The Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund

In 1970, Maybelle Clark Macdonald and her husband, Fred Macdonald, founded the Maybelle Clark Macdonald (MCM) Fund. Known for her kindheartedness and passion for the arts, Maybelle Macdonald grew up in Oregon living a life dedicated to philanthropy and working for the greater good. Even at the age of 9, she and her father helped struggling families in Oregon’s logging camps. Throughout her life, she looked to help women and children, and later created the MCM Fund, which became one of the state’s largest foundations.

According to the website, the foundation is dedicated to “relieve the misfortune and promote the well-being of mankind.” More specifically, the foundation has looked to support “the good works of Oregonians” by partnering with non-profit organizations based in Oregon that are focused on long-term public service work. Now, 40 years later, the foundation continues to honor Macdonald’s mission to help improve the lives of those in desperate situations and promote public welfare.

Major Program Categories:

Since 2001, the fund has given over $93 million in grants to non-profit organizations. Looking to help Oregon’s most vulnerable populations, the fund awards grants to organizations that help the community in five areas: cultural arts, education, human services, medical needs, and public benefits.

The fund’s grants are meant to support organizations in increasing their fundraising capacity, growing their offered programs and services, and ensuring sustainability. Grant recipients have included organizations offering youth mentorship, alcohol and drug rehabilitation services, support for abused women and children, and resources for low-income populations. Further, the fund has focused on helping children via providing educational scholarships, funding youth arts programs and promoting job resources.

The fund looks to give people a “head start in improving their and others’ lives and foster community leadership,”according to the website. Out of all its focus areas, the fund awards the most in grants to organizations that offer “human services.” From 2001 to 2016, the fund gave over $45 million in grants to human service organizations. For instance, the Oregon Food Bank received $250,000 to expand its School Pantry Program. As a result of the fund’s support, the food bank has provided over 1.2 million meals to families throughout the state.

How to Apply: The fund is looking for organizations with a primary focus on at least one of its five main areas: cultural arts, education, human services, medical needs and public benefit. In order to be considered, organizations must submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) and indicate an MCM Fund Board Sponsor. LOIs are accepted and reviewed twice a year. For the spring grant cycle, applications open January 15, LOIs should be submitted by February 15 and completed applications are due April 15. For the fall grant cycle, applications open July 15, LOIs must be submitted by August 15 and completed applications are due by October 15. More information regarding the grant application process can be found on the website.

Name of Foundation: The Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund

Location: Bend, Oregon


Contact Information:

Maybelle Clark Fund Post Office Box 1496 Bend, Oregon 97709


Coverage Area: Oregon

 Subject Area: Cultural arts, education, human services, medical, and public benefit (with a focus on low-income populations)

Total Assets: $125 million (2015)

 Last Year Total Grants Paid: $5.23 million (2014)

Recent News & Grantmaking:

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Stephanie Pham
About Stephanie Pham 16 Articles
Stephanie is a summer fellow for The Chronicle of Social Change and Fostering Media Connections as part of Stanford University's Haas Center for Public Service fellowship program.