Nearly $117 million granted by Cleveland Foundation and its donors in 2021

Foundation board of directors approves more than $27.7 million in Q4 grantmaking

Release Date: 12.15.2021

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation Board of Directors today announced nearly $28 million in grants approved in the final quarter of 2021. Supporting residents in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties, the foundation has invested more than $116.9 million in the community year-to-date.

“This year, we again witnessed the creativity, compassion and commitment of Greater Cleveland residents in action as our community continued to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and its far-reaching effects,” said Ronn Richard, Cleveland Foundation president & CEO. “Each year, I am incredibly proud of the foundation’s donors, board and staff as well as our valued nonprofit partners working across every sector to move our community forward — no matter how challenging the circumstances. There is nothing we can’t do when we come together as a community.”

Highlights of grants approved in the fourth quarter by the foundation’s board of directors include:

Arts & Culture

  • Cleveland Institute of Music ($200,000) – Two-year funding for the continuation of the Musical Pathways Fellowship
  • Cleveland Museum of Art ($133,140) – Continuation of curatorial Arts Mastery programming for teens
  • Cleveland Museum of Natural History ($400,000) – Next phase of the museum’s capital campaign that will help make science education more accessible
  • Lake Erie Ink ($20,000) – Supporting student creative writing through curriculum and outreach upgrades
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland ($50,000) – Continuing free admission to the museum to remove barriers and provide individuals and families access to the arts
  • Twelve Literary Arts ($50,000) – Continuation of literary arts and poetry Arts Mastery programming for high-school students and young adults

Economic & Workforce Development

  • Manufacturing Works ($250,000) – Expanding the capacity of the organization’s Leadership Institute for prospective manufacturing business owners and leaders


  • Economic Growth Foundation ($250,000) – Continuing to construct a model IT pipeline within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District by ensuring there is quality IT curriculum in every school through TEALS and building out career awareness/exploration opportunities in IT through RITE
  • Esperanza, Inc. ($200,000) – Improving multi-generational educational opportunities for Hispanic youth and adult learners through educational programming, culturally competent mentoring, and postsecondary supports
  • Great Lakes Science Center ($125,000) – Supporting hands-on STEM programming for Cleveland Metropolitan School District students in grades 6-8


  • Business Volunteers Unlimited ($114,000) – Expanding capacity to provide needs assessments, consulting on board development, strategic planning, succession planning, executive transition management, and leadership training for nonprofit executives
  • Business Volunteers Unlimited ($170,000) – Supporting the Skill CONNECT and Volunteer CONNECT programs, which are both Encore initiatives
  • East End Neighborhood House Association ($200,000) – Two-year support for the continued growth of the Foster Grandparent program, run in conjunction with Encore Cleveland
  • Greater Cleveland Volunteers ($250,000) – Continued management of all outreach and communications activities for the Encore Cleveland network

Neighborhood Revitalization & Engagement

  • Hebrew Free Loan Association of Northeast Ohio ($198,000) – Increasing operational capacity with a focus on middle income, newcomer/immigrant populations, and COVID emergency response
  • In Our Backyards, Inc. ($110,000) – Supporting small businesses and local economic development efforts as they relate to COVID-19 recovery and support, while also enhancing opportunities for non-voting civic engagement (focused on newcomers, immigrants and refugees), and capacity building for BIPOC leaders to launch successful crowdfunding campaigns
  • Negro League Baseball Legends Hall of Fame ($110,000) – Two-year support for Baseball Heritage Museum capacity development and an outreach campaign to the Hough and MidTown neighborhoods
  • Smart Development Inc. ($100,000) – Expanding organizational capacity and providing responsive support for the resettlement of Afghan refugees

Youth, Health & Human Services

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