Responsive Program Grants

Little Stone Project, 2017

Oregon Humanities Responsive Program Grants new guidelines for the 2020 year are now available here.

The Responsive Program Grants enable nonprofit organizations and federally recognized tribes in Oregon to address urgent or timely issues in their communities. Awards of up to $1,000 are intended to center those most affected by a topic in order to elevate perspectives that have historically been undervalued and particularly to support programming based in and led by rural communities and/or communities of color. Programs can be in multiple languages or be in a language other than English; however, the final narrative reports must be in English. Proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis until the allocated 2020 funds ($15,000) are spent.

Oregon Humanities funds responsive programs that intentionally meet the following criteria:

  • Timely and Responsive 
    Program topic must demonstrate relevance to or response to feedback from the community and the intended audience or audiences of the program. 
  • Center those most affected
    Program planning, topics, content, format, and outreach should respond to and engage with the life experiences, perspectives, and knowledge held by those most impacted by the topic.
  • Build community voice and power
    Programming should elevate the perspectives and life experiences of those most affected by the program’s topic and address complex topics in the community. Program design should center equity, community, empathy, experimentation, and engagement.

What we have funded in the past

The Responsive Program Grants program has supported work that 

  • Helped communities lead conversations on race and racism after local hate incidents.
  • Brought residents together to understand a local issue that became national news.
  • Examined the intersection of race and domestic violence.
  • Responded to local interest to initiate a social justice film series.

How does it work?

Given the responsive nature of this type of programming, Oregon Humanities aims to award grants within four weeks of receiving proposals. Awards will be made until funding runs out or the end of our fiscal year (October 31, 2020), whichever comes first. Successful grantees will be required to submit final reporting documents to Oregon Humanities within 30 days after the completion of the funded project.

Applications accepted Between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020
Award decisions Within 4 weeks of application submission
Programs begin after November 1, 2019
Programs completed by December 31, 2020



Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be incorporated as a nonprofit in the state of Oregon or be a federally recognized tribe in Oregon. Nonprofit applicants can be registered as a 501(c)(3) organization located in Oregon or be registered with the State of Oregon as a charitable organization. All awardees must be able to complete an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) W-9 form in order to receive payment from Oregon Humanities.

  • Applicants may only receive funding for one Responsive Program Grant proposal per cycle.

Organizations may apply as coapplicants if both meet eligibility requirements. Coapplicant organizations assume cost-sharing responsibilities for program revenue and/or expenses.

Organizations that are not nonprofits may apply using a fiscal sponsor if the fiscal sponsor meets all the eligibility requirements. Organizations serving as fiscal sponsors cannot have any role in planning, coordination, delivery, or evaluation of the program associated with the grant. Please contact Oregon Humanities prior to initiating a grant proposal to discuss fiscal sponsorships.

Responsive Program Grants funded by Oregon Humanities must be completed by December 31, 2020. Applicants are notified as soon as a funding decision is made (no longer than four weeks after applying). 

What Responsive Program Grants Do Not Fund

  • Host fees for Conversation Project events, fees for facilitation training by Oregon Humanities, or other Oregon Humanities programming
  • Scholarships, fellowships, or awards
  • Ticket fees
  • Capital projects (i.e., renovation or purchase of buildings or land)
  • Programs that do not meet the nondiscrimination statutes outlined in the Certifications section found on the Frequently Asked Questions section
  • Lobbying, fundraising, or activities that advocate for a particular political party 
  • Indirect or overhead expenses that are not tied to any programmatic activities for the proposed program

How to apply

Please complete the online grant application form. This form collects basic information about the organization, topic, and program details. Applicants will be notified as soon as a funding decision is made—no longer than four weeks after applying.

Applicants may receive only one Responsive Program Grant per cycle and programs must be completed by December 31, 2020.

If you have any questions about this process, your eligibility or the program, please contact Program Coordinator Louisa Mariki at (503) 241-0543, ext. 117, or 

Apply now!

OH Funding Requests

Oregon Humanities funding may support program-related expenses including but not limited to salaries/volunteers hours, benefits, honoraria, travel, supplies and materials, printing and duplication, postage and telephone, equipment and services including audio and video documentation of the program for preservation or dissemination purposes, facilities rental, publicity, and ADA access.

ADA Access

Any entity that provides services to the public must certify that it is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 USC Sec. 12101, et seq. and subsequent revisions. Helpful information may be found online here.