Cleveland Foundation approves $17 million in Q3 grants

Foundation, donors grant more than $72 million in 2019 year-to-date

RELEASE DATE: 9.27.2019

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation board of directors today announced $17 million in grants approved in the third quarter of 2019. Supporting residents in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties, the foundation has invested more than $72 million in the community year-to-date.

“This quarter’s grantmaking reinforces our commitment to providing equitable access to critical resources for all residents,” said India Pierce Lee, Cleveland Foundation senior vice president for program. “From helping our youngest residents receive quality education at the earliest age to supporting diverse entrepreneurs looking to improve their economic potential, the foundation and our donors continue to ensure that we live our mission by lifting up the community.”

Highlights of grants approved in Q3 2019 by the foundation’s board of directors include:

Economic & Workforce Development

  • Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) ($175,000) – Funding for the Cleveland Microenterprise Neighborhood Development Program (CMNDP), which provides small business loans and technical assistance services to underserved and underbanked entrepreneurs – with a particular focus on low-income African American and Latinx business owners. The goals for CMNDP are to provide one-on-one coaching to 275 clients over the next year and the approval of at least 20 loans within core Cleveland neighborhoods.
  • WIRE-Net/Manufacturing Works ($199,763) – Continued support for small- to mid-sized manufacturers to adopt and implement new technologies – particularly those related to the Industrial Internet of Things – in order to improve economic competitiveness, while also leading to the retention and addition of jobs.


  • Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio ($250,000) – Continued support for PRE4CLE – a comprehensive strategy to provide a roadmap for the City of Cleveland to reach the goals of expanding access to high-quality preschool to every child in Cleveland. Now in its fifth year, PRE4CLE’s efforts have led to a 72 percent increase in high-quality preschool enrollment since 2014.
  • Montessori Development Partnerships ($165,000) – Funding for the organization’s early childhood program, including the continuation of start-up operational support and professional development opportunities. Stonebrook Montessori is the only public charter school in Ohio that provides free, high-quality Montessori education to children beginning at age three.

Arts & Culture

  • Cleveland Classical Guitar Society ($150,000) – Support for the expansion of the arts mastery program which provides free, rigorous, high-quality classical guitar lessons to Cleveland youth. Grant funding includes additional instructional staff and teaching artists, guitars and other equipment, curricula, and meals for student participants. Already serving 340 students in eight locations, the organization hopes to grow to 500 participants at 10 locations by the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Cleveland Museum of Art ($190,850) – Started in 2017 in conjunction with Cleveland Public Library, this funding will allow for the continued growth of the Teen Curatorial Arts Mastery program in which students in grades 9-12 engage in activities that introduce them to all aspects of the museum world: building skills in teamwork, planning, writing, research, design, leadership, creative problem solving, and communications. Their work culminates in art exhibitions at local library branches and a collaboration with Laura Owens at the Transformer Station. The goal is to involve 225-275 students in the coming school year, with at least two-thirds of the participants coming from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Health & Human Services

  • Cleveland Rape Crisis Center ($100,000) – Funding for a Director of Human Trafficking to lead the development of a drop-in center that will serve as a hub for all of the organization’s human trafficking services. In 2018, Ohio ranked fourth in the nation with 219 human trafficking cases reported, of which 81 percent were sex trafficking cases. The Trafficking in Persons Study Commission found that more than 1,800 Ohio children ages 12-17 will be sex trafficked annually and an estimated 6,300 additional Ohio children are at risk. Cleveland Rape Crisis Center served 45 percent more survivors of sex trafficking in 2018 than in 2015.
  • Hospice of the Western Reserve ($400,000) – Two-year support for the organization to partner with MetroHealth to bring an adapted version of its Western Reserve Navigator program (WRN-T) to patients with heart failure, a serious, life-limiting illness with complex treatment and discharge instructions. Navigator is a comprehensive residential palliative care program that is part of a multi-year initiative to increase access to hospice care for all residents of Cuyahoga County.


  • West Creek Conservancy ($200,000) – Two-year funding to allow the organization to effectively integrate a new real estate position into the portfolio of services it provides to the Central Lake Erie Basin Collaborative. Comprised of 17 watershed organizations in Northeast Ohio, the Collaborative works together to prioritize water quality, preservation and habitat restoration initiatives, build upon existing personnel to fill service gaps in understaffed organizations, and develop collective messaging and communication strategies aimed at better educating the public.

Leadership Development

  • Greater Cleveland Volunteers ($225,000) – Two-year support for continued growth in volunteer recruitment and engagement, and for the expansion of the American Association of Retired People (AARP) Foundation Experience Corps program – an intergenerational tutoring initiative that builds and strengthens the literacy skills of underperforming students in grades K-3 by training older adults as tutors within the Cleveland Metropolitan and Euclid City School Districts.

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