The Portland Clinic Foundation Values
1. The Foundation believes in using our resources to improve community wellness. Advancing community wellness includes:
- Addressing the social and cultural needs that impact wellness
- Addressing the environmental and economic needs that impact wellness
- Addressing the spiritual, emotional and intellectual (quality-of-life) needs that impact wellness
- Addressing inequities in provisioning for any of these needs
2. The Foundation believes in the importance of understanding the complex elements of community wellness, and that only by diligently and humbly gaining that understanding will the Foundation be able to commit to the equitable, creative, and bold application of resources.
3. The Foundation believes in partnerships to foster coordinated efforts between the Foundation and community partners.
4. The Foundation believes in acting strategically, targeting our time, talents and resources according to capacity for results and utilizing research and evaluative data to produce better outcomes.
Our Commitment to Equity
In order for a community to be truly healthy, all members of that community must have fair and equitable access to community benefits and services, live without fear of bigotry and prejudice, and experience full representation and participation in its activities and governance. The Portland Clinic Foundation is committed to making greater Portland’s communities healthier—and thus more equitable. We pledge that our grantmaking will consider increased equity—both in terms of the communities we serve and the missions of the organizations with whom we partner—as a primary goal and an essential component of our mission to advance community wellness.
To ensure that our actions reflect our intentions, we resolve to:
- Work to ensure Foundation staff, donors, board members, grantees, and other partners reflect the diversity and breadth of Portland’s communities.
- Work to understand the histories underpinning intolerance and unfairness and the institutional structures perpetuating them, and grant to projects that do not reinforce those histories and structures.
- Pursue volunteer and funding opportunities with and advocate for organizations that reflect a diversity of cultures and experiences.
- Work to accommodate different experiences in our grant application by maintaining an open door policy for assistance, by keeping our application straightforward and welcoming of different forms of response, and by evaluating applicants on merit rather than presentation.
- Work to change the social determinants of poor health in individuals and communities by funding in a way that seeks to cure the systemic disease as well as to palliate its symptoms.
- Acknowledge that we are generalists operating in a culturally specific world. We will pursue cultural competency, seeking to understand the perspectives and needs of other cultures and communities, while seeking to avoid the projection of our values and needs onto others.
- Acknowledge that we are not experts in the sectors to whom we are granting. We know that the organizations with whom we partner understand their communities, clients, and needs better than we do. We aspire to be humble in our grantmaking and to learn from our grantees.
- Give unrestricted grants to help empower organizations and build community trust and partnerships.
- Work to develop, incorporate, and refine an evaluation of our grantmaking record with regards to equity in every annual review.
- Provide ongoing learning opportunities to help staff, board, and volunteers acquire and practice cultural competency.
- Ensure that any monies not granted annually are invested in accordance with our values.
- Comply at all times with our nondiscrimination policy that ensures our organization does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability, marital status, genetic information, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.
Initial Grantmaking Strategy
- To grant to organizations located in areas served by The Portland Clinic, including outlying areas of Portland.
- To grant 100 percent of funds donated to the Foundation—all contributions to the Foundation will go to our nonprofit partners, in grants that range from $500 to $5,000.
- To evaluate grants as driven by our values and equity statements.
- To keep grant applications and reports straightforward and accessible, to allow nonprofits to retain focus on their important work and missions.
- To provide unrestricted grants (With some limitations, including no endowments, scholarships, political gifts, sports teams, etc.) to 501(c)(3) nonprofit partners because we trust that they are the experts: They know how to serve their clients and mission most effectively.
- In the spirit of volunteerism and lasting investment and partnership, to collaborate however requested with nonprofit grantees if it is genuinely helpful to them and feasible—with our limited capacity—for us.
- To approach this process with humility and to recognize that the Foundation is a work in progress: we will adapt our strategies, values, protocols, and priorities as we acquire more insight into how best to serve and partner with Portland’s nonprofit communities.
These strategies place our Foundation at the leading edge of philanthropic institutions. Our evidence-informed, best-practice guided strategy should result in highly impactful grantmaking.