Collins Foundation

OVERVIEW: This family foundation supports a variety of issues, as long as they are within the state of Oregon. The foundation has an overarching focus on equity and accepts unsolicited proposals.

FUNDING AREAS: Health, social services, education, housing, employment, arts and culture, Oregon communities, environment

IP TAKE: Your nonprofit doesn’t need an overall focus on equity to catch Collins’ attention, but the particular program you pitch to them should at least have an inclusive angle.

PROFILE: Based in Portland, Oregon, the Collins Foundation was founded in 1947 by Truman W. Collins Sr. and other members of the family of E.S. Collins. This funder invests in rural and urban nonprofits in Oregon in the areas of health, social services, education, housing, and employment. It also gives to efforts related to neighborhoods, communities, arts and culture and Oregon’s natural environment.

Back in 2013, the foundation revised its mission to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. These are goals that the foundation implements in its grantmaking, hiring, training, and ongoing grantee relationships. Collins sticks to causes within Oregon.

Grant applications are accepted throughout the year, with no due dates or deadlines. Collins typically reviews proposals in February, April, June, August, October, and December. No letter of inquiry is required, and full proposals can be submitted in the initial contact. It is necessary to mail your application or deliver it by hand to the Portland office. Questions about eligibility or relevance can be sent to Sara Yada at or Cindy Knowles at

The foundation's grants are between $5,000 to $750,000, with the average grant at about $35,000. General operating support is considered for new initiatives, growth periods, and for implementation of multiyear plans. The foundation also provides capital support when other funders are involved. A list of past grants with amounts is here.

Current special initiatives are listed on the funder’s website. For example, the Chalkboard Project was launched in 2004 to improve K-12 public schools. This initiative was supported by Meyer Memorial Trust, the Collins Foundation, the Ford Family Foundation, JELD-WEN Foundation, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, and the Oregon Community Foundation.

Keep up with grants and interests on the News page.


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