Cleveland Foundation announces $14.7 million in March grants

Foundation awarded $21.1 million to area nonprofits in Q1 2015

RELEASE DATE: 3.31.2015

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation board of directors today approved $14.7 million in grants for the month of March, bringing the foundation’s first-quarter grantmaking total to $21.1 million.

The focus of the March funding supports health and education initiatives throughout Greater Cleveland, two strategic priority areas for the foundation in its mission to enhance the lives of all in our community.

Among the grants approved:


  • $1.3 million to ideastream to fund a health education project focused on the impact socioeconomic and environmental health factors play in the overall health of Greater Clevelanders. The “Healthy People, Places, and Future” project will also explore the role local medical innovation could have on improving the health landscape. This project will build on ideastream’s award-winning “Be Well” health programming, which the Cleveland Foundation supported through $1.5 million in grants from 2012 through 2014.
  • $275,000 in grants to support the Greater University Circle Community Health Initiative,being led by Neighborhood Connections and Case Western Reserve University. This initiative focuses on positively impacting health outcomes through an unprecedented community health partnership among CWRU’s Center for Promoting Health Across Boundaries, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. The program will initially center efforts on improving infant mortality and lead poisoning rates through the creation of community health action teams focused on innovative interventions in the neighborhoods surrounding University Circle.
  • $290,000 to Benjamin Rose Institute to help the organization develop a new model of senior service delivery. Through its recent alignment with the Golden Age Centers of Greater Cleveland, the renamed Rose Centers for Aging Well aim to build upon evidence-based practices, technology-based service protocols and partnerships with care providers to better serve our area’s most vulnerable seniors.
  • $200,000 to Care Alliance for startup support as the organization’s new health clinic in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood begins serving patients in April. This grant will provide critical first-year funding as the clinic builds its patient base, targeting primary, dental and behavioral care services to the most vulnerable in this medically underserved neighborhood. This brings the total of Cleveland Foundation support for this new clinic to $700,000.


The Cleveland Foundation board approved a $600,000 grant to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to support the organization’s new planned Wildlife Center and public garden. The museum welcomes more than 70,000 students each year. This brings Cleveland Foundation support for this project to $750,000.

In addition, multiple foundation grants approved this month focus on bolstering the career and college-readiness support system for Cleveland Metropolitan School District students:

  • $800,000 to College Now Greater Cleveland Inc. to provide critical support for the organization’s Postsecondary Access Initiative in the upcoming school year, which includes:
    • School-based advisory services at all high schools within CMSD
    • Continuation of the Cleveland Foundation College Now Scholars program, which provides intensive, individualized college access and financial aid counseling for the district’s top-performing high school seniors
    • “Last dollar” scholarships for the Scholar students to help close the gap between scholarship funding awarded and basic living expenses
    • Scholarships for gifted adult learner students
    • College Now Resource Center services, including free college access advising, in person at College Now’s Public Square offices as well as online and through community outreach
  • $385,000 in grants to support the foundation’s focus on college access and success, particularly the continued implementation of the Naviance Succeed program in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. This software tracking program provides individualized grade-specific plans to guide students toward post-secondary success. Now being used in every district high school, this grant support will allow more students to access the software at each high school and also will expand the program into the district’s middle schools.

The board also approved a $2 million grant to NewBridge, an innovative arts and career training program the foundation and its partners helped launch nearly five years ago, replicating a similar successful program in Pittsburgh. This grant will help the program, which targets economically-disadvantaged youth and adults, to increase the number of students served through its free classes and to expand the in-demand career tracks and technology-infused arts classes offered.


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.1 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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