The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners are focused on jobs and a vibrant economy for all communities, to keep vulnerable residents safe and healthy, and to foster a culture of trust, communication, diversity, and innovation.
In an effort to ratify this commitment, the Board of Commissioners established the Small Grants Program 12 years ago, and has funded the program each year since.
Clackamas County encourages faith-based and community-based organizations to apply for grants. While the County will not fund services that are inherently religious in nature, County small grants are awarded competitively without regard to whether the provider is or is not a faithbased organization. No grant funds are set aside specifically for faith-based providers.
Clackamas County does not discriminate against non-governmental organizations on the basis that such organizations have a religious character. Faith-based organizations are eligible to compete for grant funds on the same basis as all other non-governmental organizations. Decisions about grant applications and awards will be made based solely on the competence, capacity, and actions of the provider, not whether it is a secular or faith-based provider.
No grantee may discriminate in its delivery of a Clackamas County grant-funded program against a recipient or potential recipient of services on the basis of religion or religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or a refusal to actively participate in a religious practice. Grantees must serve people throughout the community. No grantee may use any part of a County small grant to fund religious worship, instruction, or proselytization.
Any specifically religious activity or service made available to clients by the grantee must be voluntary as well as separate in time and location from government funded activities and services. For example, a church that receives direct government aid to provide shelter to homeless individuals may not require those individuals to attend a Bible study or participate in a prayer preceding a meal as part of the grant-funded services they provide. But they may invite those individuals to join them, so long as they make clear that their participation is optional.
To the extent permitted by law, faith-based organizations that receive Clackamas County small grants may — just as secular non-governmental organizations — use their facilities to provide grant-funded services without removing or altering art, icons, literature, or other distinctive symbols from these facilities. In addition, faith-based organizations that apply for or participate in programs supported with Clackamas County small grants may retain their organizational identity including, but not limited to name, internal governance, and mission statements.54841
The goal of the Small Grants Program is to assist organizations whose purpose is to help the most vulnerable residents of Clackamas County. The focus is to fund small projects that would aid these entities in better serving their target populations. These projects shall demonstrate the ability to become fully self-supporting or shall illustrate that the grant request is for a one-time expense.
Priority for grants is given to projects that serve populations located within Clackamas County’s Community Prosperity Collaboratives (North Clackamas, Estacada, Canby), and/or meet the needs of Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities.
Eligible applicants are current nonprofit organizations serving residents of Clackamas County. Eligible projects must address the program’s goal and result in a positive, measurable outcome for Clackamas County residents. Preference will be given to those projects meeting the following criteria:
- Prevent occurrence of larger, more dire problems later;
- Save money later through early intervention;
- Serve people throughout the community.