Cleveland Foundation and its donors grant $111 million in 2019

Foundation authorizes $39 million in Q4 grantmaking

 Release Date: 12.20.2019

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation board of directors today announced $39 million in grants approved in the fourth quarter of 2019. Supporting residents in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties, the foundation has invested $111 million in the community year-to-date.

The 2019 total represents a 6.7 percent increase over 2018 – with the calendar yet to turn over to 2020. This growth was due in part to $60 million from donor advised grantmaking and supporting organizations, and when combined with $51 million in board-directed grants from the foundation’s endowment, this pace of community investment reflects a long-standing commitment by the foundation and its donors to address the areas of greatest need in our community.

“It’s humbling to know that the foundation and our donors have yet again surpassed the $100 million mark for the year – capping off a decade in which our mission-driven giving returned more than $1 billion back to the Greater Cleveland community,” said India Pierce Lee, Cleveland Foundation senior vice president for program. “This quarter’s funding was focused on residents at all stages of life: from helping our youngest residents both in and out of school, to assisting seniors with safe housing and access to food.”

Highlights of grants approved in Q4 2019 by the foundation’s board of directors include:


  • College Now Greater Cleveland, Inc. ($150,000) – Continued funding for the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland to continue its work with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) around college readiness, college access and college persistence.
  • Teach for America, Inc. ($300,000) – Continued support for the recruitment, selection and teacher training for incoming and current corps members, as well as leadership development and placement of its alumni.
  • Cleveland State University Foundation ($166,800) – Continued funding for the partnership between CSU’s College of Education and Human Services and CMSD for the Cleveland Teaching Fellows Program. Launched four years ago, the paid internship program will include a practicum and student teaching experience for up to 40 CSU education students in the 2020-21 school year.
  • Mid-American Conference (MAC) ($100,000) – Two-year funding to support the continuation of the MAC’s TEACHing Cleveland program that began in 2017 and is aimed at teacher retention in CMSD. The initiative has four separate focus areas – Social Opportunities, Learning Series, Teaching Channel Plus and Teachers on Assignment – that have already resulted in higher retention rates.


  • Partnership for a Safer Cleveland ($198,000) – Continued funding for the organization’s work around violence prevention among youth and young adults. In addition to supporting law enforcement training, the Partnership will expand its STANCE (Standing Together Against Neighborhood Crime Everyday) program to bring in more partners, including schools, that can help work with students at earlier ages.
  • Achievement Centers for Children ($180,000) – Support to expand access to early intervention services for at-risk children with disabilities and their families, with the aim that 95 percent of children under age six achieve or show significant progress toward the goals in their individual support plan including the development of age appropriate skills (gross motor, fine motor, play, communication and self-help), improved emotional well-being and social-emotional development.
  • Starting Point ($700,000) – Continued support for the organization tasked with serving as Northeast Ohio’s primary childcare, early education and out-of-school-time (OST) resource and referral agency. With the launch of Say Yes to Education in Cleveland, Starting Point will work with more organizations offering afterschool and summer programs for students, while also providing professional development opportunities in the areas of trauma informed practices, addressing racial equity, helping protect youth from violence and harm, and working with special needs children


  • Eliza Bryant Village ($200,000) – Funding for the construction of an Elder Justice Center to provide refuge for senior adults experiencing physical, emotional or financial abuse at the hands of caregivers and/or family members. The Center will also connect seniors to supportive social services and safe, stable housing. Eliza Bryant Village’s Elder Justice Center is the first of its kind in the state of Ohio.
  • Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Inc. (GCFB) ($350,000) – Support for the expansion of GCFB’s senior nutrition initiatives, including monthly distributions of fresh produce and nonperishable food items, enrollment assistance for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other benefits programs, and the preparation of meals served family-style in congregate settings. GCFB’s senior nutrition initiatives promote both food access and ongoing social companionship, supporting both the physical and mental health of our aging local population.

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