Responsive Grantmaking is our oldest and largest program, through which the Foundation awards approximately $10,000,000 each year to support a broad range of issue areas across the state of Oregon. A list of the Foundation’s 2019 grants is available here. For details on the types of grants we award, please review our FAQ.
The Collins Foundation seeks to be a diverse and inclusive organization and racial equity is a high priority in our grantmaking. Further, we promote inclusion for all communities that are systematically denied access to resources and the opportunity to make decisions on matters that affect them, particularly people of color, immigrants and refugees, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, low-income individuals and families, and rural communities. More information on the Foundation’s equity commitment can be found in our 2015 Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
We are committed to working toward a more equitable Oregon through our grantmaking in urban and rural communities across the state. We understand that organizations, including The Collins Foundation, are at different stages in their pursuit of equity based on their history, leadership, and community and we are interested in supporting the learning and growth of our grantees throughout Oregon.
Organizations must create an account and submit applications for the Responsive Grantmaking program through our online portal. We encourage prospective applicants who don't yet have an account to register early, as it can take a few days for registrations to be approved.
Organizational Eligibility Requirements
We review grant applications six times a year from organizations that meet the following requirements:
- Organizations with staff and leadership in Oregon and a proposed project or scope of work that directly benefits the residents of Oregon.
- Organizations that are committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, age, disability, or any other legally protected status.
- Organizations that either (a) have established their tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not "private foundations" as defined under section 509(a) of the Code; or (b) have tax exemption as a governmental, Tribal, or other publicly-funded entity; or (c) have a qualified, tax-exempt fiscal sponsor.
- Organizations that have current registration with the offices of the Oregon State Attorney General and the Secretary of State, as required by law.
- Organizations with at least four independent board members.
NOTE: Individual religious congregations, hospitals within large healthcare systems, public schools (including public universities), charter schools, and private K-12 schools that charge tuition are generally not eligible for funding.
Funding Priorities & Guidelines
In addition to our standing guidelines below, the Foundation is particularly encouraging of requests for general operating support as organizations seek to adapt to the rapidly escalating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A central priority for the Foundation is to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion through our grantmaking. We are interested in supporting organizations at various stages in their pursuit of equity, and many successful applicants will have made efforts to learn about the root causes of social inequities and will have thought about how racial equity informs their work and operations.
- Each year, we award significant funding in the areas of arts and culture; child welfare and development; education; environmental protection; health equity; and a broad range of efforts to enhance community welfare.
- Grants are made in support of programs and projects, capacity building efforts, collaborations, capital projects, challenge match campaigns, and general operations. Please review the FAQ page for more information about the types of grants awarded by the Foundation.
- In considering applications for substantial projects, the Foundation prefers to participate with other contributors, and strongly encourages applicants to seek support from other sources to share in the total project. The Foundation prioritizes support for the implementation phase of projects over earlier planning stages, so requests for planning and research are generally not competitive.
- While, we have funded civic engagement, community organizing, and systems change work – particularly when it’s rooted in and led by communities that have been excluded from leadership roles – the IRS prohibits us from funding lobbying or voter registration activities. This resource from Bolder Advocacy is a good primer on the limits on private foundation support for advocacy.
- Particularly in the areas of health, housing, workforce development, and asset building, we focus our grants to benefit low-income communities.
- Grants are rarely made for sports or outdoor recreation programs, short term events, youth camping programs, and programs involving animals. If you’re considering applying in one of these areas, you should contact a program officer before starting your LOI.
- Grants are not made for development office personnel, marketing staff or activities, fundraising events, consumable goods for distribution to clients (e.g. food, clothing, school supplies), individual scholarships, endowments, operational deficits, financial emergencies, or debt retirement.
We encourage prospective applicants to review our Frequently Asked Questions Page. You are also welcome to reach out to Foundation staff to discuss your proposal.
Timing & Frequency of Proposals
Organizations are limited in the number of times they may apply to the Foundation in a given time period:
- The Foundation will consider only one letter of inquiry (LOI) from your organization in a twelve month period. Exceptions include: (a) your organization is serving as the fiscal sponsor for another project; (b) your organization is requesting funding on behalf of a formal collaborative; (c) an additional request is invited by the Foundation.
- If your LOI is not approved, or our trustees decline your full proposal, your organization is eligible to submit a new LOI 12 months after being declined.
- Generally, if you receive a single or multi-year grant from The Collins Foundation, you may submit a new LOI no earlier than 12 months after the final grant payment is issued.
Application Review Process & Timeline
All organizations must complete a one-time registration on our application portal. We recommend you register several days in advance of an LOI deadline, as registration may take a few days to be approved.
The grant review process begins when the Foundation receives a completed letter of inquiry and usually requires sixteen weeks. Each LOI is read by a group of reviewers and evaluated against the Foundation’s guidelines and priorities. Applicants generally receive a response to their LOI via email 2-4 weeks after the LOI due date below. Those organizations invited to continue past the LOI stage will generally have 3-5 weeks to complete and submit a full proposal, after which Foundation staff may request additional written material and an interview or a site visit in order to gain more information about your work.
The Foundation’s trustees generally make funding decisions within 10 weeks of receiving a full proposal. Once a request has been funded or declined, the applicant is notified promptly. Foundation trustees meet six times annually to make decisions on grant requests according to the following schedule:
|Letters of Inquiry submitted online by...||Will generally receive final funding decisions by...|
|Thursday, December 12, 2019||Mid-April 2020|
|Thrusday, February 20, 2020||Mid-June 2020|
|Thursday, April 23, 2020||Mid-August 2020|
|Thursday, June 18, 2020||Mid-October 2020|
|Thursday, August 20, 2020||Early-December 2020|
For questions about…
Application timelines or registering with the Foundation’s grant portal: Contact Marlena Willette, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eligibility, including fiscal sponsorship requirements and allowable advocacy activities, or the Community Information Form: Contact Colin Jones, email@example.com
All other proposal questions: Contact Jackie Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org, Sara Yada, email@example.com, or Cindy Knowles, firstname.lastname@example.org