In summer 2009, MMT conducted a survey of our email list, requesting feedback on our grants administration, grants program and communication and learning departments and activities.
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As part of our work with FSG Social Impact Advisors in 2006-07, FSG conducted a formal evaluation of MMT, interviewing several dozen people from across Oregon to determine what perceptions Oregonians had of our foundation.
From time to time, MMT's CEO and staff prepare reports to trustees analyzing the outcomes and effectiveness of MMT's award programs. In addition, MMT has used milestones reached as opportunities to reflect on its grantmaking and make use of lessons learned to build future strategies and plans.
Because most of our awards have been made when MMT was a general purpose foundation – funding a very wide array of fields and kinds of projects – it has been challenging for us to evaluate our grantmaking on a foundation-wide level. We monitor individual grants, of course. Grantees are required to submit reports every six months during a grant period, reporting on their progress toward the goals and objectives outlined in their proposal and on their expenditures. The grants administration department and program officers at MMT monitor each report. When grant projects are finished, final reports are required and grants administrators and program officers evaluate the projects, reporting outcomes and accounting for MMT funds. Program officers assess how well the project achieved its goals.
Now that MMT has a number of well-defined Initiatives, we are beginning to see more meaningful evaluation results emerge from the work we fund. As those evaluations are available, they will be added to this section of our website.
An overview of the first year of MMT's Community Food Systems special focus program is presented here.
This update provides additional information about Meyer Memorial Trust's Community Food System program and grant projects.
All four planning grants and four implementation grants projects share key characteristics that should contribute to the following outcomes for communities at the conclusion of three years:
ACCESS was founded in 1976. It is the designated Community Action Partner and Regional Food Bank for Jackson County. Programs are created to help low-income residents achieve self-sufficiency, including nutrition programs for food insecure individuals and families, medical equipment for those who lack insurance, housing and support services, and employment assistance.
As a community, southern Oregon has begun to work together toward a more self-reliant community food system. Over the last five years, food related activities include developing community food share gardens, implementing a new farmer incubator program (supported by MMT), creating an online farmers market that accepts Oregon Trail Cards (SNAP/food stamp program), convening two Hunger Summits to set priorities for the region, investigating opportunities for a meat processing facility, and cultivating land recently acquired by the Josephine County Food Bank to grow produce that will serve the community.
As significant as this work is, these efforts need to engage a broader community vision. ACCESS in partnership with Thrive and Josephine County Food Bank will take the lead to engage food system stakeholders—farmers, retailers, food businesses, government, non-profits, food security organizations, schools, community members, and local funders—to create a community food system strategic plan that will outline their shared goals and specific objectives for food production, nutrition education, food security, and economic vitality.
Additional partners include Rogue Valley Farm to School, Oregon Food Bank, OSU Extension and Small Farms programs, Rogue Farm Corps, Rotary First Harvest, and the Rogue Valley Council of Governments.
CPRCD is a member of the national network of Resource Conservation and Development (RCD) areas. The national program was established within the US Department of Agriculture to empower rural people and their communities. CPRCD has served residents in Benton, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, and Polk counties for the last 25 years. It works with diverse groups of local volunteers to carry out activities that lead to sustainable communities, prudent land use, and the conservation of natural resources. For several years, it has been working to develop local food markets within its service area.
A market analysis of Lane County’s local food system, published by the University of Oregon, reports there are opportunities to increase food production in the county, but the lack of infrastructure to get food from production to distribution is a major barrier. Further findings suggest that modest investment in strategic areas of infrastructure could leverage private investments that could significantly impact local food production.
CPRCD and local partners will take the lead to address barriers in food processing and the capacity to store harvest for commercial distributers. CPRCD will use MMT funds to match public funds to support a project that will develop a plan to build a prototype processing facility to clean, package, and store produce. It will also focus discussions and events within the community on developing Lane County’s food system infrastructure.
Potential partners include Ecotrust, Eugene Water and Electric Board, Institute for Natural Resources, Lane Council of Governments, McKenzie River Trust, McKenzie River Water Council, Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, OSU Extension, Oregon Tilth, Springfield School District, Upper Willamette Soil & Water Conservation District, and Willamette Farm and Food Coalition.
WFFC was formed in 2000. It promotes locally grown and raised foods; educates consumers; and connects households, businesses, and institutions directly to Lane County farms. A local food resource guide is published for consumers, and an online search tool assists businesses and institutional food buyers in accessing local product. WFFC is partnering with grass seed farms, transitioning acreage to food crops, a new grain mill, and a wholesale business in building consumer support and market demand for locally grown beans, grains, and flours. WFFC’s Farm to School Program has successfully brought locally produced food into four school districts and educated hundreds of elementary school students about where their food comes from. As the lead state organization for the National Farm to School Network, it provides technical assistance and support to Farm to School programs throughout Oregon.
With all this activity from WFFC and its partners there is room for more. Less than 5% of the $1.2 billion Lane County residents spend on food is being spent on local products. WFFC will work with the University of Oregon Community Service Center to determine a realistic goal for a campaign to increase consumer demand for locally produced foods. They plan to take this consumer education and marketing campaign to a new level by illustrating the multiplier effect of dollars spent on local food. Research will include developing campaign metrics, data collection protocols, and evaluation.
Potential partners include the University of Oregon Community Service Center, Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO), Lane County Farmers Market, Organically Grown Company, Emerald Fruit & Produce, Hummingbird Wholesale, Camas Country Mill, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, Travel Lane County, Willamette Valley Sustainable Foods Business Alliance, Slow Food Eugene, locally owned grocery stores, school districts, and other institutional buyers.
YCAP is the regional community action agency that provides essential social services to low-income people, seniors, and individuals with disabilities in Yamhill County. It serves as the regional local food bank, provides housing and housing support services, operates an outreach center for at-risk youth, provides transportation services, and offers a broad range of crisis intervention services.
Local food system efforts in the county have been scattered until the economic recession galvanized concerned citizens to discuss innovative projects to advance the region’s food system. Discussions have ranged from improving access to local farm produce to creating jobs by nurturing food entrepreneurs. YCAP will take the lead in convening a collaboration of businesses, farmers, food processors, food retailers, and consumers to further these discussions to develop an action plan that identifies strategies for a more resilient local economy and community in Yamhill County.
Potential partners include Yamhill County Health, Yamhill Enrichment Society, McMinnville Economic Development Partnership, OSU Extension, Dayton Community Development Association, Western Oregon Waste, Chemeketa MicroEnterprise Resources, Yamhill County Commission, and local farmers.
COIC is a regional Council of Governments representing Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties and the cities of Bend, Culver, La Pine, Madras, Metolius, Prineville, Redmond, and Sisters. Its 15-member board is made up of elected officials representing each of its member governments and appointed representatives of private sector businesses and higher education. It is the region’s federally designated Economic Development District.
Key partners: COCI, OSU Extension Service, Sisters Community Garden, Mountain View Hospital, NeighborImpact (the local community action agency), St. Charles Health System, Central Oregon Food Policy Council, Wy’East Resource Conservation & Development, White Diamond Ranch, Bear Creek Elementary School, and Agriculture Connections and Central Oregon Locavore (both small, for-profit entities).
Project Summary and Goals: The Cultivating Local Food project is a community-based effort to increase food security and create economic opportunities in the tri-county region and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs in Central Oregon. The project’s components grew out of a thorough community food assessment process. Main project goals are to:
This project includes partnerships with OSU’s Small Farms program and area hospitals (who have developed connections with the Latino community in Madras and the Warm Springs Indian Reservation). For-profit partners are new but show strong interest in helping increase infrastructure for local food (transportation, aggregated ordering systems, marketing, etc.). MMT funding will support current project management and provide support for extending work with community gardens (specifically supporting connections with SNAP/Food Stamp participants and other low-income community members), greenhouse development to help extend growing seasons, subsidized food shares for low-income people to access small farms (CSAs) and farmers markets, and a Buy Fresh Buy Local marketing campaign.
Formed in 2006, Food Roots grew out of CARE, the local community action agency, to cultivate a healthy food system in Tillamook County. It has a small, dedicated staff that relies on strong partnerships that helped spearhead 12 community and school gardens to date; develop youth education programs (farm-to-school), from preschool through high school, to grow the next generation of farmers; and implement an economic and micro-enterprise program that includes individual development accounts (IDAs) for food entrepreneurs as well as startup advising and financial literacy training. In partnership with North Coast Food Web in Clatsop County, Food Roots also produces the North Coast Food Guide, a paper and web-based guide for consumers to find regionally produced food and connect with those producers.
Key Partners: Food Roots, North Coast Food Web, farmers (both small farmers and traditional dairy farmers), OSU Extension, the Oregon Farm Bureau, schools, farmers markets, Oregon Department of Agriculture/FoodCorps, local governments, Oregon Food Bank, and public health officials.
Project Summary and Goals: This project covers Tillamook and Clatsop counties and reflects a growing partnership between Food Roots (Tillamook Co.) and North Coast Food Web (Clatsop Co.). Both counties offer distinct opportunities for expansion of local food crops/production to build more food security when its small communities become isolated during natural disasters such as flooding. Tillamook ranks sixth in farming among Oregon’s counties but is dominated by monoculture dairy production. Clatsop County is one of the least farmed counties in the state yet has great potential for both vegetable growing and local seafood production as more people discover Astoria as an urban center. Each county’s partners have relationships and resources to compliment the other’s.
Project goals are to:
Both Food Roots and North Coast Food Web were started by and are currently managed by farmers who have spent the past few years building relationships among other producers in the two-county region. But the organizations are small and lack the capacity to take full advantage of expansion opportunities. With MMT funding, they can expand staff capacity, bring on more Americorps/FoodCorps service members, and develop a stronger, more formalized relationship, which should position them expand local food businesses, increase low-income access to fresh food, and leverage federal funding. Another key focus area is developing the next generation of leaders and farmers through school-based education, mentoring, and internship opportunities.
Oregon Rural Action, created in 2001, organizes community members to address locally identified problems in three Oregon counties. It has 500 dues-paying members that are organized into chapters in Union, Baker, and Malheur counties. Each chapter identifies issues impacting its communities and develops strategies for volunteers to pursue with guidance, training and support from ORA’s small staff. Its work also supports similar efforts in Wallowa County. Currently, the two top priority areas for action are developing local food and energy systems.
Key Partners: ORA, OSU Extension, Union County Fit Kids, Eastern Oregon University, OHSU, and the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District as well as a number of schools, churches, and nonprofits across a four-county area (Union, Baker, Malheur, and Wallowa).
Project Summary and Goals: ORA has identified four key barriers to creating a regional food system in Eastern Oregon:
The project seeks to address these barriers by:
ORA uses in-depth community organizing, particularly among small farmers and producers in the region. Each chapter has an organizer with deep community connections and several are proficient in Spanish speaking and writing. This project includes a formal evaluation component supported by OHSU’s School of Nursing. ORA is also developing a plan to create earned income streams through memberships, fee-for-service/consulting, and for-profit enterprises (e.g., purchasing a grain mill for the La Grande Farmers Market to process and sell flour from locally grown grains). MMT funding would support extended community organizer time, partner staff increases to support farm-to-school and community garden expansion, development of earned-income strategies, and food policy council support and coordination.
Ten Rivers Food Web, created in 2004, educates and organizes farmers, processors, buyers, retailers, and individuals to increase and diversify local food acreage, promote local food processing, and expand access to affordable and nutritious foods in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties. Its programs focus on improving low-income access to healthy food, improving food literacy through community education programs, and creating economic opportunities for small farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs. In 2007, Ten Rivers in partnership with Willamette Farm and Food Coalition launched the Southern Willamette Valley Bean and Grain Project to help grass-seed farmers transition to organic food production. To date, over 1,000 acres have transitioned, creating thousands of pounds of staple crops produced and sold locally. Ten Rivers also hosts an online Local Food Directory, linking producers with consumers in the region.
Key partnerships: Food Share of Lincoln County, Linn Benton Food Share, Oregon Food Bank, Corvallis Environmental Center, Benton County Health Department, local farmers markets and farms, Oregon Microenterprise Network, OSU, Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE), Rural Development Initiatives (RDI), Samaritan Health Services, Small Business Development Center, and Corvallis Local Foods (for-profit).
Project Summary and Goals: The tri-county “foodshed” has seen the disappearance of food processing and distribution infrastructure over the last 20 years, which has reduced the number of crops grown locally. Many farmers have moved to nonfood products such as grass seed, nursery plants, and other specialty crops for export. The goal of Ten Rivers and its partners through this project is to increase the supply, demand, and access to locally grown products. The specific project activities expand on Ten Rivers’ current priorities:
This project has a major low-income focus with SNAP/Food Stamp outreach and incentive strategies. MMT funds will be used to expand Ten Rivers’ staff capacity to include community food organizers in all three counties, support for VISTA volunteers, SNAP incentives (matches), marketing, and educational/promotional activities to link consumers to local food and significantly expand low-income access to locally grown, fresh food; increase institutional purchasing of local food by 20%; strengthen partnerships across the foodshed; create economic opportunities for local farms and food entrepreneurs; and significantly increase awareness of local food options in Linn and Lincoln counties, thereby driving up consumer demand.
This urban educational eight-acre farm is focusing on two low-income neighborhoods (Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert) for its Neighborhood Food Innovation Project to increase opportunities for food production and economic development in partnership with neighborhood leaders, schools, and other area nonprofit organizations and businesses. The organization received a three-year USDA Community Food Program grant to jumpstart the project in addition to additional land from the City of Portland.
MMT funds will support a CSA coordinator, an evaluation process, and initial support to subsidize CSA farm shares for SNAP/food stamp participants.
Formed in 1999 to cultivate community integration and economic self-sufficiency for Latino families by offering opportunities and training in organic gardening and farming and the development of food-based micro-enterprises. Huerto successfully incubated the Small Farmer’s Project, a cooperative of small Latino farmers that grows and sells strawberries to local food businesses and Blackcap raspberries through Organically Grown Company. The project is now a separate LLC that still receives training and technical assistance from Huerto.
Project description and goals: to develop a new micro-enterprise program called Cambios (Changes) to provide business training and counseling to Latino gardeners, growers, and budding entrepreneurs interested in launching or expanding good farm and food business ideas. The training will also be offered to farmers involved in the LLC. Huerto’s goal is to move these individuals from laborers to owners, helping them further integrate into the broader community. The organization will partner with Adelante Mujeres in Forest Grove on a joint evaluation process to assess the impact of its micro-enterprise training on Cambios participants and participants in Adelante’s Empresas Program, which helps Latino women create successful tamale businesses. Other partners include Downtown Languages (to provide English language and computer literacy training) and Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) to provide financial literacy training and access to CDFI small business loans and an Individual Development Account (IDA) savings program.
MMT funds will support a micro-enterprise manager and part-time communications associate.
For more information about MMT's CFS program, contact:
Program Officer Kim Thomas reports on MMT's Community Food Systems program and process, including announcing more than $1.4 million in planning and implementation grants to organizations across Oregon. READ MORE
In 2010, Meyer Memorial Trust commissioned a study of Community Food Systems in Oregon in order to gain a deeper understanding of the role of food in developing secure, healthy and economically vital communities in the state. We are sharing it here because there is a lot of information we're sure will interest many others.
The full report – Community Food Systems in Oregon: Opportunities to Build Capacity for Food Security, Health and Economic Vitality – is available for downloading here.
An Executive Summary of the full report is available here.
MMT received very positive feedback on its 2009 Operating Fund program, initiated as a component of the MMT’s response to the economic crisis. In recognition of the strain the weak economy continues to have on nonprofit community, the Trust offered an additional round of the Operating Fund in the fall of 2010. Eligibility and screening criteria were similar to those used in 2009.
Twenty-eight requests were received. Nearly $728,000 were awarded to 15 organizations in nine Oregon counties in December 2010:
In addition, after reviewing status reports from recipients of the 2009 Operating Fund, MMT awarded follow-on grants to many 2009 Operating Fund grantees to help them to maintain stability and services in the coming year. Funds totaling $835,000 were awarded to:
For two 2009 grantees, Operating Funds served as an important bridge, providing time and resources for revenue-generating activities that were in progress when the recession hit so they could reach fruition. For these organizations – Hacienda Community Development Corporation (Portland) and Housecall Providers (Portland) – follow on funding was not needed. An additional 2009 grantee, Technical Assistance for Community Services (now the Nonprofit Association of Oregon), received a multi-year Responsive Grant in 2010 and was not considered for follow on Operating Funds.
The Operating Fund program is not an ongoing MMT grant program, but rather a special opportunity offered as part of our response to the economic challenges over the past two years. At this time, there are no plans for a similar program next year. 2009 and 2010 Operating Fund grant recipients are strongly encouraged to plan accordingly.
In early 2009, MMT began hearing nonprofits’ concerns about the impact the abrupt economic downturn was having on their organizations’ stability. Donations were decreasing, event revenue was not meeting projections, corporate sponsors were decreasing contributions or pulling out entirely, and foundations were reducing or suspending giving. At the same time, human service organizations were experiencing increased demand for services.
In response to the emerging impact the sliding economy was having on the nonprofit sector, MMT allocated up to $1 million for a 2009 Operating Fund program to provide small- and mid-sized organizations whose stability is jeopardized due to the economic downturn with a cash infusion to provide critical support in weathering the economic storm. The program was designed to offer two rounds of funding (spring and fall 2009) and to make awards of up to $50,000 each. Organizations that had received an MMT Responsive Grant within the past five years (and had, therefore, recently gone through MMT’s due diligence process), were in good standing with MMT, and had annual operating budgets of between $50,000 and $3 million were eligible to apply.
By relying on the outcome of due diligence in the recent past and not conducting site visits, MMT was able to quickly get Operating Funds out the door – within approximately 10 to 12 weeks of the application deadline. Most applicants could identify some level of negative impact due to the economic downturn. Many had compelling stories. However, in order to honor the intent of the Operating Fund and to maintain MMT’s commitment to highest and best use of funds, the program team thoughtfully weighed the following factors in assessing applications:
The strongest proposals provided clear information about the organization's critical role in its respective community and the impact of service reductions on the community. They presented clear and complete information about the organization's financial situation and specific details about the impact of the economic downturn on their revenues. They also provided clear descriptons of the steps and decisions their leadership has made to better align revenue and expenses.
In June 2009, MMT awarded Operating Funds totaling $407,000 to nine of the 53 organizations that applied:
In December 2009, MMT awarded Operating Funds grants to 12 of 42 organizations that applied, awarding $650,000:
The purpose of this initiative was organizational stability. Some of the applications revealed other issues:
MMT will continue to monitor economic conditions and the impact on the nonprofit sector and may consider similar future funding opportunities.
Sharing resources can be a means to provide communities with high quality and sustainable services. Despite this potential, resource sharing, particularly co-location, is time-intensive to establish and requires reserves of cash and capital, presenting barriers to organizations.
To overcome these obstacles, in 2009 MMT awarded planning grants to eight projects totaling $177,113 to help them determine if any benefits could be achieved in implementing multi-tenant centers, shared services program, or fiscal agent.
The planning grants were highly strategic investments at critical times in the lives of eight organizations and their partners. In addition to benefits to grantees, MMT developed a deeper understanding the effectiveness of the request for proposals (RFP) process used for this endeavor, nonprofits’ use of consultants, and planning grants for sharing resources.
In January 2009, MMT issued an RFP to organizations seeking to share facilities, equipment, staffing, program, and other resources, and who needed planning assistance to determine if any benefits could be achieved in implementing any particular shared resources model.
To submit a proposal, organizations were required to attend a one-day training workshop conducted by Tides Shared Spaces/Nonprofit Centers Network ( to understand the strategic issues involved in sharing resources and to assess their capacity to develop a project to respond to the RFP. Interest was high, resulting in the closure of workshop registration more than two weeks prior to the training.
Representatives from 63 organizations representing diverse needs from around the state attended workshops in Portland and Roseburg on February 24 and 25, 2009. The training was highly rated, with virtually all attendees reporting they were satisfied or very satisfied in the evaluations.
Twenty-four proposals were received from a variety of organizations throughout Oregon – large, small, government, arts, conservation, education, health, and human services, among others. In May 2009, trustees awarded $177,113 to eight organizations:
Generally, all projects were on track with budgeted expenditures. As anticipated, partnerships among agencies contracted and/or expanded, and initial opportunities for sharing resources closed and new ones were being explored. Grant periods were extended for some projects given the complexity of the work involved.
Projects took advantage of the opportunity to thoroughly analyze and make highly informed decisions on whether multi-tenant centers or major resource sharing agreements had the potential to achieve actual financial and operational benefits. Of the eight projects,
When the economic recession hit so hard in September 2008, MMT was already crafting a response to feedback from an earlier blog discussion on MMT's website indicating significant interest among nonprofits in sharing resources in order to reduce costs of operations and increase effectiveness. We provided free intensive training and access to resources from the Nonprofit Centers Networkto organization interested in exploring sharing resources. In January 2009, MMT issued an Request for Proposals up to $25,000 from organizations seeking to share facility, equipment, staffing, program and other resources for planning assistance to determine if there was a favorable cost/benefit ratio. MMT received 24 proposals and in May 2009, trustees awarded $177,113 to eight organizations:
With the exception of Jackson County, all projects were planning grants for a “multi-tenant center" where individual organizations operate from one facility and share business systems, equipment, meeting space, and/or programs. Jackson Countyʼs project is an example of a “shared services” program involving shared volunteer management/information technology among youth-serving agencies.
As of March 2010, seven of the eight grantees have submitted interim reports. All are on track with budgeted expenditures for assessment, cost/benefit analysis, business planning, legal matters, risk management, and/or facility development. As anticipated, partnerships among agencies have contracted and/or expanded, and initial opportunities for sharing resources have closed and new ones are being explored. Evident throughout all reports is that MMTʼs grant has stimulated a planning process that has brought people together in a deeper level of civic engagement.
Projects are scheduled for completion on July 31, with final reports due September 15. We anticipate there will be a number of outcomes including organizations discovering their project is not viable; may be viable but requires additional work; or is strong, with organizations ready, willing, and able to take it to the next level. We consider any of these outcomes successful because the RFPʼs intent was to provide groups with the knowledge to make an informed business decision about engaging in new programs and partnerships.
In this space, we summarize and report on the status of other current or recent other grant clusters/programs to contribute to our ongoing learning. Reports will be added here as they are completed and/or updated.
Beginning in 2006, MMT made a series of grants totalling $2.7 million to a group of organizations working in concert to preserve the rich biodiversity of Oregon’s territorial sea for the benefit of coastal communities and all Oregonians. Grantees include Oregon Ocean, Oceana, COMPASS (through Oregon State University), Surfrider Foundation and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Why has MMT invested in this work?
Oceans around the world are stressed by pollution, climate change, and over-fishing. Oregon’s ocean will soon feel the additional impacts of wave energy parks, wind farms, and aquaculture. MMT believes we must find ways to meet human needs while preserving biodiversity and healthy ecosystems so that our ocean remains bountiful and productive for future generations.
A large number of stakeholder groups forge ocean policy: commissions, government agencies, industry associations, counties and cities, environmental groups, and others. Often, they focus on specific resources, such as crab, rockfish, sport fishing, surfing, whale watching, birding, wave energy, etc., in isolation. The groups supported by MMT promote ecosystem-based management, a relatively new way of thinking about ocean conservation that takes multiple factors into consideration and strives to balance competing priorities.
Since 2006, the MMT-funded groups have worked to promote the use of ecosystem-based management in Oregon’s marine management, including:
What's been accomplished?
Much as been achieved over the past seven years to establish ecosystem-based management strategies in Oregon's ocean waters. The crown jewel of accomplishment is the establishment of marine reserves. Over a number of years, the MMT-funded organizations engaged local communities and key stakeholders to help successfully establish five marine reserves and adjacent marine protected areas that total 118 square miles in Oregon's ocean waters. Worldwide, there are nearly 6,000 marine reserves and marine protected areas covering just over one percent of the ocean's waters. Equivalent to U.S. national park and wilderness area designations, reserves and protected areas are viewed as some of the most powerful tools we have for sustaining the long-term health of our precious ocean resources.
The five reserves are located at Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Cape Perpetua, Otter Rock and Redfish Rocks, and were established to help rebuild and maintain fish stocks, maintain biodiversity and ensure sustainable marine fisheries. They are protected from extractive activities, including recreational and commercial fishing, except for disturbance as required for monitoring and scientific research. The marine protected areas adjacent to the reserves allow for more human activities, and were established to enhance the conservation benefits of marine resources.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is primarily responsible for overseeing the management of the new reserves. However, a critical aspect of management involves community outreach and engagement to assist in the long-term stewardship of the areas. The Redfish Rocks Reserve Management Plan has one of the most developed community engagement models of all of the new reserves through an unique partnership between ODFW and the Redfish Rocks Community Team.
As part of building a comprehensive marine reserves program, the conservation organizations also supported the creation of an Ocean Science Trust that allows the state to leverage public and private funds for marine science so that ocean development will be based on the best available science. In 2012, the Ocean Science Trust was passed into law and will be overseen by the State Treasurer's Office and a five person board whose members will be selected by the State Land Board.
In addition to these accomplishments, MMT-funded organizations partnered to shape the update of Oregon’s Territorial Sea Plan in 2012, specifically to address the potential for tidal, wave and wind-on-wave energy development. They were successful in shaping the update to protect over 100 of the iconic “scenic viewshed areas” and the top non-consumptive recreational areas (offshore rocky reefs, kelp forests, eelgrass beds, seabird colonies and other sensitive habitats) and ensuring a responsible approach to wave energy development in the future.
Finally, the partners have also laid the groundwork for supporting conservation-focused management of Pacific forage fish – small fish like sardines, anchovies, and herring – that are the linchpin of healthy marine ecosystems. Going forward, they will continue to build on these successes to strengthen ocean conservation in Oregon overall and tackle new threats as they emerge.
In addition to existing programs, MMT historically offered a number of targeted programs that no longer operate.
1984-86 10 grants for $2,148,327
What: To facilitate the integration of new technologies in post secondary institutions
How: By integrating new technologies into curriculum and instruction, developing mechanisms for faculty and staff to integrate technology into their roles, to utilize information delivery systems that transcend traditional time and place constraints and to promote collaboration between higher education institutions and business and industry in technology research, continuing education and technology transfer.
Outcomes: From Charles Rooks memo to trustees in January 1996:
"The Trust's first effort at focused grantmaking, the Higher Education in an Information Society program, was terminated after one round of grants and that was a wise decision. The Trust was having severe internal difficulties, the program was not well designed, and it was not the right time to try to change the program into a better model. Somewhat to my surprise, however, when I recently review the eight major grants under that program, they appeared to be good projects that compare quite favorably with a random selection of general purpose grants."
1984-89 67 grants for $8,484,726
What: To prevent unnecessary institutionalization of older persons and to improve their quality of life.
How: By promoting access of seniors to community services, developing and testing new methods of service delivery, exploring how new technologies can help seniors overcome limitations brought on by aging and by helping maintain the right to make decisions.
Outcomes: From Charles Rooks essay in 1988:
"By the end of 1987 we had approved 57 grants amounting to over $7 million in this undertaking and it was time to review our efforts. We had a number of questions. How successful were the individual projects? What kind of overall impact was the program having? Should we continue it? What improvements could we make? We engaged a team of consultants to help us find answers.
"When we initiated the program, we deliberately announced broad guidelines, which resulted in a variety of grant projects. This approach allowed our new foundation to learn a great dal about he possibilities and limitations of a focused regional grantmaking approach. We made grants mainly to improve access to existing services or to develop new ways to deliver services to the elderly in their communities. We also financed projects to improve conditions within institutions. We hoped not only to fund good individual projects, but through these projects to have an influence on the general system of services for seniors in Pacific Northwest states.
"Most of the grants were two to four years in length, and 43 of them were not complete at the time of our assessment. This was a serious problem, because the results of some projects cannot be measured until the end of the grant, or much later. Nevertheless, we learned a great deal that was valuable." Read more link
From Charles Rooks memo to trustees in January 1996:
"The Aging and Independence program was in my opinion a rather successful venture. It had numerous impacts on practice and policy, and many activities piloted under this program have been replicated in many other places. While the general mission of the program was clear (promoting greater independence of elders), the operational focus of the program was too broad. It would probably have had greater impact if the grants had been targeted within a more narrow range of activities. Among the reasons the program was a successful as it was the the following: the external circumstances were ripe (there was a lot of interest in the topic and many groups wanted to test innovative ideas), government budgets had not yet experienced the cutbacks that came in later years, the Trust staff had widespread contacts with key leaders in the field, and the trustees supported the strong proposals that resulted from this set of conditions."
1984-88 39 grants for $3,450,888
What: To assist in building and sharing information among libraries and information centers in the Pacific Northwest.
How: By supporting assessments of existing library collections, creating a regional database to analyze and display regional holdings, to develop resource sharing among networks of libraries and to demonstrate cost-effective systems of rapid delivery of information among public, academic, corporate and other special libraries.
than 200 libraries contributed information about their collections to a
newly created computer database and indexed their holdings in the
database. Indexed more than 600 special collections. Information atlas
that describes system in the region for transmitting or physically
delivering information. Library telefacsimile "phone book" that enables
rapid communication with more than 500 other machines in North America.
90 rural libraries in network sharing resources.
From Charles Rooks memo to trustees January 1996:
"...The Library and Information Resources for the Northwest (LIRN) program as an example of establishing some relatively well identified goals and pursuing these with active strategies. In execution the LIRN program was not always the best example of such an approach, but it did represent a serious attempt at focuses grantmaking. I think it is difficult to evaluate the LIRN program. It was ahead of its time in the sense that most of the constituencies it was trying to affect (i.e., librarians and college administrators) were not yet completely receptive to what the program was trying to accomplish. Today, however, many of the goals of the LIRN program are accepted by those parties as obvious and necessary. One of LIRN's accomplishments, I believe, was that it helped create some fo the present attitudes, and in this and other ways it helped this region move ahead more quickly in recognizing the necessity of cooperation. Another lesson from LIRN is that programs with such ambitious goals require long periods of commitment. For understandable reasons, the Trust terminated LIRN when it did, but it is possible that the program would have had a much greater impact if circumstances had been different and the program, with appropriate modifications, had remained in operation a few more years." READ MORE
1986-1997 176 grants for $22,502,958
What: To reduce the influences that hinder the development of young children and to enhance factors that equip children to lead better lives.
How: By supporting parent education for families with babies and young children, enhancing early childhood development and improving early educational opportunities, and demonstrating new and more effective ways to intervene with youth who are at high risk of serious problems. Grants to organizations in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana.
Outcomes: From 1996 memo by Charles Rooks:
"The Support for Children at Risk program is directed at some of the most critical problems in our society, and it has supported many very valuable projects. For a variety of reasons, however, this program is not as successful as the Aging program. Its focus is too broad, and there has not ben a sustained concentration of support in any area or on any particular issue. Government cutbacks have placed many organizations in a hunkered-down survival mode that excludes innovative thinking. Declination of some strong proposals has discouraged some organizations from further developing projects to submit to the Trust. Despite these shortcomings, the grants list under this p;rogram would certainly compare well with most of our other grantmaking, and it has provided a way to give support to a wider geographic area. This program is an example of a grantmaking approach that is somewhere between a purely general purpose approach and a highly focused strategic approach. By announcing interest in a particular field and issuing some general guidelines, the Trust has been able, in a manageable fashion, to invite proposals from a large region. By grouping these proposals around two deadlines a year, there has been a better frame of reference for judging their comparative merits. As presently constituted, the program is worthwhile, but it cannot achieve the kind of significance one would hope for in a focuses program. Since the program addresses such important issues, it is certainly worth considering whether it can be improved and continued."
1994-2008 978 grants for $3,957,162
What: To recognize and support the initiative and imagination that teachers employ to engage students in learning.
How: By providing grants to individual teachers and teams of teachers in elementary and secondary schools for projects intended to stimulate more effective classroom learning.
Outcomes: From Charles S. Rooks memo to trustees in January 1996:
"The Support for Teacher Initiatives has operated for less than two years, which makes it difficult to offer confident assessments. The feedback I have received indicates that these grants can have a substantial impact in particular classrooms and that the program has encouraged many teachers in their efforts to find better techniques to educate our children... However, the program's merits must be weighted against the costs of operating it in the Trust's traditional manner. [with staff assigned task of analyzing and writing reports on each proposal]"
By the program's end, it had affected more than 125,000 students and more than 3,000 teachers. When FSG conducted an assessment of MMTs grantmaking as part of strategic planning during 2007, it reported that the Support for Teacher Initiatives program was seen as having limited effectiveness. FSG found that because the amount of money was so small and only teachers (and not schools or districts) could apply, there was little perceived impact beyond individual classrooms.
As a result, MMT decided to terminate the STI program and consolidate its resources in education funding to reform efforts under OSSI and Chalkboard Project. From the report that was issued: "We think our funds can be better utilized ... [in] teacher mentoring, the CLASS Project (Creative Learning And Student Success) and other programs in OSSI and Chalkboard that support professional improvement.
Upon MMT's 10th anniversary, Executive Director Charles Rooks summarized and reflected on MMT's first decade of grantmaking in a 74-page report, Reflections on the First Decade:
RATHER THAN COVERING just the past year, this annual report reviews the entire first decade of the Meyer Memorial Trust. This provides a fuller record of our activities and a broader perspective on the overall effects of the Trust's performance. READ MORE
MMT Executive Director Charles Rooks reflected on the first 15 years in his essay – Preceding the Future – in MMT's 1996-97 Annual Report:
FIFTEEN YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE the Meyer Trust began operations. It seems fitting at this point to take a quick look back and note a few of the significant developments during this period. There have been changes in the size and nature of the Trust, the environment in which it operates, and the issues it must face as it goes forward. READ MORE
In an interview in 2002, Executive Director Charles Rooks looked back over his 20 years as MMT"s only executive director and candidly reflected on MMT's development and contributions.
THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY of the Meyer Memorial Trust coincides with the retirement of its only executive director. Charles Rooks was present at the birth of this new foundation, helped it take its first steps, nurtured it through its early development, saw it through puberty and adolescense, and proudly watched as it reached the age of majority. READ MORE