12 applicants move forward in Small Grants Fund
The Allocation Committee at its Monday meeting approved application materials for the next phase of the Small Grants Fund. Twelve organizations requesting $1.7 million will advance to the next application phase, applying for $1 million in funding. A total of 31 applications requesting $4.4 million were submitted over the summer to a Levy Review Team, recruited for expertise in PCL program areas and community-based organizations, and with lived experience as members of marginalized communities. Reviewers primarily relied on application scores to select applicants who moved to Step 2 of the process, and also used additional policy criteria (organization type, staff/volunteer demographics, grant size, program area) to make decisions:
Step 2 of the process will include written questions, proposed budget and a video or phone interview after which the reviewers will recommend a slate of applicants and award amounts to the AC at its November meeting. Applicants can record video or audio testimony in support of their application before Allocation Committee decisions. PCL will seek City Council approval of funding recommendations in December.
The SGF was created to increase equity by investing in programs of small organizations arising from marginalized communities.
Levy partners nimble in adapting to COVID community needs
Levy staff and AC members applaud grantees, who have been nimble, flexible and creative in reaching children and families in the midst of the COVID pandemic. While some have faced barriers in enrolling new clients, grantee staff are:
Providing a vast array of services virtually (home visiting, individual and group student/parent support, academic support, cultural and enrichment activities) · Creating online content for on-demand access by youth and families.
Making home deliveries of food and other needed items · Helping families to access low cost internet service
Providing technical assistance in using tablets and accessing distance learning and
Connecting families to other newly available resources (e.g. emergency food, summer lunch delivery)
2019-20 Funding Round Report
Levy staff presented preliminary data on results of the 2019-20 funding round completed in June 2020. Overall, changes resulting from community engagement and process improvement recommendations helped address equity goals.
Reviewers and applicants were generally satisfied with process changes and offered suggestions for further improvement. After the Small Grants Fund process finishes in December 2020, PCL staff will consider lessons learned, data reviewed in this report and further analyses to make recommendations for advancing equity in future grantmaking processes.
City Commissioner Dan Ryan takes over helm of AC
Monday's meeting was the first for newly elected City Commissioner Dan Ryan, who was appointed as new AC chair by Mayor Ted Wheeler who held the post for nearly two years.
Dan has served the Portland community for many decades, working on causes ranging from education (Pre-K to higher ed), mental health, the arts, and issues pertaining to progressive communities of faith. He is a highly experienced nonprofit leader, including having served most recently as the CEO of All Hands Raised, and on the Portland School Board. Dan has been a longtime advocate for the Levy, and said he was excited to assume the chair position.
Miss Monday's Meeting?
Upcoming AC Meeting
The AC will meet in late November to approve funding recommendations for the Small Grants Fund. An agenda will be posted on the Levy website prior to the meeting and emailed to the PCL database.