Large Grants

Funding for grants is available thanks to voter support for the Portland Children’s Levy, which was created in 2002 and must be approved by voters every five years.

Large grants provide stable, multiyear funding to larger nonprofit organizations serving Portland children and families in one of the Levy's six program areas. Grants typically range from $75,000 to $850,000 annually. Multiyear grants support grantee partners to build trusting relationships with children and families over the long term, leading to more positive outcomes.  

Upcoming funding round

Voters overwhelmingly renewed the Portland Children’s Levy for a fourth time in May 2023, ensuring future funding for key community services. Community engagement is currently underway to help shape priorities for the next competitive round for large grants. Applications are expected to open in fall 2024, with funding for new grants scheduled to begin July 1, 2025.

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Current grants

Funding for current large grants is scheduled to run through June 30, 2025, capping off five years of stable funding for more than 80 programs.

After voters renewed the levy in May 2018, PCL launched a competitive funding round for large, multiyear grants. In spring 2020, the Allocation Committee approved $68 million to fund three years of investments in 85 programs. City Council later approved the grants, with funding starting July 1, 2020. In 2023, large grants were renewed for two additional years.

In preparation for the 2019-20 funding process, PCL compiled key local data on Portland children, revised its grantmaking process, and engaged community members and service providers on needed services.  

  • Portland’s Children: Overview of Key Local Data. This report from fall 2018 summarizes data from various local and state sources and provides a 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 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. Most of these recommendations were adopted, including the creation of a Small Grants Fund to improve equity of access to Levy funding for smaller organizations.
  • A Community Engagement Executive Summary, Final Report and Appendix. A community engagement process was conducted by Empress Rules Equity Consulting in 2018-19. 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. 

In May 2019, the Levy's Allocation Committee adopted final strategies in each program area based on these reports.   

A total $68.3 million projected to be available over three years (2020 –2023) was allocated to Levy program areas as follows:

  • After school: $12.6 million
  • Child abuse prevention and intervention: $12.2 million
  • Early childhood: $20.8 million
  • Foster care: $8.5 million
  • Hunger relief: $7.3 million
  • Mentoring: $6.7 million

For more information on funding results and feedback on the process, visit the Grantmaking Improvement Reports webpage