2020 Small Grants Fund Overview

Eight community programs were approved for $1 million in new three-year investments for the Small Grants Fund, created to improve equity of access for organizations that have not received Levy funding in the past.

The three-year grants will begin in January 2021 and include four mentoring programs, three after-school programs and one hunger relief program. They are:

African Youth and Community Organization

Afterschool program for East African youth with disabilities. Tutoring, sports, and nature-based field trips led by Cultural Navigators. Occupational Therapist supports student needs in afterschool program. 

Camp ELSO

STEAMED education and nature-based camps for youth K-5 and 6-8, and a program for teens that provides leadership training, as well as the opportunity to become Camp Guides and teach the younger kids. 

Portland Tennis and Education

Long-term afterschool program with academic, fitness, social-emotional components. Year-round activities including afterschool and summer camp activities. 

Brown Girl Rise

Mentoring offered to non-white girls and non-binary femmes 7-17. Create a youth board to plan curriculum and conduct program evaluation and monitoring activities

Elevate Oregon

Black and Latinx culturally specific youth mentoring in Parkrose. Emphasis on post-secondary education. In-school character building curriculum offered and afterschool activities with Teacher Mentors. 

Ethiopian & Eritrean Cultural and Resource Center

Mentoring for newly arrived refugee youth from Ethiopia & Eritrea. The youth in this program have been in the country 1-3 years. Individual mentoring (socially distanced when possible) and groups online. Families receive wraparound support. 

Urban Gleaners

Food is gleaned and distributed to families. Additional food purchased from local farmers. Foods prepared for families in need. Distribution sites located in high poverty, high BIPOC areas. Millions of pounds of food diverted from landfills. 

Native Wellness Institute

Indigenous-centered afterschool programming for Head Start through high school. Learning the teachings of canoes. Year-round program with a summer canoe journey. 

"These extraordinary, community-based organizations, and new PCL partners, will provide hope and resiliency to the next generation by serving children, youth and families from marginalized communities, individuals with intersectional identities, and those with disabilities,'' said Levy Allocation Committee Chair and City Commissioner Dan Ryan. "We are pleased to support their work and their missions. Congratulations all."

The Small Grants Fund process began last spring and was spearheaded by Levy  Small Grants Fund Manager Arika Bridgeman-Bunyoli. The process included guidance from a six-member volunteer Design Team, included multiple community conversations with small organizations, and culminated in funding recommendations made by a 12-member review team.

The Allocation Committee unanimously voted Nov. 30th, 2020 to approve the review team recommendations. The Portland City Council approved the Allocation Committee decisions at its meeting a month later in December.