Cleveland Foundation announces $3.4 million in February grants

release date: 2.26.15

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation board of directors has approved $3.4 million in grants for the month of February.

Among the grants approved, $175,000 will specifically support events for the general public during Induction Week at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

“The Cleveland Foundation originally helped with efforts to bring the Rock Hall induction ceremonies to Cleveland and, as the community’s foundation, it’s always been important to us that a broad segment of our community has access to the high caliber performances and programming that this exciting week brings to our city every three years,” said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation.

The Cleveland Foundation grant includes support of a free day at the museum on Saturday, Apr. 11, which will kick off the opening of the museum’s 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee exhibit and the weeklong celebrations leading up to the April 18 inductions. The grant will also help fund a free gospel concert at the State Theatre on Sunday, Apr. 12, and special adult and youth educational lectures and classes throughout the week.

This is not the first time the Cleveland Foundation has partnered with the Rock Hall to open its doors free to the public. Last year, as part of the foundation’s centennial year celebration, more than 8,000 visitors attended the free day at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; more than half of those surveyed said they were first-time visitors. And this year, in addition to the Induction Week free day event and in honor of the foundation’s 2014 centennial gifts, the Rock Hall is providing a free membership to the 100th visitor every day for 100 days, starting June 1.

Other grants approved this month highlight the Cleveland Foundation’s focus on strengthening Greater Cleveland’s nonprofit community and helping local agencies to provide broad human services support:

  • $96,500 to Cleveland Leadership Center to fund strategic projects, including a report on the social and economic impact of its programs and the creation and launch of the “Nonprofit Navigators” program. By providing leadership development and mentorship opportunities for emerging and existing leaders, the Navigators program seeks to build and retain talent to shape the future of the local nonprofit sector. The Cleveland Foundation supported the launch of Cleveland Leadership Center in 2006, which was a result of a merger of four civic leadership development groups.
  • $55,000 to Merrick House for projects including the development of a 5-year strategic plan to help guide the Tremont neighborhood organization into its centennial year in 2019. Merrick House is one of the city’s remaining settlement houses, a neighborhood-based social service agency which provides a variety of broad services including childcare, youth and adult educational and recreational programming, and community outreach. 
  • $7,500 to Metanoia Project Inc., a hospitality shelter program which focuses on serving homeless residents who resist traditional shelters. The Metanoia Hospitality Center is open from mid-November through April on weekends, holidays and emergency weather days when the temperatures fall below 20 degrees. This winter’s extreme weather conditions have resulted in several emergency open days and a larger than usual population, resulting in the need for additional funding support. The Cleveland Foundation provided $15,000 of support last year, to help cover expenses tied to a 25 percent increase in services due to extreme weather conditions.
  • $20,000 to Shoes and Clothes for Kids Inc. to support a strategic plan to guide the organization, which partners with 35 social service agencies in the community to distribute $2.4 million in shoes and clothing to disadvantaged youth each year. 
  • $200,000 to United Way of Greater Cleveland for its community wraparound strategy to bolster the academic achievement and overall success of Cleveland Metropolitan School District students. The program partners more than two dozen district schools with lead agencies in the community to provide direct, comprehensive services to students and their families. This funding will help the program’s recent expansion into eight additional schools. A $100,000 Cleveland Foundation grant helped United Way of Greater Cleveland to launch this program in 2013.

And two separate grants were approved to promote literacy efforts in our community:

  • $5,000 to Daily Dose of Reading, which was founded 16 years ago by a pediatrician who offered patients “prescriptions to read” to encourage families to engage in reading and language development activities with their children. This grant will support monthly “Play and Learn” literacy activities for 400 Head Start preschoolers in the Lee-Harvard and Shaker Square neighborhoods. Early data shows children who participated in this program demonstrated up to 42% greater development in language and literacy skills than Head Start students not involved with this program. 
  • $150,000 to Seeds of Literacy to help with staffing and programming at the adult literary agency’s recently opened second site in Cleveland’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. Seeds of Literacy is one of only two nationally-accredited adult literacy agencies in Ohio and focuses on helping adult learners improve their basic education and obtain their GED. The Cleveland Foundation provided more than $200,000 over the past two years to the agency to help it implement recent changes to GED testing requirements.


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.

For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, visit and follow us on, Twitter @CleveFoundation and Instagram @CleveFoundation.