Philanthropy – The Jill Heiman Vision Fund

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This grant fund honors the memory of Jill Heiman, the Fair’s founding attorney. It supports tax-exempt organizations in Lane County involved in an annually selected focus area such as environmental protection or basic human needs. Donations are provided by Fair volunteers, artists, staff, performers and guests.

🍑 2023 Jill Heiman Vision Fund Applications🍑

In 2023 the Jill Heiman Vision Fund (JHVF) targets grants and projects related to environment and sustainability. Grant proposals of all amounts will be considered. Typical grants in the past have been in the range of $4,000–$6,000, if the impact can be demonstrated and funds are available. Grant proposals for larger amounts will be considered if a strong case is made. The precise amount of money to be allocated will not be known until August or September 2023 (following the Fair).

The JHVF is comprised of donations made by the thousands of Oregon Country Fair participants who make the Oregon Country Fair possible. The Board of Directors matches these donations with a portion of the Fair’s revenue. By selecting projects in advance, potential donors to the fund will know how their donations will be spent. This encourages giving. Unfortunately, it also means there is a risk that a selected project will not be fully funded if donations are less than anticipated.

Proposals must be received no later than Friday,  March 31, 2023, at 5 pm.  Please email a PDF, .txt or .doc formatted proposal to:

If emailing your proposal is not possible, please send 9 copies (printed double sided and stapled) to:

Oregon Country Fair
Jill Heiman Vision Fund
442 Lawrence
Eugene, OR 97401

Who can apply?

Any tax-exempt organization [501(c)(3) for example] or a program that is sponsored by a tax-exempt organization. Applications must include the Tax ID number and an IRS determination letter may be requested if funded.

Who will select the winners?

A committee of volunteers reviews the requests and makes a recommendation to the Board of Directors in the spring of 2023.

Is there a geographic preference?

Funds must be allocated to projects/programs in Lane County, Oregon.  The selected project must have a direct local impact.

Are there any restrictions on the type of proposals to be funded?

Projects must be related to the environment and sustainability. The committee will consider a broad range of ideas. This includes a special project, a capital need, education or general operating funds. The committee may give preference to a proposal that demonstrates a longer-term benefit and impact to the community.

When will the funds be available?

Funding will be available during the fall of 2023. Selected applicants will be issued grant contracts after the funding is secure. Once contracts are signed, grant checks will be available.


The Oregon Country Fair wishes to honor Jill Heiman’s name and her vision by having each of the selected applicants announce receipt of the grant.  Winners will also be asked to submit an article for the Fair Family News (newsletter) that highlights the accomplishments. The Fair will expect a report on the use of funds.

🍑2023 Applications🍑


Cover Page:  On the very top page of your submittal, on letterhead (if available) provide only the following information in the order requested 

  1. Organization Name
  2. Project title and brief (several sentences) synopsis of the request.
  3. Contact person
  4. Address
  5. Email
  6. Phone
  7. Amount of funds requested. This may include a range, if supported in the budget.

Budget:  Please attach a budget that itemizes sources and uses for this proposal.

Additional Pages:

Please respond to the following in short paragraphs. Please limit your responses to a total maximum three typed pages in a font and type size similar (not smaller please!) to the one used in this document (Times New Roman, 11 point). Additional materials, including support letters, may be appended but are not required. 

  1. Describe the project you wish to fund and the target community that you serve. (150 words or fewer)


  1. Why is this particular project a priority? Is it identified in any adopted community plans or strategies?


  1. Describe the experience and organizational capacity of your organization.


  1. How will you raise the other funds needed (if any) to complete this project? What are the specific areas you have identified?  How much funding is in hand, if any, and what are the sources of those funds?

Click here for a printable version of the application instructions

🍑 2022 Jill Heiman Vision Fund Recipients🍑

Grants will help people in need

Four nonprofit organizations that help meet people’s basic needs have been selected to receive the donations to the Jill Heiman Vision Fund from the 2022 Oregon Country Fair.

Mid Lane Cares will put the donations into the Emergency Assistance program serving vulnerable residents in the Fern Ridge area. The Emergency Fund provides help with rent and utility bills to prevent homelessness, bus passes for access to services, and other emergency needs.

Looking Glass will finance some renovations of a new home in the Rural Program in Cottage Grove. The rural program currently operates out of a small, rented facility. The new home will allow Looking Glass to expand their services to at-risk youth between the ages of 11 and 21 throughout Southeast Lane County, including Saginaw, Dorena, Culp Creek, Creswell, and Cottage Grove.

Hope & Safety Alliance (formerly WomenSpace) will install a new roof on Jamie’s House, a new emergency shelter that can house up to 22 individuals.

Community Supported Shelters will purchase basic essentials to help clients get through the winter, including warm clothing, cough drops, tissues, prescriptions, warm food, and sleeping bags.

The OCF Board triples the power of each gift by matching $2 for every $1 donated, up to a total of $25,000. Donations to the Jill Heiman Vision Fund can be mailed to the Oregon Country Fair, 442 Lawrence St., Eugene, OR 97401. Donation boxes also will be located at Information Booths at the Fair. Checks and cash donations are tax-deductible; include address for mailed receipt.

Thanks to our generous donors, in 2019 the fund raised a record $59,353. Since it began 26 years ago, the Jill Heiman Vision Fund has donated more than $561,000 to nonprofit agencies.

🍑 2019 Jill Heiman Vision Fund Recipients🍑

For 2019, donations amounted to a record $59,353! We met our goal to reach $50,000 for our 50th Anniversary—and more! Thanks to generous donors, to date this fund has given more than $525,000 over the years. One dollar or food voucher at a time, our donations are making a difference. This year, your generosity benefited the following organizations:

Assistance League used its grant to purchase healthy, nutritious foods — including fresh produce — for the Weekend Food Pantry and Backpack Programs. The two programs coordinate with 4J and Bethel school districts to reduce child hunger by improving access to healthy foods for families in need.

Carry It Forward will applied the funds to constructing a laundry and cleaning station facility to serve homeless campers. The grant will purchase shelving tables, storage cubbies, and supplies, plus training on cleanup safety. Carry It Forward offers humane camp cleanup by bagging items at abandoned campsites that can be cleaned and reused — such as warm clothing, tents, blankets and sleeping bags — while safely disposing garbage. The group launders the retrieved items and cycles them back, either to the original owner or to someone else in need.

Catholic Community Services will put the grant toward basic needs support for Lane County participants in the Refugees and Asylum-Seekers Assistance program. Advocates are matched with asylum-seekers and refugees to help them find housing, access health care, learn language skills, get transportation, and search for a job.

Planned Parenthood purchased a new auto-clave, which sterilizes medical instruments used in the clinic.

St. Vincent de Paul used its grant to help buy a 15-passenger van that will transport families enrolled in the First Place Night Shelter program and the St. Vincent de Paul Youth House for homeless teens. The van will transport up to 20 families a day, and shuttle youths to school and extra-curricular activities.

Donations to the Jill Heiman Vision Fund can be mailed to the Oregon Country Fair, 442 Lawrence St., Eugene, OR 97401. Donation boxes also will be located at Information Booths at the Fair. Food vouchers, cash or checks may be donated. Checks and cash donations are tax-deductible; include address for mailed receipt. The OCF Board will match donation with $2 to every $1 given, up to a total of $25,000, tripling the power of the gift.

Philanthropy was the catalyst that began the Oregon Country Fair, has been essential to developing its long-lived success, and will provide opportunities that further its mission into the future.