James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation

OVERVIEW: This Portland-based family funder supports education and the arts in Oregon. There are four grant application deadlines per year.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts, education

IP TAKE:  Art is a big deal for this funder, and grants for art greatly outnumber those for education. Make sure to complete a Cultural Data Profile through DataArts—it's a required part of your grant application.

PROFILE: The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation was established in 2002 to support and improve the quality of life for the people of Oregon. It is based in Portland and has a statewide focus.

This funder has two areas of interest: arts and education. More specifically, classroom education and visual and performing arts are the main focuses.

The foundation's education grants fund K-12 public school programs for strengthening teacher effectiveness and student proficiency. Reading Results, I Have a Dream at Alder School, College Possible, REAP and Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality are examples of past grantees. The Arts Alliance of Yamhill County–McMinnville received $2,850 and Wisdom of the Elders in Portland received $50,000. Miller does not typically fund capital projects, equipment, higher education, pre-K education, after-school programs or private schools. K-12 public schools are funded through separate invitation-only grants.

In its arts giving, Miller will fund projects, capacity building, and on occasion, change capital. It gives broadly to visual, performing, media, literary, and interdisciplinary forms of art that express the human condition. It does not typically provide arts organizations with general operating support, capital purchases or facility construction. It's given recent grants mostly to groups in Portland, but also in Lake Oswego, Hillsboro, and Medford. Sample grantees include the Portland Festival Symphony, Portland Community Media, and the Jazz Society of Oregon.

Grantmaking is restricted to groups in Oregon. Emergency grant requests cannot be accommodated here.

Application deadlines typically fall in January, April, July, and October. The applications are reviewed in March, June, September, and December.  The process begins online; applications can be found on their website.

General questions can be directed to the staff at 503-546-3191 or info@millerfound.org. The staff welcomes a quick phone call to verify your eligibility before spending time filling out a grant application.

Keep up with the foundation at its news section. Miller has sponsored workshops to help arts organizations harness and utilize the power of data to improve their operations.


  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)