Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund announces latest round of grants

Partners award more than $220,000 in fourth cycle of Phase II grantmaking

CLEVELAND (Dec. 22, 2020) – The Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund coalition announced today the most recent round of biweekly grants to support the nonprofit community. In total, $220,779 was awarded to nine organizations and groups serving Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties. Since the start of Phase II in mid-November, partners have granted nearly $1.8 million.

The latest round of grant recipients includes:

  • The City Club of Cleveland ($25,000): To support the City Club’s food distribution partnership with Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries, an effort that is producing 10,000 meals every week for Greater Cleveland’s homeless population
  • Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center ($25,000): To provide basic needs such as food, clothing, utility and housing assistance, as well as loaner laptops and personalized technical support for deaf clients, those with speech disorders, and their families in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties
  • Harvard Community Services Center ($35,000): To continue to serve homebound adults and families across the Lee-Harvard, Miles and Seville neighborhoods through the mobile delivery of care packages containing food and basic hygiene items
  • HOLA Ohio ($25,000): To facilitate access to medical care and unemployment assistance for the Latino and immigrant populations in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties, while also providing PPE and funds for help with basic needs including housing, bills, groceries and medicines
  • LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland ($21,779): To continue to provide food assistance, transportation, social-emotional support via tele/virtual community group meetings and programming, virtual wellness options, street outreach, and legal referrals and advocacy for the LGBTQ population in Greater Cleveland
  • Pregnant with Possibilities Resource Center ($49,000): To provide support and transportation assistance to help expectant and new mothers in Cuyahoga County access Making Opportunities Matter (M.O.M.) counseling and diaper distributions
  • Senior Transportation Connection (STC) ($15,000): To continue essential transportation operations that prioritize medical, dialysis and food access trips, while also purchasing enhanced PPE for older adults in Cuyahoga County with mobility needs and limited social supports
  • Slavic Village Development ($20,000): To provide funds for emergency housing repairs, emergency rental/mortgage assistance, food insecurities and transportation needs, PPE and health-related cleaning supplies funds to those facing housing instability or homelessness in the Broadway/Slavic Village neighborhoods
  • Ursuline Piazza ($5,000): To provide food assistance for HIV-positive residents in Cuyahoga County to help avoid food insecurity during the holiday season

Contributions to the second phase of the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund total nearly $3.5 million, including support from new funding partner Evelyn B. Newell. Funding partners urge other foundations, corporate entities, individuals and organizations to contribute to the Fund. Donations of any amount are welcomed, and all contributions are tax deductible.

Based upon the charitable structure of the Rapid Response Fund, the second phase is currently accepting grant applications from eligible organizations serving Cuyahoga, Lake and/or Geauga counties. The Fund is designed primarily to support human service nonprofits with operational budgets of less than $20 million. The Fund partners encourage collaborative proposals that involve multiple organizations within similar sectors or neighborhoods working on shared issues, with a focus on basic needs, family supports, PPE, testing and contact tracing.

Grants during Phase II of the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund are awarded every two weeks and will continue for one year. Awards range in size from $5,000 to $100,000, with a maximum grant amount of $100,000 for any nonprofit organization throughout the current cycle ending Oct. 31, 2021. Organizations that were funded during Phase I (between March-July 2020) are eligible to apply for additional funding. Grants are limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution.

For more information or to donate, visit ClevelandFoundation.org/Response.

Facebook awards $1 million to Cleveland Black Futures Fund

Now over $4 million, the Fund plans to open applications early next year for
Black-led and Black-serving social change organizations engaged in anti-racism work in Cleveland

CLEVELAND (Dec. 11, 2020) – Catalyzed by a $1 million grant from Facebook, the Cleveland Black Futures Fund today announced it has amassed more than $4 million since inception on Sept. 1 to invest in and strengthen Black-led and Black-serving social change organizations.

Today’s announcement is part of Facebook’s commitment to support Black businesses, creators and nonprofits. The Cleveland Foundation was one of 20 community foundations to receive funding as part of the California-based social media corporation’s announcement today. The Cleveland Black Futures Fund has received additional support from George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation ($50,000), The HealthComp Foundation ($60,000), Saint Luke’s Foundation ($150,000) and the Treu-Mart Fund ($100,000), as well as nearly $40,000 in individual donations.

“We’re excited to work with the Cleveland Foundation to help bring much needed funding to nonprofits that are serving and supporting the Black community in Greater Cleveland,” said Marcy Scott Lynn, Facebook director of global impact partnerships. “We’re providing funding directly to the Cleveland Foundation to build on its track record of supporting Black-led nonprofits and ensure that people locally are making the decisions about where these dollars are most needed and can have the most impact.”

The overarching goal of the Cleveland Black Futures Fund is to strengthen the ecosystem of Black leaders and Black-serving organizations in Greater Cleveland by providing intentional resources to help grow organizational infrastructure and capacity. Long term, the foundation aims to deepen the field of leaders working to dismantle systemic racism and advance the community towards racial equity.

In recent months, both the COVID-19 pandemic and the historic protests happening nationally and locally have prompted a bolder call to action to address systemic racism and its devastating effects in the Greater Cleveland community. While Cleveland is home to a dynamic network of Black leaders working on solutions to these problems, The Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) has reported that significant inequities exist within the national philanthropic field at a time when outcomes and disparities for Black children, families and neighborhoods in many areas have widened.

The Cleveland Black Futures Fund also announced today the inaugural members of its advisory committee, which will guide the application parameters and grantmaking process. The seven-person group is comprised of community leaders working alongside foundation representatives:

  • Courtenay A. Barton, Program Director for Arts & Culture and Racial Equity Initiatives, Cleveland Foundation
  • Carrie Carpenter, Board Member, Cleveland Foundation
  • The Rev. Dr. Robin Hedgeman, Board Member, Cleveland Foundation
  • Constance Hill-Johnson, Board Member, Cleveland Foundation
  • Treye Johnson, Regional Outreach Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
  • Shanelle Smith Whigham, Vice President, Sustainability & Social Impact, KeyBank
  • Timothy L. Tramble Sr., President & CEO, Saint Luke’s Foundation

“We thank Facebook, and all the foundations and individuals who have contributed to the Cleveland Black Futures Fund,” said Courtenay Barton, Cleveland Foundation program director for arts & culture and racial equity initiatives. “Dismantling systemic racism will require the cooperation of people in various capacities to all be committed to this long-term work. Just as there are visionary leaders on the ground creating new initiatives and responding directly to community needs, there are equally passionate people who can provide the resources necessary to get the work done. The Fund is a vehicle that can connect givers to doers.”

The Cleveland Black Futures Fund builds on the work of the African American Philanthropy Committee of the Cleveland Foundation (AAPC), which has promoted awareness and education about the benefits of wealth and community preservation through philanthropy since 1993. Established in 2010, the AAPC Legacy Fund supports a variety of organizations within the Black community of Greater Cleveland. The Cleveland Black Futures Fund will offer and additional pool of resources to complement the impact of the AAPC and its Legacy Fund.

The creation of the Cleveland Black Futures Fund came on the heels of a June vote by Cleveland City Council in which racism was declared a public health crisis, with the city required under guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to take action to eliminate disparities causing health issues. Cuyahoga County Council also passed a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis and announced a Citizens’ Advisory Council on Equity, to which Cleveland Foundation Senior Vice President for Program India Pierce Lee was appointed.

Additional details on the grantmaking process – including the application process and timeline – will be available in January 2021. For more information or to donate to the Cleveland Black Futures Fund, visit ClevelandFoundation.org/Futures.

Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund awards more than $625,000 in third cycle of Phase II grantmaking

Partners have granted in excess of $10 million since Fund inception in March.

CLEVELAND (Dec. 8, 2020) – The Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund announced today its third cycle of biweekly grants as part of its Phase II efforts to support the Greater Cleveland nonprofit community during the ongoing pandemic. In total, $625,684 was awarded to 14 organizations and groups serving Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties, bringing the overall amount to more than $1.5 million in Phase II. This latest cycle represents a milestone of support; since the Fund’s creation in March, the community has now provided more than $10 million to frontline organizations during this unprecedented public health crisis.

Grant recipients for this cycle include:

  • Better Health Partnership ($35,000): To support staffing needs for the region’s Federally Qualified Health Centers Collaboration, enabling them to develop and implement COVID-19 testing strategies to bolster testing in locations where risk of infection is high
  • Community Service Alliance ($40,050): To continue to provide safe and supportive housing, job assistance, and life skills training at four locations on Cleveland’s near west side for men transitioning to independence and self-sufficiency from poverty, homelessness and addiction
  • Greater Cleveland Congregations ($50,000): To continue to work in conjunction with UnitedHealthcare to bring COVID-19 testing sites for four weeks to the Slavic Village, Lee-Harvard and Glenville neighborhoods, while also developing a process to follow up with people who test positive for COVID-19 at these testing sites to ensure they can isolate safely without transmitting the virus to others
  • LGBTQ+ Allies Lake County ($48,654): To continue to provide food assistance and expanded virtual options for community group social-emotional support meetings and wellness programming in Lake County
  • Lake County Free Clinic ($15,000): To expand case management services and provide COVID-19 safety kits, while continuing to provide essential medical care to uninsured and under-insured individuals in eastern Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula counties
  • Lakewood Community Services Center ($50,000): For additional staffing needed to continue its zero-contact food delivery and distribution system for individuals and families in Lakewood, Rocky River and Westlake who are facing food insecurity
  • Little Africa Food Cooperative ($60,000): To continue to deliver the needed equipment, supplies, information and food to seniors, mentally and physically disabled residents and homeless populations on Cleveland’s near east side
  • Neighborhood Connections ($120,000): To continue to provide grants ranging from $500-$5,000 to small nonprofit organizations, faith-based congregations, and grassroots and neighborhood civic groups throughout Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties for a broad range of essential human needs during COVID-19, such as healthy food, safe shelter, and to reduce social isolation. Since receiving its first round of funding on April 10, Neighborhood Connections has awarded nearly $680,000 to more than 200 groups and organizations.
  • Relink.org ($35,000): To conduct outreach events in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties in order to connect individuals struggling with opioid addiction to resources and services
  • St. Paul’s Community Outreach ($20,000): To continue to provide rent and utility assistance, while also distributing PPE and household cleaning items for at-risk and low-income residents in the Ohio City and Detroit Shoreway neighborhoods on Cleveland’s near west side
  • Spanish American Committee ($18,500): To give food, utility and rental assistance stipends to low-income and elderly Latino populations in Greater Cleveland, while also providing clients with emotional and mental health resources and crisis financial planning assistance
  • West Park United Church of Christ ($36,000): To continue to support the organization’s food pantry and delivery programs for vulnerable populations in Cleveland’s West Park, Kamm’s Corners andPuritas-Longmead neighborhoods
  • Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio (UHCAN) ($15,480): To work with community members to identify the needs and challenges related to testing, treatment and vaccination, and to advocate for better care for low income populations in Cuyahoga County
  • YWCA Greater Cleveland ($82,000): To continue to provide basic needs, food security, and on-site and remote case management at Permanent Supportive Housing for formerly homeless and low-income women at two locations in Cleveland

Contributions to the second phase of the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund have already exceeded $3.3 million, including a gift from new funding partner The Payne Fund. Funding partners urge other foundations, corporate entities, individuals and organizations to contribute to the Fund. Donations of any amount are welcomed, and all contributions are tax deductible.

Based upon the charitable structure of the Rapid Response Fund, the second phase is currently accepting grant applications from eligible organizations serving Cuyahoga, Lake and/or Geauga counties. The Fund is designed primarily to support human service nonprofits with operational budgets of less than $20 million. The Fund partners encourage collaborative proposals that involve multiple organizations within similar sectors or neighborhoods working on shared issues, with a focus on basic needs, family supports, PPE, testing and contact tracing.

Grants during Phase II of the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund are awarded every two weeks and will continue for one year. Awards range in size from $5,000 to $100,000, with a maximum grant amount of $100,000 for any nonprofit organization throughout the current cycle ending Oct. 31, 2021. Organizations that were funded during Phase 1 (between March-July 2020) are eligible to apply for additional funding. Grants are limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution.

For more information or to donate, visit ClevelandFoundation.org/Response.

Nine journalism collaborative projects share in more than $110,000 to address community information needs in Cleveland and Akron

Cleveland Foundation and Akron Community Foundation also partner to bring City Scrapers open-source technology to Northeast Ohio.

CLEVELAND (Dec. 19, 2019) – Akron Community Foundation, The Center for Community Solutions, the Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation and the Knight Foundation today announced more than $110,000 in journalism grants to address community information needs in Akron and Cleveland.

 

The funders came together to support hyper-local media, community organizations, resident media makers and legacy newsrooms as they collaborate to spark innovation, experimentation and learning. These projects are aimed squarely at supporting residents where information is needed most – at the neighborhood level – while also establishing new information partnerships in service to Northeast Ohio communities.

 

The priorities of this initial round of grantmaking were to:

             Create topic-based collaborative journalism projects that respond to community information needs and that explore and elevate solutions.

             Encourage media outlets to explore the strengths and resources already present in the region, and to build trust among these communities.

             Conduct restorative journalism that reframes community narratives to spotlight resident resilience and neighborhood progress, lifting up perspectives that are often not reflected in the traditional news media.

 

The nine collaborative efforts span 22 media organizations and individual journalists and nearly 30 community organizations. The projects included in the initial information needs cohort are:

 

  • Black maternal health & infant mortality – This project will use restorative journalism by empowering women in Cleveland to tell their first-person narrative via a number of channels, including written stories, radio and photography.
  • Witness protection and rights – This collaboration will help close a gap in understanding about the safety and rights of those who witness crime, while pushing for solutions that could promote a safer system in Cleveland.
  • Basic information needs in Woodhill Estates – This project will involve and inform residents of the 80-year-old public housing development on Cleveland’s East Side around pending changes as a result of a proposal to rebuild the estates.
  • Literacy – This collaborative will explore how media partners and other community organizations can come together to build a culture of reading at Charles Dickens Elementary School in Cleveland’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood in order to address the K-3 literacy rate.
  • Food insecurity – With 59 percent of Cleveland residents living in food deserts, this project will provide a platform for residents in the MidTown, Glenville and Kinsman neighborhoods to tell their stories through a number of different channels. It will strive to better connect residents to food and other key resources around health and well-being.
  • Eviction – This collaborative will tackle the issue of eviction and tenant rights in Akron and Cleveland across a number of communication platforms from the perspective of both tenants and landlords, ultimately producing a tenant’s guide in both English and Spanish.
  • Infant mortality – This project will address the issue of infant mortality in Akron and Cleveland in a two-pronged approach: 1) educating traditional media audiences about how bias and racism play into the treatment of women of color; and 2) use storytelling across a number of social platforms to reach and inform the most at-risk residents of these two communities.
  • Basic information needs in Buckeye-ShakerSquare – By empowering the residents of the Buckeye-Shaker Square neighborhood via a central news hub and first-person storytelling, this collaborative aims to arm residents with the information necessary to advocate for their own well-being.
  • Safety and representation – This restorative journalism project will engage the residents of the Goodyear Heights neighborhood in Akron to elevate an unheard community perspective in regard to the importance of safety and representation at Reservoir Park Pool and access more generally to recreation opportunities.

 

City Scrapers Debuts in Northeast Ohio

Akron Community Foundation and Cleveland Foundation have partnered with Chicago-based City Bureau to bring the organization’s open-source City Scrapers technology to Northeast Ohio. It includes public meeting dates, times, locations and records from more than 150 government agencies at the city and county level in Cleveland and Akron, all standardized in a single location for the first time – and free and open to journalists and residents alike. To date, there is information on more than 1,600 public meetings and 1,700 official documents such as meeting minutes, agendas and notices for Northeast Ohio.

 

City Bureau was founded in Chicago in 2015 and expanded to Detroit in 2018. The organization’s mission is to “bring journalists and communities together in a collaborative spirit to produce media that is impactful, equitable and responsive to the public.”

 

July Centennial Gift: Cleveland Foundation Day with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom on Sunday, July 20

 

As part of The Cleveland Orchestra’s 25th annual Star-Spangled Spectacular Concert tonight (7/2) on Public Square, music lovers will become part of the Cleveland Foundation’s year-long birthday celebration. The foundation’s July centennial gift to the community will be publicly announced live on stage while the Orchestra plays “Happy Birthday.”

Halfway through the concert, Cleveland Foundation Executive Vice President Robert E. Eckardt will join conductor Loras John Schissel onstage to announce that July’s gift will be Cleveland Foundation Day with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom.

On July 20, up to 15,000 Northeast Ohioans will be able to enjoy The Cleveland Orchestra concert featuring the music of Weber, Mozart and Shostakovich while sitting on the Blossom Music Center lawn – for free.

Tickets are required to attend the concert. With each of up to 5,000 free adult lawn tickets reserved, two additional free tickets for children 17 and under can also be reserved through the Orchestra’s Under 18s Free program for families. Ticketing will remain open until all lawn tickets have been reserved for the concert (click here after 10 a.m. July 7).

“Enjoying the world-class music of The Cleveland Orchestra under the stars in the beautiful park-like setting of Blossom is something that everyone in our area should experience,” Eckardt said. “We are so pleased our July centennial gift to the community will make these two community assets accessible to families across Northeast Ohio.”

The July gift celebrates the special role the foundation, through its donors, has played in helping support the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra and the ensemble’s ongoing commitment to play more music for more people across Northeast Ohio. In just the past four decades, the foundation has granted more than $38 million to the Orchestra, including a $10 million grant in 2013, the largest single grant to an arts organization in the foundation’s history.

“The Cleveland Orchestra is extraordinarily grateful to the Cleveland Foundation for making possible this special offer of music for Northeast Ohio,” said Gary Hanson, Executive Director of The Cleveland Orchestra. “We are honored to take part in celebrating the 100th anniversary of an organization so committed to the strength and vitality of Greater Cleveland. We owe special thanks to all those who support our region through the Cleveland Foundation, enabling the Orchestra and other arts organizations to create and sustain the thriving cultural community of Northeast Ohio.”

Cleveland Orchestra concertgoers at Blossom are welcome to bring food and beverages for picnics before the concert. Parking is free and shuttles transport visitors from the parking lots to the main gate. Ticketed concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early on July 20 for the 7 p.m. concert. Gates to the Blossom grounds will open at 4:30 p.m.

The Cleveland Orchestra is the 11th nonprofit organization the Cleveland Foundation has partnered with for its centennial gifts to the community. The gifts are meant to highlight organizations the foundation has played a role in establishing or enhancing throughout its 100-year history.

Concert Details:

Cleveland Foundation Day with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom
Sunday, July 20, at 7 p.m.
Blossom Music Center
1145 West Steels Corners Road
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

The Cleveland Orchestra

Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, conductor
Francesco Piemontesi, piano

This Sunday evening concert features musical works created in three centuries — from Mozart’s final masterful and melodic Piano Concerto No. 27 (written in 1791) to Carl Maria von Weber’s dramatic Overture to Der Freischütz (1821), and concluding with Dmitri Shostakovich’s soul-stirring and powerful Symphony No. 5 (1937).

The Cleveland Foundation

Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.1 billion and 2013 grants of $89 million. For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, visit http://www.ClevelandFoundation.org/purpose and follow us at Facebook.com/ClevelandFoundation or @CleveFoundation on Twitter.

Enjoy “Cleveland Nights” At Four Cleveland Recreation Centers This Summer

The City of Cleveland and Cleveland Foundation today announced that an $80,000 foundation grant will keep four city recreation centers open until 11 p.m. four nights a week throughout the summer, starting on June 18.

The “Cleveland Nights” program, launched in 2012 with a grant from the Cleveland Foundation,  supported extended hours and special programming at four city rec centers over the past two summers. More than 22,000 adults and young people have taken advantage of the “Cleveland  Nights” program.

“This grant from the Cleveland Foundation will provide a safe place for youth to be where they  will have organized activities that will ensure hours of fun during their summer break,” said  Mayor Frank G. Jackson.  The four city rec centers that are part of the “Cleveland Nights” program are: Cudell (1910 West Blvd.), Glenville (680 E. 113 St.), Lonnie Burten (2511 E. 46 St.) and Zelma George (3155 MLK Jr. Blvd.). The centers will remain open until 11 p.m. every Wednesday through Saturday  beginning June 18 through August 9.

Each rec center will have midnight basketball leagues for the youth, as well as game room activities and swimming programs. “In 2012, our board of directors approved a grant to extend rec center hours as a way of keeping  more young people positively engaged over the summer months,” said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation.

“We are thrilled with the number of young people who have taken advantage of this program and hope that even more will participate in this safe and free neighborhood activity this summer.”

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