Cleveland Black Futures Fund releases RFP, application portal opens Jan. 25

Virtual support available prior to deadline including webinar, office hours and a town hall

Release Date: 1.21.2021

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation today released a request for proposals for the initial round of grantmaking from the Cleveland Black Futures Fund. Nonprofit organizations in Cleveland can begin applying on Monday, Jan. 25 at noon. The Fund has amassed more than $4 million since its inception in late 2020 to support the capacity of Cleveland-based nonprofit organizations that are both Black-led and Black-serving.

The overarching goal of the Cleveland Black Futures Fund is to strengthen the ecosystem of Black leaders and Black-serving organizations in Greater Cleveland by providing intentional resources to help grow organizational infrastructure and capacity. Long term, the foundation aims to deepen the field of leaders working to dismantle systemic racism and advance the community towards racial equity.

The tentative timeline for the first round of grantmaking is as follows:

  • Jan. 25: Online application process begins at noon
  • Jan. 28: Webinar (click here to register)
  • Feb. 1-12: Virtual office hours (click here to schedule a time)
  • Feb. 11: Virtual town hall with Radio One Cleveland (details coming soon)
  • Feb. 26: Application deadline
  • End of March: Applicants informed of funding decisions

A second round of grantmaking will take place in late summer or early fall of this year.

In recent months, both the COVID-19 pandemic and the historic protests happening nationally and locally have prompted a bolder call to action to address systemic racism and its devastating effects in the Greater Cleveland community. In light of the crisis brought on by the spread of COVID-19, the advisory committee of the Fund asks applicants to reflect on the effects of the pandemic in the community. This framing is not intended to limit the applicant pool to strictly health, public health or social services work; Fund partners believe that work across sectors will be important to the health and resilience of the community during this pandemic, including environmental work, technology, arts, policy and advocacy, and much more.

Starting Monday, Jan. 25 at noon, applications must be submitted online by visiting the Cleveland Foundation Grants Gateway. Applicant organizations may operate in a range of issue areas, but grants can only be made to organizations currently holding 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. Organizations that do not currently have 501(c)3 tax-exempt status are eligible to apply in partnership with a tax-exempt organization serving as a fiscal agent. For programmatic questions or information, contact: For application or technical questions, contact:

For more information or to donate to the Cleveland Black Futures Fund, visit

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