This week, Neighborhood Connections announced the launch of two new programs designed to help organizations and residents serve their community during the pandemic and beyond.
The Neighbor Up COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants program will provide financial assistance to grassroots neighborhood civic groups as well as small nonprofit and faith-based organizations for their efforts to serve residents during COVID-19. Funds from the program are intended to help civic groups and organizations be responsive to emergency and basic needs requests, providing support for operations, and/or reducing social isolation. Applicants must be 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations or work with a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor that will be designated through the grants program. Grants will cover a 12-week period and range between $500 and $5,000. The Neighbor Up COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants program is intended for smaller requests; organizations seeking larger grants should email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the intake form for the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. You can learn more about the Neighbor Up COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants program and application process here.
Neighborhood Connections also announced the launch of the Cleveland Documenters project in partnership with Chicago-based civic journalism lab City Bureau. Cleveland Documenters is a one-year pilot program to recruit, train and pay Greater Clevelanders to document official meetings of the Cuyahoga County and City of Cleveland governments. The goal is to increase accountability and engagement between residents and local government, helping people in Cleveland contribute accurate and reliable information to a communal pool of knowledge. The vast majority of government meetings across the country produce minimal records or receive no media coverage due to the resource constraints and shifting business models of local newsrooms. This program will empower residents with the tools to get engaged and take action in their communities. Residents will sign up to be trained and paid $16/hour to document public meetings and publish content on Documenters.org, a site that is free and open for the public to track meeting schedules, agendas and meeting minutes. The goal is to enroll 600 residents in the pilot year of the program, with plans to have the Documenters program up and running later this year when social distancing restrictions due to COVID-19 are worked out. The Cleveland Foundation and the Visible Voice Charitable Fund of the Cleveland Foundation both provided support to help launch this project. You can learn more about Cleveland Documenters here.
About Neighborhood Connections
Established in 2003 by the Cleveland Foundation, Neighborhood Connections is a nationally recognized community-building program. Its mission is to fuel the power of neighbors to create, together, an extraordinary world right where they live. Its small grants program is the largest in the country and is guided by a grantmaking committee of Cleveland and East Cleveland residents. The committee reviews and approves all grants. Since 2003, Neighborhood Connections has awarded more than 2,600 grants totaling more than $8.3 million. For more information, visit NeighborUpCLE.org.