to total $69 million over 3 years: July 2020 - June 2023. The three-year allocations per program area listed below reflect community priorities and Levy ballot requirements, and all include increases from current spending levels:

  • Early Childhood: $21.3 million
  • Child Abuse Prevention/Intervention: $13.7 million
  • After School: $13 million
  • Foster Care: $7.5 million
  • Hunger Relief: $7.5 million
  • Mentoring: $6.2 million

A timeline and next steps in the 2019-20 funding process include:

  • Sept. 25th: Publish RFI
  • Oct. 9th and Oct. 10th: Pre-Application Conferences
  • Nov. 20th: RFI Due 
  • December - February: RFI Review Process
  • March - Early April: Opportunity for applicants to provide written and video testimony:
  • April 20th and April 27th: Tentative funding decision meetings:

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. 

In May 2019 the Allocation Committee reviewed draft service strategies in each program area based on community engagement report findings and local data on children. After hearing further public input on draft strategies, the Committee adopted final strategies in late June. The 2019-20 competitive funding round is focused on funding these service strategies

Stay informed on upcoming meetings in City Hall Council Chambers!