The Meyer Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations whose work advances and supports three long-term community goals for the Washington region:
- The region provides an adequate supply of housing that low-income individuals and families can afford, and services that enable individuals and families to remain stably housed
- Individuals and families in the bottom quartile of income build assets and increase financial security
- Youth and adults are prepared for the workforce, obtain family-sustaining jobs, and remain employed
What We Support
Our primary grantmaking strategy is to provide general operating support to effective community-based organizations, partnerships and networks whose work is aligned with these three goals. We support:
- Preventing homelessness and moving homeless individuals and families off the streets and out of shelters into safe and secure housing they can afford.
- Legal services that address stable and affordable housing, education, employment, and economic security for low-income individuals and families.
- High-quality out-of-school-time programming for elementary, middle and high school youth. We prioritize work that engages young people year-round and over multiple years, and that can demonstrate improved academic performance or increased readiness for college and career.
- Increasing college-readiness among youth from low-income families and supporting their efforts to complete college.
- Introducing young people to career options, preparing them for the workforce, and connecting them to employment.
- High-quality adult basic education (ABE), English language literacy, job-readiness, and job-training and placement. We give priority to programs that offer certified credentials, have career mobility options, target high-growth sectors, have established relationships with employers, offer or lead to living wage jobs, and are a part of a long-term individual or family sustainability plan.
- Financial literacy and education programs as well as other tools and resources to help young people and adults stabilize their finances and build assets.
- Research and advocacy to advance our three goals. Key issue areas include creating and preserving affordable housing, improving access to public benefits, expanding access to early care and early childhood education, closing the achievement gap, reducing the number of young people who are neither in school nor employed, and strengthening the region’s workforce development systems.
- Community organizing to foster broader alignment around the three long-term goals, with a special focus on providing substantive and meaningful ways for low-income residents to influence policy decisions that affect their lives.
- Direct service and advocacy that advances the three goals for the region through collaboration and collective action across organizations and sectors. Examples include substantial partnerships among two or more organizations, coalitions, and formal collective impact initiatives. We seek to support work that brings together organizations and stakeholders in new ways and that has the potential to make significant strides toward achieving Meyer’s long-term goals for the region. We also provide capacity-building support for this work through our Organizational Effectiveness program.
We receive many more applications for funding than we are able to support, and the process is competitive. Beyond alignment with our goals for long-term impact, we use several additional criteria to inform grant decisions.
We support organizations with:
- Strong staff and board leadership
- Effective financial management, stable finances, and sustainable funding
- The capacity to measure and communicate impact
- A commitment to working in partnership with other nonprofits, government, and business
- An understanding of the interconnectedness of the challenges facing people who are economically vulnerable and the ability to address those challenges in a holistic way
Types of Support
In most cases, Meyer awards general operating support grants. We may award a small number of project-specific grants in circumstances in which a particular project aligns with the three regional goals but the overall work of the organization does not.
We also make a limited number of multi-year and capital grants to organizations with whom we have a long funding relationship and who can demonstrate impact on one or more of the three primary goals for the region.
If you are considering applying for a multi-year or capital grant, we strongly encourage you to have a conversation with a program officer before submitting your application.
We Do Not Fund
- Individuals, either through scholarships or other forms of emergency financial assistance
- Medical or scientific research
- Organizations or programs focused on a single disease or medical condition
- Delivery of healthcare services
- Capital for construction or development of housing
- Start-up and operating support for housing developers
- Food banks and feeding programs
- Scholarships or financial assistance
- Public, public charter or private schools
- Programs that promote religious doctrine
- Short-term or seasonal programs
- Special events or conferences