Salem, Ore. – In response to a record number of grant applications and the need within the cultural community, the Cultural Trust invites donors to make their cultural donations by June 30 this year. Donations received in advance of the new fiscal year (July 1) will increase the pool of grant funds available for distribution this summer.

“We received a record 194 applications to our Cultural Development Grant Program this year,” said Cultural Trust Executive Director Brian Rogers. “That reveals the incredible need that arts, heritage and humanities nonprofits are experiencing. Our hope is to support as many of these projects as possible this summer.”

In addition, 70 more cultural nonprofits have recently registered with the Cultural Trust, bringing the total to more than 1,600, he said. Registration and qualification by the Cultural Trust are required to receive grant awards. “These aren’t necessarily new cultural nonprofits,” said Rogers, “but by becoming qualified they are ensuring eligibility for grant funds. Many of the applications to our grant program are from newly registered nonprofits.”

The Cultural Trust’s year-end fundraising campaign focuses on donations by Dec. 31, which is the end of the tax year. Taxpayers who make donations to arts, heritage or humanities nonprofits – and a matching donation to the Cultural Trust – qualify for Oregon’s Cultural Tax Credit as long as both donations are made in the same tax year. Tax credit limits are $500 for an individual, $1,000 for a couple filing jointly and $2,500 for Class-C corporations.

In calendar year 2022, the Cultural Trust received 10,839 donations totaling $5.2 million. However, said Rogers, it is fiscal year donations that, by statute, determine the funds available for FY2024 grant awards.

“With a successful spring appeal, the total available for FY2024 grants could grow to $5.5 million,” said Rogers. “The additional funds would have a huge impact on the cultural community.”

More than half of the money raised by the Cultural Trust is distributed directly to Oregon’s nonprofit cultural community; the remainder grows the Cultural Trust permanent fund. Cultural Trust grants are distributed through five Statewide Cultural Partners – Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Humanities and the Oregon State Office of Historic Preservation – as well as to 45 County/Tribal Cultural Coalitions, who regrant the funds in their communities, and directly to cultural nonprofits via Cultural Development Program grant awards.

See a full list of Trust-funded projects for FY2023.

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The Oregon Cultural Trust was established by the Oregon Legislature in 2001 as a unique means to reward Oregonians who invest in culture. Oregonians who donate to a cultural nonprofit and then make a matching gift to the Cultural Trust receive a 100% state tax credit for their gift to the Trust.