Grant Writing Resources

Grants Office P.O. Box 19000 Portland, OR 97280-0990 | 971-722-4643 | FAX: 971-722-8390 | grants@pcc.edu

The Grants Office maintains a funding resource center including the searchable Foundation Directory CD and the Guide to Federal Funding to Two-year Colleges. An up-to-date Oregon Foundation Databook is available in the PCC Foundation office. The Databook lists all Oregon foundations, their application requirements, and their recent grants. Please contact the Grants Office if you’d like to use these resources. These resources are available for PCC faculty and staff. We are not able to provide services to external organizations or individuals.

Resources on this page

And on a separate web page, we have sample grants available.

Links to information about federal grants

If you see a funding source you think may be able to support your project, contact the Grants Office for assistance before proceeding.

American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)
maintains a list of funding opportunities for community colleges on this site, updated biweekly. 
Federal grant opportunities (grants.gov)
allows you to search for federal grants by subject area. It also provides a link to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.
The Grantsmanship Center
This site provides a quick link to daily Federal Register announcements and an archive of Federal Register Announcements. It also allows you to search abstracts of top-ranked federal grant proposals and top foundations by state.
National Science Foundation
This site provides information on NSF funding opportunities, general NSF grant information, guides to writing NSF proposals, and information about NSF grants that have been made, including abstracts.

Links to information on writing grants

Listed below are links to sites with information on how to write grants.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting
This is a basic guide on what goes into the preparation and writing of a proposal.
The Foundation Center
This site offers a variety of online guides and tutorials on topics such as grant seeking, foundations, researching funding sources, creating grant budgets and writing proposals.
Non-profit Guides grant-writing tools
This site provides simple guides to proposal basics, writing letters of inquiry, cover letters and components of full proposals. It also provides sample proposals. 

The Grants Office maintains a grant-writing resource center that includes several books on grant-writing. Please contact the Grants Office if you’d like to use these resources.

PCC answers to questions frequently asked on grant applications

Click on a topic below to get more information.

About Portland Community College (PCC)

PCC is the largest institution of higher education in the State of Oregon, enrolling one of 16 residents in its five-county, 1,500 square mile service area. It is a public, two-year institution with three comprehensive campuses (Cascade, Rock Creek, and Sylvania) offering lower division college transfer and professional technical programs and adult, community and developmental education. In addition, in partnership with business, labor, educational institutions and public agencies, PCC's Extended Learning Campus provides training opportunities for the local workforce at four workforce training centers and approximately 200 other locations throughout its service area. PCC enrolls over 92,000 students annually.

PCC’s mission is to provide a quality education in an atmosphere that encourages the full realization of each individual's potential. Through effective teaching and supportive student services, PCC prepares students for success as individuals, members of a democratic society and citizens of a rapidly changing world.

PCC is affordable, convenient and open to everyone regardless of their educational background, skills or abilities. PCC is well regarded for its efforts to increase access to higher education for underrepresented students, including at-risk youth, high-school dropouts, limited English speakers, welfare recipients, the laid-off and unemployed, and the working poor. Approximately one-third of all full- and part-time credit students received some form of scholarship, work-study arrangement, loans or grants to help pay their tuition in 2007 -08.

The faculty and students are diverse on many counts, including age, ethnicity, race, native language, socioeconomic status, academic background and educational goals. Student demographics include 10% Asian, 11% Hispanic, 6% African American, 70% Caucasian, 1% Native American and 2% multi-racial. The average age of PCC's students is 33 years, and women make up 55% of the student population. Sixty-two percent of students are employed and 18% have already earned a post secondary degree.

PCC began as the adult education program of the Portland Public Schools. In 1961, the school district established the college as a separate operating unit, and in 1968, due to the College's rapid growth, voters of the Portland metropolitan area approved the formation of a new college district and a tax base. A seven-member board of directors, elected by zones for four-year terms, governs the College.

About the Portland Community College Foundation

Founded in 1982, the PCC Foundation's mission is to encourage private support to enrich PCC's educational programs, to promote staff and faculty excellence, and to provide scholarships and emergency aid to students. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees who represent a wide range of business and community interests. The PCC Foundation has managed successfully millions of dollars of private contributions, grants and contract funds and has exercised sound professional judgment in managing its scholarship and educational programs. Its small staff is paid from PCC general funds, allowing all contributions to the Foundation to go directly to student support and faculty innovation. The Foundation awarded scholarships of $790,000 to 650 students for the 2011-12 school year, and its endowment is valued at $5 million.  

Summary of business practices

Portland Community College adheres to the highest standards of business practice. College policies prescribe hiring and personnel practices, contracting rules, purchasing and competitive procurement process rules, accounting practices, and safety and risk policies for the College. The College Board of Directors also ensures compliance to all state and federal laws, administrative rules, and other requirements relating to public employees, including collective bargaining rights, and fair labor practices. PCC board members and all staff are considered “public officials” and are therefore subject to the Oregon Government Standards and Practices Law, which prohibits them from using their positions for personal financial gain. 

Accounting

The College adheres to a comprehensive fiscal control framework that is designed both to protect the College’s assets from loss, theft, or misuse and to compile sufficient reliable information for the preparation of PCC’s financial statement in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP). Annually, as required by the Oregon Revised Statutes, the federal Single Audit Act and OMB regulations, the College Board contracts with an independent firm to conduct an audit of the College’s fiscal affairs. For over a decade, PCC has received an unqualified opinion on its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Single Audit compliance requirements. Additionally, the College has received an Excellence in Financial Reporting award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada since 1992.

Contract and Grant Accounting

The College maintains a separate Contract and Grant Accounting Unit to supervise the fiscal and reporting functions of contracts and grants. The Contract and Grant Accounting staff serves as a resource for grant project directors, interpreting policies and procedures, answering budget-related questions, and assisting in preparation of budget projections and spending plans. The staff also approves all expenditures, prepares all financial reports and billings, sends out invoices to funding sources, monitors subcontractors fiscal responsibilities, archives all fiscal records according to award and/or College requirements, and deposits all funds.

Purchasing

Purchasing of supplies, equipment and external consultant contracts is conducted through the PCC Purchasing Department in keeping with Oregon Statutes and PCC Board policies. Quantity purchasing using appropriate bidding processes is used whenever possible to ensure the most economical use of funds. PCC policy states: “If more than one supplier may be available and the total purchase is estimated to exceed $50,000, the College shall select a contractor through formal competitive bidding.” PCC’s policy for requests more than $5,000 but less than $50,000 states, “the department must obtain a minimum of three competitive quotes (informal competitive process). At least one of the quotes should be obtained from a Minority/Women/Emerging Small Business firm.” 

Cash management

For the purpose of investment of funds, the College is governed by the Oregon Revised Statutes relating to investment of public funds. The College’s investment guidelines are slightly more conservative than allowed by the state statutes, with emphasis on preservation of principal and sufficient liquidity to pay College obligations when due. Within these constraints, the College actively manages its excess cash to insure idle funds are fully invested and the return on investment is optimized. The College Board of Directors holds responsibility for the fiduciary responsibility for such investments.

Risk management

Risk management is vital to controlling property, casualty and workers’ compensation losses through the coordination of safety, loss prevention, and insurance and claims administration. The College maintains a full complement of insurance coverage. Liability coverage is “broad form,” including errors and omissions and “wrongful acts” coverage, and is maintained with policy limits totaling $5,000,000. The College has elected to manage its own worker’s compensation program as a cost saving measure and is paying the expenses of this program currently with insurance coverage only for claims exceeding $325,000. The College has given the Oregon State Treasurer a bank certificate of deposit of $300,000 to hold for security to cover this self-insurance program.

Human Resources

The College follows Board approved hiring procedures. As an AA/EEO institution, PCC continues to promote staff diversity. This includes posting job openings in a variety of publications; mandatory training of screening committees; and minority, male, and female representation on screening committees. These hiring practices contribute to an expansive search that increases the diversity and quality of candidates for vacancies and hence the excellence of PCC's faculty and staff. 


Grants Office

What others are saying about us:

"Without the help of the PCC Grants Department, I would not have been able to submit an important grant that would benefit my department. The personnel explained the detailed paperwork and supported me through the complete process. Their writing skills and ability to concisely pull together the grant application in a very short time period was crucial to submitting a quality grant proposal."

Josette Beach, Director, Dental Sciences Department