Community Fund

GRANT APPLICATION GUIDELINES: The Leo Adler Community Fund makes contributions to charitable organizations in arts and humanities, education, health, social and historical welfare, children and youth, civic and environmental causes and other fields. The Community Fund focus parallels the focus of Leo during his lifetime. That is, will the grant, if awarded, have a truly lasting impact on Baker County and North Powder, their citizens and their community.

HOW ARE THE AWARDS MADE?: A Selection Committee of seven (7) persons has been given absolute discretion in making the determination of recipients and the amounts of the grants. They are guided by a combination of their knowledge of the lifetime interests and organizations which Mr. Adler supported, as well as their own judgment. The Committee consists of six (6) members from the Baker County and North Powder areas as well as one (1) member from the First Republic Trust Company.

THE PROCESS: Here are the keys needed for a successful application: it is not a “hop scotch” exercise where the applicant compiles a list of numbers, but rather it should be a thorough reflection of the organization. We encourage you to carefully think about what you ask for, why you are asking for it, what you hope to accomplish, your project’s chances of success, and the project’s relevance to this community. Finally, consider whether or not this project will make a lasting difference.


Frequently Asked Questions About Community Grants


Q1. Where can I get a grant application form?
A. Click HERE for the online application


Q2. How do I apply?
A. Use a generic email for the username. Please make sure it does not belong to one person, who could then leave. All information is saved under this username. Save your password in a safe place. We cannot retrieve passwords.


Q3. How should I submit a grant application to the Community Fund Committee?
A. Applicants should submit their online applications no later than September 1 of each year. Applications must contain all required information and accompanying documentation in order to be considered for funding.


Q4. What happens next?
A. Under the terms of Leo Adler’s Trust a selection committee of seven persons has absolute discretion to determine the recipients and amounts of grant awards.

We review all complete applications and are guided in part by our knowledge of the interests and organizations supported by Leo Adler during his lifetime. In addition, we use our own judgment to further worthy projects by charitable or non-profit organizations benefiting Baker County and North Powder.

The committee will notify applicants in writing of the approval or denial of their request before December 31st of each year.


Q5. Will the committee award multiple year or phased grants?
A. On occasion. We will consider applications that demonstrate thorough strategic planning for each phase and clear, measurable goals or outcomes. You must show how you plan to sustain the project in the future without Adler funds.


Q6. Does the committee make “challenge” or matching grants?
A. Yes. The committee prefers projects where organizations attempt to “leverage” or combine Adler resources with those of other funders, to inspire other funders to make an initial contribution toward a project, or to increase the size of their gifts.

It is important for you to document individuals and other organizations who have contributed to your goal project. Include information about the amounts requested from other individuals or funders you have applied to for funding. Be sure to include how much you have raised through fundraising efforts, membership drives, etc. We want to know what you are doing to raise money on your own.


Q7.Why does the committee turn down applications?
A. There are a number of reasons. Our decision to decline to fund an application does not necessarily mean that we believe a project lacks merit. Some common reasons include:
• the project does not meet legal requirements to be treated as a charitable grantee
• the project does not primarily benefit Baker County or North Powder
• the application is not submitted by September 1st
• there are more worthy projects than dollars available
• the project, when compared with others, does not demonstrate a need as great as those awarded
• the applicant does not clearly demonstrate a need for the project
• the organization relies too heavily and/or too exclusively on Adler funds for support
• the application does not articulate a solid plan for implementation and measurable results
• the application appears to have been thrown together at the last minute
• financial information does not make sense
• the applicant does not demonstrate how the project will be sustained or maintained after Adler grant funds are expended
• the application lacks evidence of community support for the project
• the application appears to be a duplication of effort
• the application appears to show a lack of coordination with other community projects having similar goals
• the organization does not demonstrate solid financial management capacity and/or the ability to be a good steward of donated funds


Q8. What are the key elements of a sound application?
A. A sound application:
• results from solid planning
• addresses community needs and shows how the project will meet those needs
• has a carefully detailed and realistic budget
• makes sense in relation to the organization’s mission
• has multiple funding sources
• has clearly identified leadership with the qualifications, skills and experience needed to complete the project successfully
• identifies specific, measurable goals or outcomes within a defined timeframe by which to judge its success
• has a plan for ongoing funding or sustainability, including a succession plan in case of a change of leadership


Q9. Are there activities that the committee generally does not fund?
A. In general, we do not award grants to:
• individuals (For scholarships for education and training, please see the Application for the Leo Adler Student Scholarship Fund at:
• retire debts
• make up operational deficits
• fund political campaigns or influence legislation
• fund endowments
• replace funding for activities or materials previously supported by federal, state or local public funds


Q10. Is there a limit to the number of grant applications we may submit?
A. An organization will not be eligible to receive more than one grant award per fiscal year. We encourage your organization’s leadership to think strategically about your priorities and community needs, and then submit only your highest priority proposal.


Q11. Do you consider applications from partnerships for multiple projects?
A. Yes. We encourage strategic partnerships to dovetail their interests, reduce duplication and coordinate their efforts. We encourage applications for projects that build the community’s capacity to solve community problems. However, each entity’s project will be considered on its own merits. We reserve the discretion to award grants to some partners while declining to award grants to other partners.

Entities not choosing to become a member of a partnership will not be discriminated against because of their decision not to join.


Q12. Should we hire a grant writer or project developer/manager?
A. It is not necessary to hire a professional grant writer or outside project manager. If you have planned your project well, answer the questions in our application clearly, and attach all requested documentation, you will cover what we are looking for.

You may choose to hire a grant writer. If so, we ask that you disclose how much you are paying the grant writer and the source of those funds. Please tell us whether you are paying a percentage or a fee contingent upon the amount of the grant awarded.


Q13. Does the committee provide funding for on-going operations?
A. Ordinarily, we do not look favorably upon applications for ongoing operational costs.


Q14. Will the committee consider applications from public entities (city, county and school districts)?
A. Yes, but typically we will not award grants to public entities when asked for funds that will be used for what are usually considered to be core functions of that entity. This is particularly true when a public entity seeks to replace resources previously supported by public funds, tax revenues, bonds, etc. We have awarded funds for applications submitted by a non-profit group or partnership applying under the “umbrella” of a city, school district or other public entity serving as the fiscal agent for the non-profit group.


Q15. Does the committee make site visits or make other inquiries after receiving applications?
A. Occasionally. We may request a meeting with the organization’s leadership or project manager. In addition, as part of our “due diligence,” we may visit the project site to ensure that Adler funds are used for the purpose outlined in the application.


Q16. May the community fund applications be submitted at any other time than June 1 through September 1?
A. Emergency applications may be submitted and will be considered if a true emergency exists. The burden is on the applicant to demonstrate a true emergency exists. We reserve the discretion whether to consider it an emergency.


Q17. What happens next if my application is awarded?
A. Representatives of First Republic Trust Company will contact you informing you of your award, will ask you to complete a “Grant Award Acknowledgement” form, and will include a “Grant Update Report” that will be due on July 1st of the following year.


Q18. What if I have not expended all of the award by July 1st?
A. An unused award should either be returned or, in cases where the funds are expected to be expended for the purpose they were awarded, you may request an extension. We reserve discretion on whether or not to grant such an extension.


Q19. Can I use the award for a purpose different than that described in my application?
A. No. If you cannot use the funds for the purpose intended, you must return the funds as described above, unless you apply for and receive written permission from Adler.


Q20. How can I learn more about Leo Adler and the Adler Community Fund?
A. Please see the background information on this website.
Also, for more complete biographical information about Leo Adler, his values and his charitable funding priorities during his lifetime, see The Leo Adler Story: The Spark and the Light. Contact the Baker County Library or Betty’s Books in Baker City to order a copy.

With further questions, please email the Leo Adler Community Fund.


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