How to Apply

How to Apply

“Thanks to the support of foundations and supporters like The Ronald Naito MD Foundation, we achieved our largest growth yet, enabling our programs to heal domestic violence survivors, train multi-disciplinary professionals, and build hopeful communities in every state across the nation.”

— William Ackerman, HOPE Alliance

The Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation supports local, national, and international initiatives in the following categories: climate and planet, health and health equity, and sustainable communities. We also support Oregon-based arts and education organizations focused on under-resourced communities. 

We offer unrestricted grants, mostly ranging from $5,000-$50,000. We occasionally fund smaller, larger, and multi-year requests. We tend not to fund organizations with annual budgets over $20 million, although there are some exceptions. We often fund grassroots initiatives.

With our grants, we try to keep a balance between organizations providing frontline services and organizations working to create and advocate for systemic solutions. We also try to keep our application and reporting forms straightforward: we don’t want nonprofits to be distracted from fulfilling their missions by complicated forms.

“Thank you so much for your phenomenal support; it is assisting us greatly in fighting the harmful misinformation on vaccines that are still doing the rounds. Your grant is helping us to empower people to make decisions about their health based on accurate information.”

— An-li Theron, Africa Check
Funding Priorities
  • Climate and Planet*
    Initiatives that tackle the root causes of the climate crisis and mitigate its damage.
  • Health and Health Equity*
    Initiatives that provide or advocate for compassionate and accessible healthcare, especially for under-resourced people and communities. Also the physical and social determinants of health: clean water, nutrition, housing, racial equity, safety from violence, etc.
  • Sustainable Communities*
    Innovative programs to address pressing social issues and develop new and equitable models of infrastructure so that communities can thrive (environmentally, economically, socially).
    * For these categories, we accept applications from US-based or -affiliate organizations working at both grassroots and systemic levels in the US and internationally. Organizations with equivalency determinations will also be considered.
  • Oregon Arts and Education
    Imaginative arts and education programs focused on under-resourced Oregonians, that nourish our humanity and help build healthy, soulful, and vibrant communities. Please note: this is a secondary funding priority for us and receives a smaller portion of our annual funding. We should also explain that we fund arts, education, and arts education, not just arts education.
Funding Trends

2019-2022: Under-represented areas:

  • Nonprofits that work internationally or domestically outside of Oregon
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Global health equity
  • Systemic/long-term interventions
  • Advocacy/policy work.  

If you work in these areas and are eligible within our funding priorities and restrictions, please consider applying.

2019-2021: Over-represented areas:

  • Arts and education initiatives
  • Oregon nonprofits across all sectors
  • Frontline services*

We value these types of work and still seek applications from these categories, but applicants may find these categories more competitive if current trends continue.

* We are seeking more balance between systemic and frontline organizations.

We tend not to fund:

  • Organizations whose primary constituents are not under-resourced (save in climate/planet, which we regard of global impact)
  • Organizations that require clients to meet certain mandates to access services (mandated “volunteering” or curricula, proof of employment/job-seeking, membership dues, high barrier shelters, faith requirements or proselytizing, etc.)
  • Primarily government-, corporate-, member-, or industry-funded nonprofits, except when there is a specific request that can’t be funded through normal means
  • Education or arts organizations located outside Oregon
  • Climate and planet: organizations that advance cap-and-trade, specific species conservation or local ecosystem conservation (except where it directly impacts human health), and generally efforts that do not have climate change mitigation as a primary goal. 
  • Arts and Education: artists’ residencies, sponsorship requests
Timeline

Winter/Spring Cycle 2022
January 24: LOIs open
February 23: LOIs close, 5pm PST
March 19: Selected organizations invited to submit full application.
April 19: Full applications close, 5pm PST; trustee review begins.
May 20: Grants announced. Funding will be issued promptly.
April 5, 2023: Grant reports due.

Summer/Fall Cycle 2022

July 11: LOIs open
August 8: LOIs close, 5pm PST
September 12: Selected organizations invited to submit full application.
October 7: Full applications close, 5pm PST; trustee review begins.
November 14: Grants announced. Funding will be issued promptly.


All grant cycles are open to the public. Please know that we are working continually to make our funding more responsive and accessible. We welcome feedback and suggestions.

Eligibility

Returning applicants:

Past grant recipients are eligible to reapply as long as their grant term has expired and their final report has been submitted when we begin application review (not when we begin LOI review). For example, if you received a one-year grant in Fall 2021, you are eligible to apply again in Summer/Fall 2022, as long as you have submitted your final report by October 7 when we begin application reviews.

For all applicants:

To be eligible for Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation funding, your organization must:

  • Be a Section 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that is classified as a public charity under Section 509(a) 1 or 2 of the United States tax code, or have a fiscal sponsor with documented MOU.
  • Have an office or affiliate office within the United States and a US EIN.
  • Foreign organizations with active US-equivalency determinations may also be considered.
  • Comply with Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation’s anti-discrimination policy that ensures it does not grant to organizations that 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.

In order to ensure conformity to IRS rules for private foundations, and to ensure impactful and equitable grantmaking, we will not consider grant requests for:

  • Medical or pharmaceutical research
  • Prognosis specific support organizations (eg. cancer, ALS, etc.)
  • Hospital systems and their affiliate clinics or provider groups. (Note: we will consider applications from stand-alone 501(c)3 community clinics)
  • Fraternal organizations, service clubs, labor organizations, merchant associations, chambers of commerce, etc.
  • Section 501(c)4 or (c)6 organizations or 509(a)3 supporting organizations; political organizations or organizations designed primarily to lobby or advance legislation or political candidates
  • Private foundations (in limited circumstances, private operating foundations may be acceptable)
  • Debt retirement, deficit reduction, memorial campaigns, or sponsorships
  • Programs operated by religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Individuals
  • Private, charter, or public schools and universities (however, 501(c)3-run educational programs that operate across multiple schools will be considered)
  • Athletic teams, school bands and choirs, etc.
  • PTAs and neighborhood associations
  • Any cause from which our trustees or their family or business partners would benefit financially, professionally, educationally, or otherwise
  • Any other activities or organizations for which support would violate IRS regulations governing private foundations.
How to Submit

Once you have reviewed eligibility requirements and restrictions (above), please follow our submission process:

  1. Go to our grant application site (click “Apply Here” below).
  2. Log in with your existing account or set up a new account.
  3. Fill out and submit an LOI. If you would like a Word copy to work in offline, it is available here. All LOIs must be submitted through our online platform, however.
  4. Once we have reviewed your LOI, we will let you know if you’ve made it through to the full application stage. If you have, you can access the main grant application through the same site.
  5. Once you’re logged in, click “edit application.” Draft your application (it will auto-save as long as you’re connected to the internet), and attach the requested documents. If you would like a Word copy of the application to work in offline, it is available here. All applications must be submitted through our system, however. (Note: if you lack any of these documents, please reach out: we may be able to waive certain requirements.)
  6. When you are finished with your application, please go back through to make sure you have ticked all the relevant boxes and filled in all the mandatory fields. We strongly suggest you save your application elsewhere before you submit it.
  7. Select “Submit.” You will receive an email confirmation that your application has been received. (NOTE: We encourage you to submit early, as late submissions will only be accepted in extraordinary circumstances.)

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions. If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for here (please do read them!), you are welcome email info@rwnfoundation.org.

What types of grant requests do you fund?

Our grants are unrestricted and can be used for general operating, program/project, capacity building, capital requests, endowment, seed funding, etc. We do ask you in the application to anticipate the funds’ likely uses, although we know contingencies arise and their use may change. We don’t privilege program or other categories above general operating requests: we are firm believers that you know best what your needs are. We don’t fund debt retirement and a few other categories–please check Eligibility criteria, above.

Is my organization/project a good candidate for funding from RWN Foundation?

To find out whether your proposal is a good fit for our grants, we would encourage you to read our eligibility requirements (above) and the rest of this page, and also read Who We Are and look through our Grants History. If these resources don’t help answer your questions, you are welcome to reach out to info@rwnfoundation.org. We don’t want you to spend your valuable time on a LOI if you’re not a good fit for our priorities, so we would love to learn more and perhaps schedule a call with you. If you can, please reach out well in advance of our LOI deadline: we only have one part-time staff person.

We are not a 501(c)3. Can we still apply?

Yes, in some circumstances. We do require that our grant is channeled to you through fiscal sponsor with 501(c)3 status, and we will need an MOU between your organization and your fiscal sponsor before we can decide upon your application. Please note that if you are applying via a fiscal sponsor, we cannot accept a general operating request from you: we need a restricted request from you to ensure that your project receives and uses the funding. We do not fund individuals in any scenario, regardless of fiscal sponsorship.

We are not a US nonprofit. Can we still apply?

Yes, if you have an office or affiliate office within the United States and a US EIN, or if you have an NGO Source equivalency determination. You’re welcome to reach to info@rwnfoundation.org with questions, although fair warning that we are still learning how to navigate this space as well and that we may not have immediate answers for you!

We are a faith-based organization. Can we apply for one of our programs?

You may apply for one of your programs as long as the program itself is secular, does not prosthelytize or witness to clients, and meets our anti-discrimination standards, meaning that you accept people of all faiths, genders, sexual orientations, and other protected classes to use this program without bias or judgment.

Our budget exceeds $20 million. Can we talk to you about applying?

You are welcome to send us an email or submit an LOI. We occasionally consider some bigger organizations, particularly if it is for a cause that we deem urgent or if it is for a particular project in which a grant of our size might make a difference.

If our 501(c)3 organization engages in lobbying, are we eligible to apply for RWN Foundation funding?

Yes, provided that you meet our eligibility requirements, but none of our grant funds can be used for lobbying.

Where can I find a list of the questions you’ll be asking?

You can download our LOI questions here and our full application here. Please check back annually–our questions may change from year to year. These files will also tell you what attachments/documents you will need.

This is my first grant application and/or my first grant application to RWN Foundation. Can someone review my LOI/application before I submit it?

First of all, don’t panic: we know that people have varying levels of experience in grantwriting, and also that everyone makes mistakes. We also know that some organizations have paid grantwriters and some don’t have professional fundraisers at all: we try to focus on your actual work and not the way your grant is written.

You are welcome to reach out to us with any questions you have. (We will also be adding some grantwriting resources to this site, too.) If there is a question we have during application review or if we spot an error, we will try to reach out to you for a clarification/correction.

I missed a final report deadline. What do I do?

If you missed a final report deadline, please just get in touch. We’ll figure it out.

Can I apply for your arts and education funding if our nonprofit is headquartered outside of Oregon?

Not at this time. Our arts and education funding goes to organizations that are based in and serve Oregonians.

How do I determine how much I should request from RWN Foundation?

There are no hard and fast rules. We prefer to be neither your largest funder nor your smallest (institutional) funder. If we fund you, we might not fund your full request, so please be prepared to adapt accordingly. We enjoy capacity building requests and requests that use our funds to magnify/leverage other funding sources (matching campaigns, collaborations, etc.), but we equally enjoy supporting general operations. We mean it when we say that our grants are unrestricted–we’re most interested in your mission and in the impact our grants can have against your organizational or project budget.

What is your process if we are awarded a grant?

You will be sent an electronic grant agreement through our grants portal for e-signature. Once you’ve submitted that, we will send you your grant funds by check (we are looking into digital funding methods and may be able to offer them in the future) within two weeks (usually much sooner) of receiving your agreement.

We may check in with you during the year for an informal site visit (telephonically or in person based on your consent and convenience). Our reporting requirements are minimal: unless you have a multi-year grant, we only require one report from you, due roughly 11 months after you receive your grant. If you need an extension, no problem.

We’d love to meet you in person. Is that possible?

We’d love to meet with you too. We have lots to learn. We welcome invitations, but if we can’t accept, please don’t assume it’s out of disinterest. We have only four trustees, located in two states, and one part-time staff person–it may just be a matter of bandwidth!

We may occasionally contact grantees to request a site visit. If your organization is selected, we will work with you to find a convenient time (or to postpone it if work is too hectic–we understand). Our site visits are low-key conversations: our goal is to not be too burdensome, and to listen and learn. We’re always grateful for your time and expertise.

Are you still offering Covid-19 funding opportunities?

We do not have a public funding cycle specifically for Covid-19 relief. But in mid-March 2020, we reached out to all of our 2019-2020 grantees to convert their remaining grants to flexible funding for use however most needed. And we granted $200,000 in emergency funds to four different responsive funding coalitions: the Oregon Worker Relief Fund/Oregon Worker Relief Infrastructure Fund, MRG Foundation’s Since Time Immemorial Fund, First Nations Development Institute’s native communities Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund, and the Women’s Foundation of Oregon’s Covid-19 Rapid Response Fund. We also granted twice as much in 2020 and 2021 as we had initially budgeted, which, because our grants are unrestricted funds, can be used as needed.

We are deeply aware that the economic and health impacts of Covid-19 will be felt across the global nonprofit sector, and the communities it serves, for years and that there will be an ongoing need for flexible funding and for higher levels of grant support.

Thank you for your good work in protecting our communities, and please stay safe.

Are your values as a foundation in alignment with ours as a nonprofit?

You can read more about our values on the “Who We Are” page. Our foundation was started by a medical doctor whose wealth came from a Japanese-American mercantile and property business, rather than from exploitative industries. Our investments align with our values: our corpus is entirely comprised of ESG investments and impact investing.


Get in Touch

If you have any questions or problems, please reach out to info@rwnfoundation.org. We welcome any inquiries and try to be as responsive as possible. If you’d like to have a chat before you apply, we’d welcome that too. That said, we have only one part-time staff person and may not be able to respond immediately or field emergency requests. Thank you for your patience!


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