Cleveland Foundation announces $12.7 million in July grants

RELEASE DATE: 7.31.2015

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation board of directors has approved $12.7 million in grants for the month of July. 

A focus of the foundation’s July funding is youth development.

“We’re pleased many of our grants this month support new and existing programs in our community which are focused on providing young people with safe, nurturing environments, as well as educational and cultural experiences to broaden their perspectives so they can realize their full potential,” said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation.

The July grants include funding for two programs which will empower local nonprofit organizations to better serve young people:

  • $121,000 to the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio to help implement a new web-based platform to streamline recruitment of new members and volunteers. The system will automate placement of new members into troops that have capacity, thus eliminating current “wait lists,” and enhance the ability to recruit leaders from underserved areas.
  • $197,825 to Positive Education Program (PEP) to further equip staff to effectively work with youth with special needs and youth who have been exposed to trauma. The grant will fund staff training and certification in nationally recognized trauma-informed, evidence-based strategies designed to improve the academic and behavioral outcomes for students. The training will also provide staff with a peer-to-peer approach for supporting team members working in the high-risk environment.

In addition, July grants include support to improve access to sports, educational and arts programming for inner-city youth:

  • $70,000 to Greater Cleveland Sports Commission (GCSC) to help expand the organization’s new Urban Youth Initiative, which aims to provide Cleveland’s underserved young people with experiences to illustrate how sports can lay the groundwork for future success. GCSC is partnering with the City of Cleveland’s recreation centers to develop educational programs which build upon existing sporting events. This grant will fund a program designed around GCSC’s NEOCycle event where 150 Cleveland youth will take part in a 4-week course on physical activity, nutrition, environmental education and goal-setting and, upon “graduation,” will earn bicycles built by corporate volunteers.
  • $40,000 to the City of Cleveland to continue extended hours and special programming at the city’s rec centers until the start of the school year next month. The Cleveland Foundation first partnered with the city to launch the “Cleveland Nights” program in 2012 as a way to positively engage youth throughout the summer in the city’s core neighborhoods. This grant is a continuation of the foundation’s 2014 grant and provides the gap funding needed to keep the program running through August 15.
  • $57,000 to Playhouse Square Foundation to help fund costs related to the Children’s Theatre Series and the International Children’s Festival. This grant will help with educational materials and travel expenses for students in order to increase the number of underserved youth able to attend these quality productions. This grant is from the Children’s Theatre Fund of the Cleveland Foundation, which the Junior League of Cleveland established in 1986 to support the annual costs of the Children’s Theatre Series at Playhouse Square.

The board also approved a grant to further the foundation-led Encore Cleveland initiative, which aims to channel the time, energy and talents of experienced Clevelanders into solving community challenges and filling unmet needs. The $23,500 grant to University Circle Incorporated (UCI) will support a new intergenerational videoconferencing program that will connect neighborhood seniors and students to explore a variety of educational topics through an Afrocentric lens. The program will be centered in the Fatima and Harvard neighborhood centers and will be facilitated by UCI staff, as well as Encore Cleveland volunteers. The teleconferencing sessions will be followed by topic-appropriate field trips to exhibits, play and concerts in University Circle.


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.2 billion and 2014 grants of $98 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – economic transformation, public-school improvement, youth development, neighborhood revitalization, and arts advancement – and responds to the community’s needs.

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