Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund awards more than $800,000 in latest round of grants

Partners have now granted out nearly $14.2 million since the Fund’s creation in March 2020

Release Date: 4.20.2021

CLEVELAND – The Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund announced today its 12th cycle of biweekly grants as part of its Phase II efforts to support the Greater Cleveland nonprofit community during the ongoing pandemic. In total, $835,128 was granted to 11 organizations and groups serving Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties. Since the start of Phase II in mid-November, partners have granted more than $6.5 million, and nearly $14.2 million since establishing the Fund in March 2020.

The latest round of grant recipients includes:

  • Asian Services in Action (ASIA) ($50,000): To hire multilingual Community Health Workers to provide COVID-19 outreach within the Cuyahoga County Asian community and serve as patient navigators at mass vaccination events
  • The Center for Community Solutions ($15,000): To identify resources and opportunities to support our region’s short-term response and long-term recovery from COVID-19 in the areas of public health, workforce, food security, housing, and issues affecting children through the American Rescue Plan
  • Cleveland Metropolitan School District ($40,000): To provide basic needs including emergency food, sleeping and hygiene supplies, clothing items and cell phones to homeless students in grades PreK-12
  • I’m In Transition Ministries ($20,000): To support the hiring of a COVID Care Specialist to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by providing information about COVID safety and helping to connect clients in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties to the vaccine
  • Neighborhood Connections (on behalf of the Greater Cleveland Distribution Collective) ($99,878): To support grassroots PPE coordinators to supply sanitation and hygiene supplies and PPE when available for 6 months on the east side of Cuyahoga County
  • Neighborhood Connections ($97,750): To allow for additional staffing and PPE procurement (including KN95 masks) for distribution to protect against more contagious COVID-19 variants
  • Providence House, Inc. ($25,000): To increase paid staff to support children in residential living facilities in Cuyahoga County and to assist with their remote learning
  • Recovery Resources ($37,500): To support grocery assistance and partial funding of COVID-19 screening positions across the organization’s Cuyahoga County locations to ensure that clients can meet safely in person
  • Simply Virtual, Inc. ($20,000): To hire trainers to set up tablets and enhance their accessibility and usability for seniors living in the Westerly Apartments in Lakewood
  • United Church Homes, Inc. ($30,000): To fund the procurement of digital devices and three years’ worth of internet connectivity for older adult residents at the South Haven Woods housing community

In addition, the partners have allocated $400,000 to support the work of the Vaccine Communications Task Force to oversee the implementation of community-wide research, strategy, and media relations for awareness and education of the COVID-19 vaccine for high-risk and vulnerable populations.

The partners also recently released a community report on the first year of the Rapid Response Fund. In addition to the aforementioned grantmaking total, the Fund is just shy of eclipsing $20 million in fundraising from more than 2,500 individual donors and more than 80 organizational partners. From its inception in March 2020 through March 2021, 264 grants were made to Greater Cleveland nonprofit organizations, with an additional 275 small community grants through Neighborhood Connections. The full report can be downloaded here.

The Fund welcomes applications from nonprofits seeking support to address community needs in the areas of basic needs, housing, PPE, testing and vaccination access. Applicants are asked to demonstrate that the program or project will have a direct impact on reducing the spread of COVID-19. The Fund is especially interested in applications that help vulnerable populations access the vaccine.

Contributions to the second phase of the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund total more than $10.7 million; this includes a new gift from Westfield. Funding partners urge other foundations, corporate entities, individuals and organizations to contribute to the Fund. Donations of any amount are welcomed, and all contributions are tax deductible.

Based upon the charitable structure of the Rapid Response Fund, the second phase is currently accepting grant applications from eligible organizations serving Cuyahoga, Lake and/or Geauga counties. The Fund is designed primarily to support human service nonprofits with operational budgets of less than $20 million. The Fund partners encourage collaborative proposals that involve multiple organizations within similar sectors or neighborhoods working on shared issues.

Grants during Phase II of the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund are awarded every two weeks and will continue for one year. Awards range in size from $5,000 to $100,000, with a maximum grant amount of $100,000 for any nonprofit organization throughout the current cycle ending Oct. 31, 2021. Organizations that were funded during Phase I (between March-July 2020) are eligible to apply for additional funding. Grants are limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution.

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