- About Us
- Funding Opportunities
- Keeping Up
- Just Ask Us
Since the Great Recession began in 2007, we've been hearing that we are in a 'New Normal' or are experiencing a 'Great Reset.' Indeed, it feels like there is a fundamental shift underway in our culture, even after the economy has shown signs of improvement and recovery. Institutions we have relied on for decades and decades are being disrupted. There is a sense that life will never go back to the way it was and we must blaze trails on a new frontier.
When Meyer Memorial Trust invited Oregonians to give us their advice on how best to spend a million dollars for Oregon, we heard a wide range of ideas that address one big issue: economic development. Given Oregon's higher than average unemployment and food insecurity rates, rising poverty rate and falling median household income, this was not surprising.
I had the honor of speaking at the Willamette Valley Development Officer’s conference last week, which gave me an opportunity to reflect on the next five to 10 years in the independent sector. I thought I would share an abbreviated version with you here, in hopes of encouraging dialogue that will help better position us all for the future. The full version, with illustrations, is available here.--
It might not feel like the beginning of a new year to most of you, but here at Meyer Memorial Trust we celebrate the beginning of our fiscal year on April 1. And for some reason, it always feels a bit like an opportunity to start over. Not as in Groundhog Day, more like another chance to get it right, be the best we can be.
You may be wondering what’s going on with MMT’s continuing response to our ideas4oregon project in which we asked for your ideas about how we should spend the first million dollars of the second $500 million we award.Quite a lot, as it turns out. I’m excited to announce today the launch of our first project rising from ideas4oregon. (We’ve given short updates on our other two ideas4oregon projects in this week’s news alert.) READ MORE
Here at Meyer Memorial Trust, we celebrate more than one new year each year, and try to use those occasions as opportunities for reflection and forecasting. We did that at the end of the calendar year and now we want to use our transition from one fiscal year to the next on April 1st to look back and ahead in a more formal, organized way.
There's no getting around it, 2010 has been a harsh year for Oregon and Clark County, Washington. We continue to suffer effects of The Great Recession with an unemployment rate stuck higher than the national average... Despite these and other sobering realities, I remain very optimistic about our state's future. And it's not just holiday cheer leading me down that yellow brick road. Nor is it merely
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.
Today marks the first day of the "Next Generation" at Meyer Memorial Trust. Many of you have been following our progress since April when we announced decisions resulting from our strategic planning process over the past year. The first program changes go into effect today, and are revealed on our updated website.
Recently one of our trustees and I attended a conference on "Creating & Operating Multi-Tenant Non-Profit Centers". We were impressed and intrigued by what other foundations have done along these lines (e.g., the Tides Foundation in San Francisco/New York and the Meadows Foundation in Texas).
We’ve been talking about our strategic planning and its implementation on our website over the past year or so and will continue to share our thinking and plans with you as we move further along. We will, of course, also continue to seek your input in this metamorphosis of Meyer Memorial Trust. There’s a second part of our strategic planning that hasn’t received as much attention, but that we view as another important part of MMT’s mission
Since last August, MMT has been working closely with FSG Social Impact Advisors in the most comprehensive and deepest look ever at our grantmaking activities. FSG performed research, gathered data, solicited input from 150 members of communities and organizations from our region, assessed MMT’s experience and expertise, and evaluated the relevance and success of our past grantmaking activities.