Investing in inclusive education, youth success, and nonprofit capacity.



The Black United Fund of Oregon (BUF) awards funding to organizations creating more diverse and accepting communities through inclusive educational programs.

BUF’s 2019-20 funding cycle will award grants of $500 to $2,500 to qualifying nonprofit organizations for project, program, or general operating support. BUF is particularly interested in educational initiatives aimed at ending cyclical and generational poverty among Oregon and SW Washington’s undeserved and historically marginalized communities. BUF’s grants are also designed to make funding accessible to grassroots, new and small nonprofits as a way to build organizational and program capacity.

Competitive requests will align with one or more of the following specific focus areas:

  • Helping students successfully complete high school and/or higher education.

  • Working to close achievement gaps.

  • Increasing access to educational opportunities.

  • Introducing youth to science, technology, engineering, arts, math, and the medical field.

  • Guiding youth toward responsible citizenship and academic improvements.

  • Encouraging a post-secondary and college-going culture among young people of color.

  • Building the capacity of grassroots and small nonprofits in achieving one or more of the above focus areas.

funding criteria

BUF evaluates and awards grants using the following funding criteria. Nonprofit organizations demonstrating two or more of the following will be given priority during the review process:

  • Serves ethnically diverse communities, particularly the African-American/Black community, in Oregon and SW Washington.

  • Demonstrates ethnic diversity among staff, board, and its constituency.

  • Operates as a grassroots, community-based group with an annual budget that does not exceed $1 million dollars. Please note that preference and special consideration is given to organizations with annual operating budgets under $600,000.

  • Has limited access to, or difficulty raising, funds due to cultural barriers or the progressive nature of the work.

  • Utilizes culturally-sensitive and -responsive program methodologies.

  • Provides programs that are supported by, and relevant to, the needs of the community being served.

  • Is located within disadvantaged communities in order to better serve those communities.

  • Has a history of, or program staff experienced in working with, diverse populations.


To be eligible for funding through BUF, your organization must:

  • Be a nonprofit organization with a 501(c)3 tax-exempt status from the IRS, or have arranged for grant administration by a fiscal sponsor. NOTE: BUF cannot be the fiscal sponsor for any organization applying for grant funding through this process. Fiscal sponsor organizations may only support one (1) organization applying for funding through this process per grant cycle.

  • Comply with terms outlined for previously awarded BUF grants, e.g., submit all outstanding evaluation forms, agreed terms of service, and digital photos prior to re-applying.

  • Serve constituents residing in Oregon and/or SW Washington.


  • Individuals, public institutions, or for-profit corporations.

  • Activities or items purchased prior to grant award decisions.

  • Organizations with annual budgets exceeding $1,000,000. NOTE: Operating budget size limitations do not apply to fiscal sponsors.

  • Capital campaigns.

  • Capital expenditures such as construction, demolition, or acquisition of property.

  • Grant-making organizations or for organizations who will redistribute or re-grant funding received from BUF.

  • Organizations or programs that are only available to persons of a particular faith, religion or set of beliefs.

  • Political campaigns, political organizations, lobbying or candidates for public office.

  • Endowments.

  • Scholarships.

  • Luncheons, banquets, dinners, family picnics or fraternal reunions, or galas and other fundraising events.

If you are still unsure of your project or program’s eligibility, please contact BUF before submitting an LOI at 503-282-7973 or