Cleveland Foundation announces more than $24 million in third quarter grantmaking

Release Date: 9.30.2021

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation Board of Directors today announced more than $24 million in grants approved in the third quarter of 2021. Supporting residents in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties, the foundation and its donors have invested nearly $89.2 million in the community year-to-date. Highlights of grants approved this quarter by the foundation’s board of directors include:

Arts & Culture

  • A Kid at Art For the Heart ($23,440) – Due to severe cuts in public school funding, many children are no longer able to engage with the arts on a regular basis. The funding will allow the organization to continue to provide virtual art programming for nearly 200 students at the Painesville Head Start Center and the West Head Start Center in Willowick so that they and their caregivers develop critical social-emotional tools to lay a solid foundation for future school success.
  • Assembly for the Arts ($300,000) – Despite accounting for an economic impact of $9.1 billion, 62,500 jobs and $3.3 billion in wages and income, the Northeast Ohio arts and culture sector has struggled with equity and diversity issues. This funding will allow the newly formed organization to build the staffing necessary to support a robust programming agenda; implement racial equity-focused arts sector programs and initiatives that bring capacity-building to under-resourced nonprofits, for-profits, and individual artists; and contribute to the long-range sustainability of the sector.
  • Center for Arts-Inspired Learning ($150,000) – Participation in the arts is proven to provide innovative learning experiences that close learning gaps; teach creative thinking and problem solving; and help students succeed in school, the workplace and beyond. This funding will allow the organization to provide artist-in-residence programs in Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools, targeting Mary B. Martin, Mary McLeod Bethune and Willson elementary schools as well as Glenville High School, in addition to resuming out-of-school time opportunities for youth in the Glenville and Hough neighborhoods, especially those based at the Studio 105 site on the Glenville Arts Campus.
  • Karamu House ($450,000) – The oldest Black theater organization in the country reimagined its programming to embrace its role as a leader in the artistic response to 2020’s civil unrest and continuing racism against Black Americans. This grant will support staffing capacity for fundraising, marketing and communications, to allow the organization to capitalize on recent national attention and steward new revenue sources while also working to develop a long-term, sustainable financial model.


  • Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio ($250,000) – The COVID-19 pandemic directly impacted participation in early learning, with enrollment in PRE4CLE high-quality preschools at just 59% of capacity. This grant will allow the organization to focus on supporting a successful transition back towards full enrollment, with an outreach campaign designed to share greater information about the safety of the early learning programs; it will allow the organization to work with partners to advocate for the needs of the early childhood system, identifying additional strategies to decrease structural racism barriers within Cleveland’s early learning system and improving the quality of the physical facilities that house the early learning programs in the community.
  • Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network, Inc. (MAGNET) ($400,000) – Despite post-pandemic unemployment, there are still an estimated 8,000 open manufacturing jobs in Northeast Ohio that companies cannot find people to fill, with these numbers expected to significantly increase in the years ahead. The organization’s Early College, Early Career (ECEC) program is aimed at helping fill that gap through awareness activities, paid summer internships and yearlong part-time paid internships. This funding will support year five of the program at 11 area high schools, while also focusing on expanding ECEC by adding additional high schools and manufacturing employer partners.
  • PACE (Planning and Career Exploration) ($950,000) – This multi-grant effort follows a two-year, multi-sector planning process and is focused on launching PACE, the implementation stage of the “Linking Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) Students to Career Pathways and Living Wage Jobs” initiative co-convened by CMSD and the Cleveland Foundation. The six organizations support critical components of PACE’s launch in the 2021-22 school year, and include a grant to CMSD ($270,000) for capacity building; a grant to each of four anchor nonprofit organizations that are working with CMSD and other partners to implement PACE’s curriculum and advising – Grades 6-8: Neighborhood Leadership Institute (True2U) ($331,000) and Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland ($100,000), and Grades 9-12: College Now Greater Cleveland ($75,000) and Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U) ($75,000); and a grant to The Fund for Our Economic Future ($100,000), which will work with the Greater Cleveland Partnership to execute the next steps in employer engagement.


  • Cuyahoga County ($100,000) – An analysis from the insurance and underwriting sector indicates that climate change could inflict $69 trillion in damage on the global economy by 2100, likely the result of increased business operating and insurance costs due to climate disruptions/natural disasters in the event that warming hits two-degrees Celsius. This funding will help Cuyahoga County develop a “Climate Risk to Business tool” as a framework to demonstrate the lower costs of doing business in the Great Lakes region and Greater Cleveland due to the increase in climate- and environment-related impacts in other parts of the country (e.g. hurricanes, wildfires, flooding, drought and/or extreme temperatures). The tool would be intended to help businesses better understand and incorporate environmental impacts into their decision-making for long-term planning and potential relocation to the region.
  • Institute for Conservation Leadership ($125,000) – The shifting landscape impacting the environmental sector includes upcoming local elections; emerging local and state policy issues; environmental justice matters and the significant task of navigating the emergence from COVID-19’s impacts on strategic priorities, organizational operations and strategic goals. This two-year grant will allow the organization to continue to prioritize environmental policy and advocacy efforts across our region, focusing on strengthening collaborations, leadership skills and strategic campaigns that create change at a local, regional and state level.
  • Ohio Environmental Council ($300,000) – While local environmental partners continue to advance our region’s environmental movement around a shared agenda linking environmental justice, climate and racial justice, health, and economic prosperity, additional partnerships are critical to connect, elevate and advocate for shared priorities to compel government, corporate and institutional leaders to act. The funding will allow the organization to strengthen its advocacy role by hiring a Cleveland metro director, expanding community engagement, strengthening partnerships with new and historically excluded groups, and educating local leaders and elected officials.


  • East End Neighborhood House Association ($100,000) – A recent assessment found that only 7.9% of children residing in Woodhill Homes are kindergarten ready, and participation in high-quality early learning experiences is a key factor in kindergarten readiness. In addition, approximately 28% of the seniors (ages 65+) living in the Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhood are living below the poverty line. This funding will help the agency continue to work with families engaged in the foster care system, grow its childcare program and maintain its services for older adults including basic needs such as food access and wellness calls/checks.
  • Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center ($20,000) – Many young people are experiencing increased anxiety, difficulty learning online and isolation because of the pandemic; therapeutic riding can help these students regain confidence, manage stress, increase strength and balance, improve social skills and become more motivated to learn. The grant will allow the organization to continue to serve people of all ages with a variety of emotional, physical and cognitive challenges – including anxiety, autism, depression, Down syndrome, neurological disorders – and survivors of trauma, among others.
  • Manufacturing Works ($180,419) – A 2019 study conducted by Manufacturing Works shed light on the instructor-to-student limitations experienced in career technical education and highlighted the barriers to success for high-school students, including basic knowledge and skill preparation for jobs. This funding for the Encore Technical Corps Program will allow the organization to recruit up to eight experienced industry tradespeople and technicians for placement in classrooms and technical school labs to assist teachers in Cleveland, East Cleveland, Euclid and Shaker Heights. Contractors coming from industry careers support teachers by giving them an extra set of eyes and hands in classrooms and bring relevant work experiences into the school, better preparing students for project-based learning, skill certifications, and pathways to careers and college.

Neighborhood Revitalization & Engagement

  • Global Cleveland ($200,000) – In a recent study released by Rust Belt Advisors that analyzed thousands of variables related to the economic success of a region, educational attainment and migration were identified as significant contributing factors to gross domestic product. This grant will allow the organization to continue to build the capacity of our region and neighborhoods to attract and retain skilled immigrants and newcomers, facilitate the integration of immigrants and refugees arriving in Cleveland, and deepen engagement within the economic and workforce development sectors.
  • HOLA Ohio ($200,000) – Latinx members of our community are often excluded from safety nets and contend with disparities in health, education, employment, the justice system, and economic mobility. This two-year grant will help the organization establish a Hispanic Community Center in Painesville, where exponential growth in the Latinx and undocumented populations has created systemic stresses. Areas of impact that the center will address include improving educational outcomes, advancing healthcare and mental health, fostering economic opportunity through small business development and access to employment, and building bridges in the community.
  • LakewoodAlive ($25,000) – According to the 2020 census, Lakewood is the third largest city in Cuyahoga County and one of the top 20 in the entire state. Many seniors in the city are aging in place, and funding for Project Safe Senior will allow the organization to expand its outreach by identifying seniors in need of support. The effort focuses on ensuring aging residents are living in the most safe and healthy environment possible by providing educational and financial resources, and, more importantly, dignity to residents 60 years and older. The grant will also allow the organization to work with a consultant to help the board, staff and committees build and implement a diversity, equity and inclusion plan.

Youth, Health & Human Services

  • Canopy Child Advocacy Center ($174,303) – In Cuyahoga County, abused children and their caregivers have to navigate through many complex systems once abuse is reported. This funding provides capacity for the organization to develop a new community response protocol for at-risk youth in Cuyahoga County in partnership with the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking. The partners will collectively work to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated provider response is in place to offer 24/7 holistic support services for every at-risk child in need.
  • Cleveland Angels ($49,500) – Studies have shown that a majority of youth who age out of foster care find themselves in situations without a support system, greatly increasing their risk of homelessness, incarceration, suicide, and being a victim of human trafficking. This grant will help the organization increase foster youth placement stability by supporting caregivers and providing mentorship to youth in care; improve its volunteer recruitment efforts and diversify its volunteer base; and increase its engagement with education stakeholders, donors, and community-based organizations.
  • Humility of Mary Housing ($63,185) – According to the Children’s Defense Fund of Ohio, approximately 1,000 young people age out of Ohio’s foster care system every year, with more than 10% of these young people living in Cuyahoga County. This grant allows the organization’s Opportunity House to continue providing a safe and stable housing environment and to facilitate improved outcomes related to resident health and well-being. Opportunity House targets young men ages 18-24 who have aged out of foster care and are experiencing homelessness.
  • Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation ($49,000) – According to the CDC, suicide has become the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with the rate of suicide in Ohio rising 24% from 2008 to 2017. Funding will help the organization bring the 988 Project to Northeast Ohio. Replacing the 10-digit National Suicide Hotline with a three-digit number will enable the easiest and most effective lifesaving tool to be accessible for those in crisis within our region and throughout Ohio.

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