The Salvador Fund, a donor-advised philanthropy, was established in 2016 by the Castañares family of Odell, Parkdale and Los Angeles.

Administered by the Gorge Community Foundation, the Salvador Fund has so far invested over $25,000 as small grants to selected applicants.  The recipients are all Mid-Columbia nonprofit organizations proposing to offer short-term projects or events that match the fund’s priorities, according to a Gorge Community Foundation press release.

Doris Castañares and her adult children wished to honor the memory of the late Salvador Castañares, their husband and father. Each contributed a startup donation to build it.  Individual donors from outside the family joined them to make it all possible. Additional history of the Fund can be seen at   

 A small advisory committee was recruited to study applications and to make funding recommendations to the Gorge Community Foundation, whose board of directors ultimately decides on allocations. Seventeen diverse projects and events have been funded, ranging from expansion of public radio broadcasting to support of the arts, education, and healthcare.  

 According to its webpage, “The Salvador Fund will consider applications from nonprofit groups from any sector (e.g. education, housing, transportation, healthcare, the arts and culture, public health) seeking financial support for programs, projects, or events that fit the Salvador Fund’s criteria and priorities. Funded activities will be carried out in the Mid-Columbia region.”

The application is submitted and fiscal agency is conducted by an Oregon- or Washington-based 501c3 nonprofit organization. Funded activities must principally benefit low income area residents or migrants. Elements of cultural and linguistic competency must be described in the application.

 “Applications will be favored which seek partial funding from the Salvador Fund, to be matched in whole or in part by funds from other sources. Applications will be favored which will be specifically inclusive of, or focus on, the needs of immigrants, farmworkers, migrants and/or elders and caregivers. Applications will be favored which propose activities contributing to equity and community building,” said a press release.

Guidelines are posted at

In order to maintain adequate capacity to continue beyond 2019 in making these small grants ($200-$2,000), The Salvador Fund is now seeking additional donors. All contributions, large, small or in between, are welcome and appreciated. They may be made to the Gorge Community Foundation, stipulating “for The Salvador Fund.”  

Donations may be made online at (donors must be sure to follow directions at the top of the page in order to earmark for the Salvador Fund) or by sending a check to The Gorge Community Foundation – Salvador Fund, P.O. Box 1711, Hood River, OR 97031.

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