Meyer has an explicit commitment to equity. Read our Equity Statement for insights into our understanding of equity.
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Meyer Memorial Trust is engaged in a strategic redesign process to reorganize our grantmaking into four priority areas, each guided by an overarching strategic framework. To achieve our mission of contributing to a flourishing and equitable Oregon, we see our role as working to dismantle barriers to equity and improve community conditions so that all Oregonians can reach their full potential. The redesign reflects this commitment to equity by focusing our investments on the issue areas with the greatest disparities across the state: education, affordable housing, the environment, and maintaining a vibrant nonprofit sector. Our future funding will focus on these priority areas with the goal of identifying and addressing systemic problems that act as barriers to the outcomes we seek to achieve.
Read Fred G. Meyer's last will, his thoughts for guidance in administering a charitable trust created under his will, Meyer Memorial Trust's bylaws and tax exemption ruling by the IRS.
A flourishing and equitable Oregon
We work with and invest in organizations, communities, ideas and efforts that contribute to a flourishing and equitable Oregon.
The man behind the Meyer Memorial Trust – Fred G. Meyer – was ahead of his time. His values – to innovate, take risks, embrace diversity, adapt to changing circumstances, contribute to economic development/parity and to develop the power of the mind – continue to create and inform our culture, influencing what we do and how we do it.
We fulfill our mission using a mix of strategic, proactive and responsive investments, including grantmaking, loans, initiatives, commissioning research, supporting policy advocacy and a range of community and nonprofit engagement strategies.
- Flourishing and equitable communities are places with healthy environments where all current and future residents have fair access to opportunities to learn, work, prosper and participate in a vibrant cultural and civic life.
- All people should have the opportunity to reach their potential, contribute meaningfully to society and have a voice in the decisions that affect them. Solving critical issues requires ensuring equitable participation from diverse communities and all levels of society. Such issues are often best addressed through a collaboration that reaches across the boundaries of nonprofit, business and government sectors.
- We are stewards who ensure that Meyer grantmaking and other investments offer the highest value to our grantees and communities, which build a stronger Oregon and protect our unique attributes. We look for ways to leverage our funds and catalyze change.
- Meaningful impact requires effective investments of all our assets, including our financial, intellectual, social and human assets.
- We recognize the importance of meeting urgent and immediate community needs while taking the long view towards systems changes that address the causes of community problems.
- Innovation and risk taking are key to solving problems. While we understand the importance of steady commitments to core programs, we have learned it takes innovative ideas and solutions to build flourishing and equitable communities. We are willing to take risks in exploring emerging patterns, trends and issues toward this end.
- In our role as a change agent, we believe in advocating for and supporting systems change that builds thriving communities. We recognize this kind of change often does not happen quickly, therefore we are willing to take the long view to ensure that change happens.
- Equity: We define equity as fair access to opportunities. We anticipate this principle and its application will very likely evolve over time as we deepen our intentional engagement in this work.
- Responsiveness and flexibility: We recognize the needs of Oregon change over time so we strive to stay current in addressing changing conditions. At the same time we recognize the importance of multi-year and, in some instances, long-term commitments in order to bring about change.
- Collaboration: We partner with organizations, people and communities to identify and build the best approach to addressing key needs and opportunities.
- Humility: We endeavor to act as humble stewards and advocates in all interactions with the community.
- Accountability and transparency: We recognize measuring our progress is key in order to ensure that our investments have meaningful impact. We strive to do this in a transparent way. We hold ourselves and our grantees accountable toward this end by actively monitoring, evaluating and learning from results.
- Advocacy: We recognize the importance of engaging in and supporting advocacy where it can act as a leverage point in a systems change effort.