Cleveland Foundation Announces $15.8 Million in Grants for 1st Quarter

Release Date: 03.23.2010

Today, the board of directors of the Cleveland Foundation authorized $15.8 million in grants in support of nonprofit organizations working in public school improvement, neighborhood revitalization, economic transformation, and other areas.

Those receiving funds this quarter include:

Public Education Reform

The foundation committed $2 million toward implementation of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s (CMSD) transformation plan. This amount is in addition to $750,000 the board authorized in December 2009 for initial implementation of the plan. The current grant will continue to support critical aspects of implementation, including design of a district-wide accountability system, development of new innovative schools, restructuring of the CMSD central office, improved administration, and talent recruitment and development within the district. The foundation will also consider additional funding to support implementation of the plan in the future.

The board authorized a $150,000 grant to support operations and programs at the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine, one of CMSD’s 13 new “innovation schools.” This high school prepares students for post-secondary education and careers in science, medicine, and related fields.

Economic Transformation

BioEnterprise, an organization that works to catalyze and grow health care companies and commercialize bioscience technologies in the Cleveland area, was awarded a grant of $800,000. About $600,000 of that amount will go toward BioEnterprise’s existing business development programs, which help to strengthen emerging medical device, biotechnology, and health care services firms. The remainder will support the creation of the “Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor” – a proposed biomedical district stretching from the “Campus District” (Cleveland State, Cuyahoga Community College, and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center) on the west to University Circle on the east.

The board voted to grant $350,000 to the Westside Industrial Retention and Expansion Network (WIRE-Net) for three economic development efforts:

  • Manufacturing Growth Strategies Initiative to help local manufacturers grow and stabilize their businesses
  • Great Lakes Wind Network Market Expansion Initiative to increase Northeast Ohio’s participation in the North American wind market
  • Urban Redevelopment Initiative to increase investment in public infrastructure and private land and buildings within Cleveland’s industrial districts, encouraging retention and expansion of manufacturing companies

A $150,000 grant was authorized for the Civic Innovation Lab to conduct operations, grantmaking, and planning. The Lab fuels innovation by providing mentoring and funding for ideas that can improve the Greater Cleveland economy.

Neighborhoods Development

The Cleveland Foundation continued its efforts to bolster low-income neighborhoods with a $4.5 million grant to Neighborhood Progress Inc. (NPI). The grant will go toward some of NPI’s major initiatives, including its work with six Strategic Investment Initiative (SII) community development corporations (Buckeye Area, Detroit Shoreway, Fairfax Renaissance, Famicos Foundation, Slavic Village, and Tremont West) to revitalize those neighborhoods.

Working together with NPI in these areas is the Cleveland Housing Network, recipient of a $167,000 grant to help counter the effects of foreclosure. The grant will support development projects, construction, energy-conservation measures, and promoting homeownership among SII neighborhood residents.

Downtown Cleveland Alliance received $400,000 for operations and several of its priority initiatives. The group undertakes a wide range of projects designed to make the downtown area a compelling place to live, work, play, and visit.

Youth Development

MyCom – short for “My Commitment, My Community” – provides positive experiences and caring adults for young people in Cuyahoga County. The program has been rolled out in eight neighborhoods around the county, some in Cleveland and some in the inner-ring suburbs. With a $750,000 grant from the foundation, the Neighborhood Leadership Institute will continue work in those neighborhoods to implement programming that creates youth employment and out-of-school-time activities, among other initiatives.

Partnership For A Safer Cleveland received $150,000 for its STANCE Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. STANCE (Stand Together Against Neighborhood Crime Everyday) seeks to reduce the incidence of violence and violent crimes through a variety of prevention, intervention, and re-entry programs.

Arts and Culture

The board authorized $169,400 to help the Cleveland Museum of Art develop closer ties to its surrounding neighborhoods. The museum will seek to extend the popular Parade the Circle event to those neighborhoods, create murals in nearby communities as part of its annual Chalk Festival, establish arts-related mentoring programs, and provide diversity training to staff to ensure a welcoming environment for all museum visitors.

The Cleveland Foundation’s Sustaining Excellence program produced grants to two area arts organizations: the Great Lakes Theater Festival ($150,000) and Opera Cleveland ($142,500). Sustaining Excellence strengthens and maintains a select group of mid-sized arts organizations in Greater Cleveland, helping them to maintain organizational and financial health. The Great Lakes Theater Festival grant will support audience-development activities, while the Opera Cleveland grant is for ongoing operations.

Health Care

University Hospitals Health System was awarded $250,000 for an expanded database that is projected to enhance the quality and efficiency of patient care. Once fully developed, the system is expected to become a national model for the seamless integration of billing, administrative, and clinical data.


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and the nation’s third-largest today, with assets of $1.8 billion and 2009 grants of $82 million. The foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. Currently the foundation proactively directs two-thirds of its flexible grant dollars to the community’s greatest needs: economic transformation (including advanced energy and globalization), public school improvement, human services and youth development, neighborhoods and housing, and arts advancement.

For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, please visit