Small Grants Fund

Two students cooking in Camp Elso Spring Camp

Seven community programs were approved for $1 million in new three-year investments for the Small Grants Fund, created to improve equity of access for organizations that have not received Levy funding in the past.

The three-year grants started in January 2021 and were then renewed through June 2026. The grants include four mentoring programs, two after-school programs and one hunger relief program:

African Youth and Community Organization

Afterschool program for East African youth with disabilities. Tutoring, sports, and nature-based field trips led by Cultural Navigators. Occupational Therapist supports student needs in afterschool program. 


STEAMED education and nature-based camps for youth K-5 and 6-8, and a program for teens that provides leadership training, as well as the opportunity to become Camp Guides and teach the younger kids. 

Portland Tennis and Education

Long-term afterschool program with academic, fitness, social-emotional components. Year-round activities including afterschool and summer camp activities. 

Brown Girl Rise

Mentoring offered to non-white girls and non-binary femmes 7-17. Create a youth board to plan curriculum and conduct program evaluation and monitoring activities

Elevate Oregon

Mentorship of youth of color and other marginalized youth, including students with disabilities, in Parkrose. Emphasis on post-secondary education. In-school group mentoring through an elective emphasizing character building facilitated by Teacher Mentors. Additional group mentoring through summer programming. Middle school through high school.

Ethiopian & Eritrean Cultural and Resource Center

Mentoring for newly arrived refugee youth from Ethiopia & Eritrea. The youth in this program have been in the country 1-3 years. Individual mentoring (socially distanced when possible) and groups online. Families receive wraparound support. 

Urban Gleaners

Food is gleaned and distributed to families. Additional food purchased from local farmers. Foods prepared for families in need. Distribution sites located in high poverty, high BIPOC areas. Millions of pounds of food diverted from landfills. 

"These extraordinary, community-based organizations, and new PCL partners, will provide hope and resiliency to the next generation by serving children, youth and families from marginalized communities, individuals with intersectional identities, and those with disabilities,'' said Levy Allocation Committee Chair and City Commissioner Dan Ryan. "We are pleased to support their work and their missions. Congratulations all."

The Small Grants Fund process began in 2020 and was spearheaded by Grant Manager Arika Bridgeman-Bunyoli. The process included guidance from a six-member volunteer Design Team, multiple community conversations with small organizations, and culminated in funding recommendations made by a 12-member review team.

PCL publishes annual performance reports on funded programs each year.