Grantmaking Highlights

We believe grants of all sizes can make a difference. Each year, we authorize about 3,000 grants to meet community needs. Following are just a sample of the grants made in 2014 in four of the areas in which we focus:



Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI)

$400,000 for microenterprise activities and establishment of a women’s business center. The Cleveland Foundation identified the need for a strong micro-lender in the area and worked with partners to help the Columbus-based ECDI expand into the Cleveland market in 2012. Since July 2012, ECDI’s Cleveland office has made $2.7 million in loans to 97 businesses with a focus on supporting minority business owners in the core city. The women’s business center will expand ECDI’s commitment to women-owned businesses by providing a dedicated resource center to help these clients start and grow their businesses.

Jump Start, Inc.

$400,000 for support of local entrepreneurs and the launch of a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). The CDFI will provide capital and services to existing tech and non-tech companies that are not able to access traditional funding. JumpStart will target its services to reach underserved women and minority populations in the core city. 

Little boy at Cleveland Childrens MuseumEDUCATION


$750,000 to help launch a school-based health center model in partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The grant will support a mobile health unit staffed by MetroHealth clinicians, which will be deployed during the school week at 23 district schools located near the health system’s community health centers and its main campus. The team will provide primary and preventive care to as many as 6,800 students in the first two years and will work to link students and their families to “medical homes” in close proximity to the participating schools.

Cuyahoga Community College

$625,000 to support the college’s renewed focus on bolstering student graduation rates through a new program called “One Door Many Options.” The program will streamline the college’s service model to students, while providing more structured support services through the establishment of student-centered college success teams.


Cleveland Play House

$200,000 to launch its Theatre@Home project, which centers around a digital application to give people access to behind-the-scenes information on all aspects of the theater in a game-like format.

Great Lakes Theater Festival

$200,000 to take strategies learned through Engaging the Future to attract non-traditional audiences for a classic theater company. The first project will involve a solo production of Les Miserables.

GroundWorks Dancetheater

$20,000 to implement the It’s Your Move project, a video and technology-based effort to engage everyday residents in GroundWorks’ creative process. GroundWorks encourages people to videotape a physical “move” of their own invention with their phone or video camera and send it for posting on the organization’s website. The dance company may use these “moves” as inspiration in choreographing new dances, making the audience an artistic collaborator.

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Cleveland

$200,000 to establish the MOCA Thursdays project. Beginning this year, the effort will provide summer programming on the plaza adjacent to MOCA in Uptown. The programming will be designed especially to engage young people and older adults in MOCA.


$10,000 for a Creative Engagement Campaign focused on the organization’s move to “Hingetown,” a mixed-use neighborhood on the near West Side, in April 2015. The campaign will include a speaker series, the formation of an alliance of Hingetown organizations and a new visitors’ assistance program to train volunteers as “SPACESGuides.”


Neighborhood Connections

$3.3 million to continue support of Neighborhood Connections, the community building and small grants program launched 11 years ago by the foundation. The grant will continue funding for Neighborhood Connections’ grassroots grantmaking program and expand the work of the Neighbor Up Network, a recently launched neighborhood engagement network.

Famicos Foundation, Inc.

$250,000 was awarded to Famicos Foundation, Inc. to continue progress of the Circle North Healthy Neighborhoods Project. Last year, the Cleveland Foundation funded this program as a pilot redevelopment project in the Circle North neighborhood, just north of University Circle.

Midtown Cleveland, Inc.

$344,000 to Midtown Cleveland, Inc. to support business and marketing strategies, project planning and development, and the creation of a new Director of Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor position.

City of Cleveland

$156,000 to the City of Cleveland to support a new staff position, Health-Tech Corridor Project Manager, within the Department of Economic Development.

Cleveland Housing Network

$400,000 awarded to Northeast Ohio’s largest community development organization and energy conservation provider for several initiatives, including the development of quality, affordable housing options for low to moderate income families and projects to strengthen the financial stability of residents.

Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA)

$300,000 to help fund DCA’s strategic priorities, including business development, urban planning and design, and projects such as the Ambassador Program, which focuses on making downtown Cleveland cleaner and safer. The Cleveland Foundation has been supporting DCA since shortly after the organization’s founding in 2006.

Recent Grants

Lists do not include designated grants, donor-advised grants, or grants made by supporting organizations. See all Foundation grants lists and financial statements or you can search grants.