March Grant Highlights

Two girls sit next to eachother reading a MyCom event program

We’re thrilled to announce $13.8 million in March grants to organizations serving residents of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga County. This latest round of grants brings our total support to $22.2 million in the first quarter of 2018. Our March grants concentrate primarily on three priority areas: youth & social services, economic & workforce development, and education. Here are just a few highlights:

  • $1.08 million to Neighborhood Leadership Institute (NLI) to continue its role serving as the intermediary and lead agency for MyCom, a network of caring adults that work directly with young people to connect them to quality programs and opportunities in their neighborhoods. Along with our partners, we helped to launch MyCom in 2008. Today, MyCom serves more than 8,000 youth in 21 neighborhoods through year-round programming in youth employment, after-school activities, community service, youth engagement and leadership. Our March grantmaking also included $360,000 in direct support to MyCom neighborhoods to support youth development.
  • $200,000 to Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) as it continues to manage one of the largest and most successful summer employment programs in Northeast Ohio. Our funding will support the placement of at least 1,850 youth in summer employment opportunities and will include an additional one-week job readiness training for young adults (ages 18-24) and a two-day training for teens (14-17). These summer jobs help close the skills gap that exists between insufficiently trained youth and the needs of local employers by providing employability skills training, exposing youth to career pathways and helping businesses develop a much-needed talent pipeline.
  • $450,000 to the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET) to strengthen Early College Early Career (ECEC), an employer-driven career pathway program to prepare underserved youth for careers in advanced manufacturing. Inspired by the European-style apprenticeship model, ECEC is a holistic program that includes career awareness education (9th grade), an intensive “Introduction to Manufacturing” course (10th grade) and year-round paid internships at Cleveland-area manufacturing companies (11th & 12th grades). Since the launch of ECEC, MAGNET has engaged 1,000 students to explore careers in advanced manufacturing and currently has 100 students interning at seven manufacturing companies while continuing their education at five high schools and three community colleges. Our latest grant, which builds on previous support for the program, aims to strengthen ECEC as a pilot that demonstrates the value of ‘earn and learn’ workforce development strategies.
  • $666,670 to NewBridge, which offers community-based arts education for at-risk youth and workforce training opportunities to adults free of cost. Our latest grant will help expand the following offerings for 2018:
    • CLE|LEAD, aimed at providing youth with the soft skills needed for employment. It includes a six-month leadership, social-emotional learning, and job skills development program; a summer arts camp where CLE|LEAD graduates serve as paid counselors to middle school youth; and an arts mastery program where students can work with NewBridge teaching artists to focus on an artistic discipline.
    • Adult training opportunities for positions including phlebotomist, state-tested nursing assistant (STNA) and culinary professional, as well as a joint patient access/Microsoft specialist certification course. The programs are generally up to 10 weeks in length and include intensive in-class training, externships, mentorship and soft-skills training, and support from case managers and job placement professionals.
  • $860,000 to College Now Greater Cleveland to support its work to raise educational attainment and persistence levels in our community. Studies show that by 2020, 64 percent of new jobs in Ohio will require a postsecondary degree or industry-recognized credential. In Cleveland, that number currently stands at 20 percent. Our latest grant to College Now supports:
    • Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) Advising: Support for College Now’s 50 college access advisers and career pathway coaches in CMSD’s high schools. In the 2016-17 school year, 92 percent of enrolled seniors were served through the program.
    • Cleveland Foundation College Now Scholars Program: Provides a cohort of 50 top-performing CMSD seniors with college advising services. Ninety-eight percent of Class of 2017 program participants enrolled in Barron’s Top 4 Tier Colleges.
    • Scholarships for CMSD Students: Provides 50 students with a personal mentor and renewable scholarships, each averaging $1,500 annually.
    • Adult Programs & Services: College Now is combining traditional as-needed services with new, targeted, case-managed services such as personalized college access advising, student financial aid counseling and student loan counseling.
    • Scholarships & Retention Services for Adult Learner Students: Provides for renewable scholarships, as well as advising and retention services for adult learners.
  • $200,000 to JumpStart Inc. for Plug and Play programming in Cleveland as part of a partnership with the Cleveland Clinic. Since starting in 2006 in Silicon Valley, Plug and Play has become the largest accelerator in the world with 24 global locations, a network of more than 3,000 global corporations and 6,000 startups. It is anticipated that Plug and Play programming in Cleveland will create innovations for the region’s largest corporations, while providing access to customers for startups. Located in the Global Center for Health Innovation, it is projected that 20-40 start-ups a year will benefit from Plug and Play cohorts.

These are just a few of our March grants. Follow our grantmaking throughout the year by subscribing to our monthly e-newsletter!


  1. Pernille

    Cleveland Foundation, thanks so much for the post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  2. Diana L Kern

    The Cleveland Foundation is an amazing philanthropic partner for so many nonprofits. Thank you for and the Board Members for your thoughtful and community changing work.

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