- About Us
- Funding Opportunities
- Keeping Up
- Just Ask Us
Springing Ahead: Forecast for 2010
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. Nearly everywhere we go, people tell us they fervently hope that 2010 is a better year than 2009 was for most.
While Meyer Memorial Trust's corpus recovered some of the dramatic losses sustained in late 2008 and early 2009, the graph below shows we are not yet where we were before the markets tanked. (Click on the graph to view it full size.) We are hopeful but cautious about the short-term economic future. Many of our investment advisers anticipate another sizable dip in the global markets in the coming year. Here at home we are concerned that the recovery thus far is not leading to meaningful job growth or improvement in our economy.
We're pleased our trustees elected to maintain our prior year's payout level of $28.7 million during our fiscal year that just ended March 31, 2010. That's one of a number of deliberate decisions MMT made to help support nonprofits through this painful economic crisis. We awarded more than $1 million in general operating support through our special programs during 2009 and granted $1.35 to a number of human service organizations providing emergency food, utility and other critical assistance over the past year. In addition, we gave $117,113 to eight organizations to plan resource sharing to save operating costs and be more efficient.
We will, of course, continue to closely monitor the economic landscape as we move through 2010. Because we tended to make slightly smaller grants for somewhat shorter durations over the past year and a half, we are not beginning our 2011 Fiscal Year with prior commitments as generally has been the case in the past. This should provide us with greater flexibility to respond to compelling community needs over the coming year.
As we "spring" into our new fiscal year, we are commited to pushing ourselves to find new and better ways to support nonprofits through these challenging times and invite you to bring us your best ideas. As we have done since the economy slid off the precipice in 2008, we'll share what we know with you as soon as we know it. As we told you when this began, we're in this together. (You can read our all past status reports and program developments on our website.)
Here's what we see as we gaze into Meyer Memorial Trust's crystal ball through March 31, 2011:
- Our highest funding priorities will continue to be in basic needs and supports for vulnerable populations.
- Strong proposals from organizations in fields other than basic needs (i.e. arts, environment) are also encouraged and funding in these areas is anticipated.
- We will begin transitioning to multiyear and somewhat larger awards in Responsive Grants for critical programs, with primarily two years' duration. We anticipate limited three-year awards for unique or especially important projects (third year funding will be quite modest).
- Core support funding will continue to be considered for key organizations struggling because of the economy, for organizations providing critical services, and to help keep strong organizations strong. Strongest core support applicants will have demonstrated appropriate fiscal management and discipline since the recession hit. Core support grants generally will not be for more than two years and no more than $100,000. In very rare cases, up to $150,000 may be considered.
- Large capital projects – awards will generally remain on the modest end (up to $250,000); larger requests of $300,000 to $500,000 will be considered for critical projects in which a more sizable award would be particularly meaningful. While we will continue to prefer coming in once significant funds (70-80%) have been secured (and/or credible grant proposals are under review), exceptions will be considered if MMT funds could serve a unique role as catalyst or to trigger other funding.
- We are evaluating whether to offer an opportunity similar to the 2009 Operating Fund and/or other targeted funding opportunities to address the impact of the prolonged recession. We're also keeping an eye out for opportunities to address root causes of our most pressing issues. All our decisions and programs will be announced on our website, of course.
- MMT will likely not embark on another major initiative in FY11, but will strengthen our existing ones and assess potential areas for new initiatives in 2011-12. We may consider concentrated areas of strategic focus, including exploration of how MMT might stimulate economic development.
- We are interested in exploring collaborative opportunities with other foundations. We are especially eager to fund ways to bring public or private funds into Oregon and Clark County and ask for your help in identifying such opportunities. We invite you to bring ideas to us through the Ideas Forum on our website.
- As we look for additional ways to fully utilize our resources, we will continue to lead nationally in Mission Related Investing and seek out opportunities to invest in ways that further or are compatible with our mission and values.
I'll keep connecting with you over all the seasons to come. Let's use this spring to launch ourselves into a productive and rewarding year.
As always, I welcome your comments.
Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.