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The Collins Foundation Grant

Grants to Oregon Nonprofits and Agencies for Education,
Social Services, Health, Housing, Employment, and Arts

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Collins Foundation

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Grants to Oregon nonprofits, agencies, and tribal organizations for programs that improve the quality of life and well-being of local communities, both urban and rural. Funding is intended to promote access to culturally responsible and high-quality services in education, health, housing, social services, and employment.

The Foundation also envisions vibrant neighborhoods and communities where residents enjoy access to healthy food, a rich variety of artistic and cultural expression, and the benefits of Oregon’s natural environment.

The Foundation welcomes the multiple perspectives that diversity brings and believes that difference enriches all. The Foundation also values equity, which is understood to mean fair and inclusive access to resources and opportunity for all of Oregon’s people and communities to achieve their full potential. The Foundation is committed to incorporating the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all the organizational policies and grantmaking practices.

Types of grants awarded:

Challenge or Matching Grants: A challenge match can be used to inspire new and increased donor contributions for a specific project or priority, or to help an organization expand its donor base to increase its sustainability. If applying for a challenge grant, you should identify the amount of the challenge match, a start and end date for the challenge period, and the target donors. In most cases, the Foundation provides a 1:1 match after the entire challenge amount has been raised. For project and operating support challenge match grants, the Foundation strongly prefer to match donations from new donors and current donors increasing their contributions.

Operational support is funded under certain circumstances. The Foundation is most inclined to provide general operating support to organizations that are starting a new initiative or new area of work, implementing a multi-year strategic plan, experiencing shifts in major funding sources, or are in a period of growth or leadership transition. The focus is on providing stability and support and alleviating some annual fundraising pressure during transitional or growth periods.

Capital Projects are funded. However, the funding source prefers to participate with other funders and look for strong community support of a project. Proposals are most successful when submitted after 35-50 percent of funds are already committed.

In considering applications for substantial projects, the Foundation prefers to participate with other donors, and encourages the applicant to seek support from other sources to share in the total project.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 167760

Estimated Size of Grant:

For reference purposes, in 2015 the average grant was about $35,000, but award sizes ranged from $5,000 for a one-time project at a small organization to $750,000 for a large, three-year capital campaign.

Term of Contract:

Multi-year grants are made if the proposal provides a strong rationale for a multi-year award, and, if appropriate, a clear plan to support the project after the grant period ends. Two- or three-year grants are most often awarded for (1) well-defined projects that need an extended amount of time to become established and sustainable; and (2) large-scale capital projects. Multi-year awards are generally paid in declining amounts each year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Requests are considered only 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.

The Foundation normally will not consider an additional grant request from an organization receiving a multi-year grant until twelve months following the final scheduled payment of the multi-year grant.

The Foundation normally will consider only one grant request from the same organization in a twelve month period unless an additional request is invited by the Foundation, or the organization is serving as the fiscal sponsor for another project.

Grants are not normally made for the following:

- Elementary schools, secondary schools, or public higher education institutions. Exceptions include alternative schools serving students at risk of dropping out, tuition-free private schools serving low-income youth, or schools where there is a long history of Collins family involvement.
- Individual religious congregations.
- Hospitals within healthcare systems.
- Development office personnel, marketing, fundraising events, endowments, operational deficits, financial emergencies, or debt retirement.
- Animal welfare, sports recreation, or short-term events; and requests for planning and research are generally not competitive.

Pre-Application Information:

Application Review Process:

The Foundation has moved to an online application process. All organizations must complete a one-time registration on the application portal. It is recommended that applicants register at least three 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 for a final funding decision. 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...
Friday, August 17, 2018 Early December 2018
Friday, October 19, 2018 Mid-February 2019
Friday, December 14, 2018 Mid-April 2019
Friday, February 22, 2019 Mid-June 2019
Friday, April 19, 2019 Mid-August 2019
Friday, June 21, 2019 Mid-October 2019
Friday, August 16, 2019 Mid-December 2019

The Foundation expects to respond to LOIs 2-3 weeks after the LOI due date above and those organizations invited to continue past the LOI stage will generally have 4-5 weeks to complete a full proposal. Once a request has been funded or declined, the applicant is notified promptly. Rarely is a grant decision deferred. When this occurs, however, the applicant is provided with an explanation and further instructions.

Application Information:


About the Foundation:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application:

Application timelines or registering with the Foundation’s grant portal:
Marlena Willette

Eligibility, including fiscal sponsorship requirements and allowable advocacy activities:
Colin Jones

All other proposal questions:
Jackie Murphy

Sara Yada

Cindy Knowles

Phone: 503-227-7171
Fax: 503-295-3794

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oregon