The Multnomah Bar Foundation awards grants to local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations whose programs are aligned with the goals of the Civic Education Fund (formerly the MBA 100th Anniversary Community Gift Fund) to advance civic education and engagement and increase public understanding of the justice system. Made possible by the generous support of the legal community, the MBF Civic Education Fund has awarded over $367,000 in grants since 2006.

2018 Grants Cycle

Local nonprofits interested in receiving grant funding for their civic education or engagement programs are encouraged to submit a letter of inquiry to the Multnomah Bar Foundation via email to Priority is given to new projects that utilize MBA volunteers in the geographic area served by the MBA.

Grants Process and Timeline

January 31
  • Letters of Inquiry due (criteria); send to
February 23
  • Qualifying organizations will receive an invitation to submit a full proposal
March 30
  • Grant applications due
May 25
  • Grant awards announced and funded

Note: Organizations may submit only one application per grants cycle. 

Questions? Contact Pamela Hubbs.

MBF Awards Over $47,000 in Civic Education Grants in 2017

The Multnomah Bar Foundation has awarded $47,320 in grants to 10 area nonprofits for programs that educate people of all ages about the justice system and encourage civic engagement.

Bus Project Foundation was awarded $3,500 for the PolitiCorps Leadership Fellowship program to teach young adults community organizing, campaign and nonprofit management, and leadership skills through a full-time 10-week summer program.

City Club of Portland was granted $5,000 for its Civic Scholars Program to engage youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, providing hands-on learning of advocacy skills and civic education and educational achievement opportunities to disrupt cycles of poverty and maximize students' potential.

Elders in Action was granted $4,000 for a Civics 101 Leadership Academy, to engage and educate elders in the fundamentals of government and advocacy and create informed, involved volunteers and leaders.

League of Women Voters of Oregon was awarded $4,000 to help support their Civics Education, Civil Discourse and Voter Services programs in Multnomah County, including the creation of educational materials on elections and civic education, and voters' guides in English and Spanish.

League of Women Voters of Portland was granted $5,000 to improve communications and increase civic engagement and voter education through educational programs and materials, extended outreach and enhanced publicity.

MetroEast Community Media was awarded $3,800 to produce "Participation: A Practical Guide" (working title), a public service announcement that encourages democratic involvement by providing resources and a roadmap to help people get started or increase their participation in civic activities.

Northwest Family Services (NWFS) was granted $8,000 for Peer Court, where high school student volunteers serve as attorneys, and student volunteers and program graduates serve as jury members to hold youth with first-time misdemeanor offenses accountable in a courtroom setting. Student attorneys receive coaching from licensed attorneys while putting into practice legal concepts and gaining public speaking skills.

Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. received $5,000 for the civic education component of T.O.O.L.S. (Tradeswomen Organized for Outreach, Leadership & Support), providing voter   registration, voter education, civic engagement, and advocacy and legislative work, so that tradeswomen are included in the civic and legislative process on issues that affect them.

Saturday Academy received $1,520 for Kid Lawyer Camp, a summer program for 6-8th grade students that provides a fun, hands-on, in-depth learning experience about the judicial system.

Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees was granted $7,500 for its Voter Education Project, offering group classes and individual sessions that help newly naturalized citizens understand the voting system, how to register to vote and the value of civic participation. The program is part of the New Americans Initiative and promotes full immigrant integration, civic participation and voter engagement.

For more information, contact Pamela Hubbs at 503.222.3275.

Grants History