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Sometimes you get what you ask for… We asked for million dollar ideas4oregon, and we got them. If you’re counting, we had 542 submissions. In short, you blew us away. We are so impressed and grateful that hundreds of Oregonians took the time and devoted their energy to give us their best thinking. It achieved our goals of collecting bold and innovative approaches...
While there have been some signs of economic recovery in recent months, we still hear and see much evidence that the Great Recession continues to limit many nonprofits’ ability to raise funds while demand for their services remains great. So we at MMT continue to look for ways to provide extra support to help meet these challenges. As a result, we’re pleased to announce we are offering a special Operating Fund grants program again this year.
You may notice we have a new look for spring. Welcome to our new website. We hope you feel at home here. Spring is a universal metaphor for the start of better times. And this year, opportunities for growth seem especially appealing.
As we begin a new fiscal year at Meyer Memorial Trust, we want to give you another update on our foundation's response to continued economic challenges. As promised, we're continuing to look for ways to provide useful support to the nonprofit organizations we serve during a time of continuing economic difficulties.
Since I shared our initial response to the changing economic landscape with you in early October, the economy has continued to deteriorate, affecting us all. A recent Chronicle of Philanthropy survey found that many foundations lost nearly one-third of their assets due to the steep decline in the stock market over the past year. Meyer Memorial Trust experienced a 23% decline in the value of assets during this period, leaving a balance on December 31, 2008 of $530 million.
As you know, the last two weeks have been full of headlines and conversations that have economic implications for all of us. Foundations are not immune to the financial challenges so many nonprofit organizations are facing these days. We thought this would be a good time to address some of the questions that are on all our minds.
Let’s start with the numbers that show up in the rear view mirror. Fiscal year 2007-08 (which ended March 31, 2008) was a milestone year for us in a number of ways: we awarded a record amount in new grants and PRIs ($32.4 million), we paid out a record amount ($37 million), we grew our PRI program significantly, awarding more than twice the previous record amount.