Jan. 4: Applications open
Feb. 4 at noon: Applications due
mid to late April: Awards announced
after July 1: Funds available
early fall 2020: Projects should be complete
Up to $160,000 is available for the 2019 cycle, in grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. No matching funds are required.
Who can apply?
Community Placemaking grants are intended to support community-driven initiatives. Partnerships are key to a competitive proposal. Project proposals should demonstrate broad community support. Anyone can apply, while meeting the following conditions:
- Community-based organizations must have support from the property owner (jurisdictional or private owner) where the project will take place.
- Public agencies must have community partners involved in the implementation of the project and a plan to involve the broader public.
- Unincorporated organizations need a fiscal sponsor (a state certified, federally approved 501(c) non-profit) or can partner with a public agency. Your fiscal sponsor must have must have a federal employer tax ID number and capacity to contract with Metro.
Elements of a strong application
The Community Placemaking program has four objectives, each of which are followed by characteristics that make for a strong application.
Placemaking: People’s connections to each other and to places they care about are strengthened.
- Addresses a community challenge or opportunity
- Prompts people to interact with each other
- Uses art as a tool to bring people together or influence their community
- Helps people feel a stronger connection to the place(s) where the project happens
- Strengthens the things that make a place unique or valued
Equity: People of color and members of historically marginalized communities have power and resources to influence their neighborhoods and communities.
- Directly benefits people of color or members of other historically marginalized communities
- Led by or actively supported by communities of color or other historically marginalized communities
- Strengthens cultural and community assets
- Provides opportunities for expression of culture
Partnerships: People’s efforts are maximized because they work in partnership with each other and with Metro.
- Involves partnerships that bring different or new groups together
- Encourages collaboration among community partners
- Engages the public in the planning for and participating in the project's implementation
- Enhances regional efforts where Metro is actively engaged
Leadership: People participate in projects and decisions that affect them.
- Gives opportunities to emerging leaders
- Builds individual and organizational capacity for civic engagement
Evaluating the applications
A funding recommendation will be made by an advisory group of people with expertise in community development, social justice, public art and urban planning. The advisory group will use your application as the primary basis for their recommendation. Make sure your proposed project is clear, compelling and sufficiently defined so they can understand how well it meets the program’s objectives. They will evaluate the applications using the following questions.
- How impactful do you think this project will be?
- How strong are the equity components of the proposal?
- How feasible is the project to implement?
- How well does it meet the objectives of the Community Placemaking program?
Applicants are encouraged to contact Metro staff to discuss your idea. Staff does not play a role in advocating for applicants or making the funding recommendation, and instead is available to help you make your application as strong as possible. Optional information sessions and individualized assistance are available. Contact information appears at the bottom of this page.
Minimum grant requirements
- Projects must be located within the Urban Growth Boundary.
- Projects must be completed by early Fall 2020.
- Projects must be clearly achievable given proposed resources and personnel.
- Projects in public spaces must demonstrate support from the local jurisdiction.
- Projects must have a designated fiscal sponsor that will be responsible for proper use, accounting and reporting for all grant funds. If the main applicant is not eligible to serve as fiscal sponsor, the applicant must identify a project partner who will serve in this capacity. Note that if the fiscal sponsor is not a non-profit or government entity, grant funds may be considered a gift and may be taxable. Metro reports all grant distributions to the IRS.
Restrictions on use of funds
Community Placemaking grant funds may not be used for any of the following purposes:
- Activities or events held outside the Portland area Urban Growth Boundary
- Materials or costs not tied to the proposed event/project
- Costs that may be incurred in preparing this grant application
- General organizational support, annual appeals or fund drives
- Direct grants or loans that primarily benefit specific individuals or businesses
- Any attempt to: directly influence legislation or public policy; participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office; induce or encourage violations of law or public policy or improper private benefit to occur
- Activities or events held on property whose owner discriminates against individuals or groups because of race, color creed, national origin, sex, age or disability, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, as amended; 42 U.S.C. Section 2000d; Section 303 of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended; 42 U.S.C. Section 6102; Section 202 of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990; 42 U.S.C. Section 12132