Cleveland Foundation Awards $12.9 Million

Grants cover areas ranging from neighborhoods and arts to education and youth development

Release Date: 03.28.2008

The board of directors of the Cleveland Foundation today authorized $12.9 million in grants to address several of Greater Cleveland’s most vital issues.

Among the nonprofit organizations receiving funding this quarter are:

Neighborhood Revitalization

The foundation will continue its support of the successful Neighborhood Connections program with a grant of $2.7 million. The program works with community leaders in 26 Cleveland neighborhoods to make small grants of $500 to $5,000 for a wide variety of projects, such as arts and community festivals, gardening and landscaping improvements, safety patrols, and wholesome programs for youth.

“We’re excited to renew our support of Neighborhood Connections,” said Robert Eckardt, the foundation’s senior vice president for programs and evaluation. “The program has a unique ability to foster leadership at the local level, and its impact has been felt all around Cleveland.”

Since its inception five years ago, Neighborhood Connections has awarded 700 grants to 535 organizations totaling more than $2.6 million. In six recent rounds of grantmaking, the program gave out $1.7 million, which in turn attracted $6.1 million in additional outside donations – including gifts of money, goods and services, and volunteer hours – for a total investment of $7.8 million in Cleveland’s neighborhoods.

The board also authorized a $450,000 grant to the Downtown Cleveland Alliance in support of its priority initiatives, which include the Clean and Safe Ambassador Program and other efforts to make Downtown Cleveland an inviting, safe and attractive place.

Health Care

University Hospitals Case Medical Center is the recipient of $500,000 to help establish a new comprehensive maternal and fetal care center. The center will create a coordinated system to serve families facing high-risk pregnancies, complicated births, congenital issues or prematurity. Many expectant mothers in Northeast Ohio live below the poverty line and are more likely to experience such additional complicating factors as diabetes, obesity and hypertension. The aim of the center will be to coordinate care for these women across different areas of medicine.

Arts and Culture

The Great Lakes Science Center will receive $227,000 to fund the new position of vice president for strategic initiatives. The Science Center is working to refresh its educational content to reflect new scientific advancements and contemporary science. As a result, the institution finds itself with a large number of new partnering opportunities and initiatives to manage. The grant will also help the Science Center in its efforts to seek additional public-private funding for these opportunities.

Youth Development

A grant of $501,400 will allow the Center for Community Solutions to help launch the Youth Development Initiative, an effort involving the Cleveland Foundation, St. Luke’s Foundation, the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners, the City of Cleveland, United Way Services and other partners. The initiative aims to help children ages 6 to 18 make a successful transition into early adulthood. The Center for Community Solutions will develop a selection process to identify pilot neighborhoods in which the initiative will be implemented, and conduct a six-month planning process to create a youth development strategic plan in each of those neighborhoods.


The board also authorized $685,000 for the Cleveland Scholarship Program’s Post-Secondary Access Initiative. The program increases access to post-secondary education for low-income, first-generation students who face such barriers as academic preparation and affordability. During the 2006-07 school year, the Post-Secondary Access Initiative served 16,827 students, 80 percent of them from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and the nation’s third-largest today, with assets of $1.9 billion and 2006 grants surpassing $85 million. The foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders in perpetuity 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, early childhood and youth development, neighborhoods and housing, and arts advancement.

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