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About the Small Grants & Sponsorships Program

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A woman kneels in a garden and talks to a group of kids. She is talking about how to grow and maintain community gardens.
The Small Grants & Sponsorships program is an opportunity for small, emerging, and grassroots organizations to access funding for projects and programming that strengthen neighborhood livability and civic engagement.
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About Small Grants & Sponsorship Program

Sometimes big ideas need funding to realize their potential. The Small Grants & Sponsorships program is an opportunity for small, emerging, and grassroots organizations to access funding for projects and programming that strengthen neighborhood livability and civic engagement.

This program is designed to support community groups that have a low annual operating budget. This funding can be a significant investment for community groups.

How is the Small Grants & Sponsorships Program Funded?

The Office of Community & Civic Life distributes funding for the Small Grants & Sponsorships program throughout the City’s seven District Offices. Each District Office creates its own specific grant eligibility criteria, application, and timeline. Applicants apply for funding through the District Office that represents the area that the applicant’s project serves. You can use this map to view neighborhood district boundaries. Civic Life directly manages the program for East, North and Southwest neighborhood districts. Nonprofits manage the program for the West-Northwest, Central Northeast, Southeast and Northeast neighborhood districts.

2023-24 Civic Life Small Grants & Sponsorships Awardees

North Neighborhood District:

  • Jefferson High School PTSA
  • Sauvie Island Center
  • Royal Rose Foundation
  • Chief Joseph Elementary School PTO
  • Lavender League
  • St. Johns Swap n Play
  • Freinds of Ours
  • Columbia Slough Watershed Council
  • North Portland Tool Library

Southwest Neighborhood District:

  • HAKI Community Organization
  • Pamoja House International
  • Liberated Stories
  • Free Bikes 4 Kidz
  • Viva La Free
  • Educate Ya
  • South Burlingame Neighborhood Association
  • South Waterfront Community Relations

East Neighborhood District:

  • Agape Village
  • Torus
  • Milk Crate Kitchen
  • Sauvie Island Center
  • Taking Ownership PDX
  • Oregon Queer History Collection
  • PDX Saints Love
  • Street Soccer USA Portland
  • Free Bikes 4 Kidz
  • Push Movement
  • Cascadia Action
  • EcoBiz
  • Extending Grace
  • Lavender League
  • Farmland Produce Distribution Project
  • Honoring Our Precious Elders Inc.
  • Lights in Lents_Upcycled Undersea Community Sculpture Garden
  • Portland Indigenous Marketplace
  • TeamWorks International
  • The 82nd Ave Business association
  • Trustlab

Past Grantees

The Small Grants and Sponsorships program has funded incredible projects over the past years. Below are some of the 2022-23 projects that were funded.

De Rose Community Bridge

De Rose used the small grant to provide culturally specific mental health training to 40 African and Burmese women in East Portland. Referred to as “Ambassadors” these women were trained to provide cultural, emotional, and welfare community checks on African and Burmese community members by phone and in person. The Ambassadors also help coordinate Asusu, a traditional way women help each other take care of immediate needs and reduce financial stress.

PDX Saints Love

A perdon with PDX Saints Love uses electric clippers to give someone a haircut.

PDX Saints Love used the small grant to establish a pilot program that provided support to individuals in East Portland experiencing homelessness and/or substance abuse disorders, as well as those living with resource scarcity, but maybe housed. Through this small grant, they were able to execute the project for nearly a year and a half and served thousands of individuals with groceries, vaccines, showers, supplies, and hot meals.

Homestead Neighborhood Association

HNA received funds to meaningfully engage low-income renters, young adults, and seniors in the Homestead neighborhood. Outreach activities included: development and promotion of a community survey to understand the priorities of the target population and broader community; honorarium for listening session participants who identify as having one or more under-represented identities; neighborhood-wide mailer with specific messaging for the target audience; and a Homestead Celebration event for the entire community to come together, learn about City resources, and build resiliency.

Positive Charge PDX

A stack of canned vegetable. A blue text box to the right of the cans reads, "Neighborhood House will accept food donations up to 2 years past their 'best by' and 'expiration' dates for our Two Can Tuesday Project!" Text at the bottom of the image reads, "Learn more about this project at: PositiveChargePDX.org/two-can-tuesday. Email TwoCanTuesday@gmail.com."

Funds were used to expand Positive Change PDX’s volunteer-led food donation program Two Can Tuesday. The funds helped to develop and disperse outreach and marketing materials across the Southwest Portland community; conduct in-person and virtual promotion for the program to solicit new volunteers and food donors; and train new volunteers to collect and deliver donations to Neighborhood House.