Rural Oregon Business and Community Project Funding Opportunities

Fall 2016 Update

Small businesses and organizations in rural Oregon are invited to apply for program and business-building grants facilitated by groups in the Pacific Northwest and across the country.

Those involved in Wild River’s Coast region Rural Tourism Studio projects in Southwestern Oregon are especially encouraged to look for grants that match RTS project goals. Alexa Carey invites participants to share grant application plans with their Travel Oregon RTS contacts.

“If you go after any grants that have a significant tie to tourism, please let us know. We are also able to write letters of support for well-thought-out applications,” said Carey.

1. NFCS – Rural Community Grant Program
Deadlines: October 1, February 1, and June 1
Our Rural Community Grant Program provides money for projects such as building or improving facilities; purchasing necessary equipment to facilitate a program; and funding capital improvements that improve a community’s infrastructure, viability and/or prosperity. Website:

2. Oregon Community Foundation – Community Grant Program
Deadlines: January 15 & July 15 (apply early!)
As a responsive arm of OCF, the Community Grants Program awards about 175 grants per grant cycle, twice per year, mostly to small- and moderate-size nonprofits.
Funding Priorities: 
1) Health & Well-being of Vulnerable Populations (30-40% of grants) 
2) Educational Opportunities and Achievement (30%-40%) 3) Arts & Cultural Organizations (15%-25%) 4) Community Livability, Environment & Citizen Engagements

2. Business Oregon – Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program
Upcoming Deadlines: 12/31 & 3/31
Non-metropolitan cities and counties in rural Oregon can apply for and receive grants.
All projects must meet one of three national objectives:
• The proposed activities must benefit low- and moderate-income individuals.
• The activities must aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight.
• There must be an urgent need that poses a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community.

3. USDA – Rural Development: Programs and Services for Businesses
Deadlines: Varies – check out what interests you
USDA provides funding opportunities for rural small businesses through loans, loan guarantees, and grants. They have quite a few programs – we encourage you to check out the full list.

4. Hatch Oregon’s Business Accelerator
Application Deadline: Not stated
Hatch Oregon’s InvestOR Ready Accelerator prepares Oregon entrepreneurs running companies with fewer than 50 employees to raise startup or growth capital from ordinary Oregonians using the new Community Public Offering (CPO) law we pioneered. We are the state experts in its use, and our accelerator is unique in the country.

5. Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools
Application Deadline: Rolling application deadline.
This program provides technical and financial support to install salad bars in schools. The initiative is jointly sponsored by United Fresh, the White House, the Center for Disease Control, and others.

6. School Fruit and Veggie Grants
Application due: Ongoing until funding is depleted.
Sponsored by the Skoop and Chef Ann Foundation, this program awards funding for school projects that help kids learn about and eat more fruits and vegetables. Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program are eligible. Schools with greater than 50 percent free and reduced eligible enrollment are encouraged to apply.

7. Murdock Trust Strategic Projects Grants
Deadlines: Continuous – approx. seven month processing time
Awards are given for mission-focused projects, infrastructure, and capacity building. They’ve made investments in:
• Arts & Culture
• Education
• Health & Human services