Community Engagement

Title: Thriving Entrepreneurs Grant Evaluator

Start Date: July 1, 2023

Organization: Oregon Community Foundation

Location: Virtual

Volunteer Position: Thriving Entrepreneurs Grant Evaluator The Oregon Community Foundation is a statewide nonprofit organization that administers permanent charitable funds established through gifts and bequests from individuals, families, businesses, and other organizations. Founded in 1973 with an initial contribution of $63,000, OCF now has an endowment of more than $3 billion. Funds are placed into an investment pool, managed by professionals, and guided by our investment committee. OCF provides over $60 million in grants annually to more than 4,000 organizations statewide. The mission of The Oregon Community Foundation is to improve life in Oregon and promote effective philanthropy. 2023 Thriving Entrepreneurs Grant OCF understands entrepreneurs’ critical role in shaping our economic and community vitality in Oregon. Entrepreneurs have big ideas and creative ways to solve problems. Still, they often need help developing their business plans, go-to-market strategies, recruiting talented teams or board members, and raising money. For over a decade, OCF has provided grants to nonprofit organizations that support entrepreneurs across the state. The Thriving Entrepreneurs Grant provides an open, responsive grantmaking opportunity that offers organizations flexible funding to nonprofit organizations, with prioritized support for those organizations that serve entrepreneurs who are women, people of color, living in under-resourced rural communities, or working in under-resourced sectors such as consumer products. Purpose of this volunteer position: Grant evaluators conduct thorough assessments of grant applications, providing objective, thoughtful, and relevant information for a decision-making process guided by the foundation’s funding objectives and responsive to community needs. For this volunteer opportunity, Grant evaluators will support OCF in reviewing Thriving Entrepreneurs Grant applications.


• Become acquainted with grant program guidelines and review practices by attending an orientation and training session

•Read and analyze grant applications using a scoring matrix, then submit scoring reports

•Participate in grant evaluator virtual meetings to discuss application recommendations

•Share expertise and other insights as they relate to entrepreneurship across the state of Oregon business community

Qualifications: We seek a diverse group of grant evaluators with lived experience in community and business advancement. New grant evaluators are encouraged to participate. Representation from rural and urban communities is desired.

Professional and lived experience in the following topics:

• Small business ownership/ entrepreneurship

• Nonprofit management

• Community development

• Economic development

• Business management, operations, sales, and marketing

Skills and traits needed

• Awareness of the diversity and complexity of communities and the nonprofit sector

• Ability to analyze grant applications objectively

• Ability to communicate, both orally and in writing

• Discretion

• Ability to participate in virtual committee meetings

For this volunteer opportunity, OCF will not accept evaluators who are professional grant writers, consultants, or representatives from nonprofits that plan on applying for the Thriving Entrepreneurs grant, as these pose a conflict of interest. It is the personal responsibility of the grant evaluator to identify any possible conflict of interest situation that may impact on the review and notify the committee lead.

Time Commitment and travel: The time commitment for this volunteer opportunity is as follows:

• Period: July – October 2023

• Attend evaluator orientation and training: 3 hours

• Read and evaluate grant applications at your own pace: 10 hours

• Attend three (3) grant evaluation committee meetings: 6 hours

• Potential one-on-one check-ins with Program Officer: 1 hour

Total estimated volunteer time: 20 hours.

All meetings will be virtual over Zoom. Travel is not required for this grant review.

Benefits: Thriving Entrepreneurs Grant Evaluators will learn more about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Oregon and receive a $500 honorarium at the completion of the reviews.

Location: The grant evaluator training, reviews, report-out and follow up activities will be conducted virtually over zoom.

Training: OCF will provide complete onboarding and training for grant evaluators, including application review, orientation to OCF, and training on the grant guidelines and review process. One-on-one coaching by the Program Officer will also be available to support the evaluation process.

Program Contact: Maribel De Leon, Program Officer for Economic Vitality, or 503-552-3517

How to apply: Go to the Volunteer Resources page to find the Volunteer Profile form and Conflict of Interest Form.

Please complete and return the forms to Sonja McKenzie, Community Engagement Coordinator, at