Cleveland Foundation Awards $14.1 Million

Cleveland neighborhoods to benefit from $4.2 million grant

Release Date: 03.27.2007

At its quarterly meeting today, the board of directors of The Cleveland Foundation authorized $14.1 million in grants to fund programs and services that address some of Cleveland’s most vital issues.

Those receiving funding this quarter include:

Neighborhoods and Housing

Neighborhood Progress Inc. (NPI) received a three-year, $4.2 million grant to support its operations and those of 14 to 16 community development corporations (CDCs) in Cleveland. A CDC is a nonprofit group that helps to strengthen a neighborhood through improved housing and commercial opportunities, job creation, and similar activities. Six area CDCs – those in the Buckeye, Detroit Shoreway, Fairfax, Glenville, Slavic Village, and Tremont neighborhoods – have benefited over the past three years from NPI’s “Strategic Investment Initiative,” which seeks to produce exemplary “neighborhoods of choice” and local market recovery. The new funds will extend these benefits across the rest of Cleveland’s CDCs, with a strong emphasis on teaching them business and organizational skills like planning, marketing, and coordination of services. In addition, part of the grant will support the Village Capital Corporation, a subsidiary of NPI that assists with real estate development projects.

The board also authorized a $450,000 grant to the Downtown Cleveland Alliance for ongoing operations and priority initiatives to strengthen downtown Cleveland. Among those initiatives are economic development, marketing, and “Clean and Safe,” a program designed to make the downtown environment friendlier, cleaner, and safer, in part through the use of 45 “Downtown Ambassadors.”

Public School Improvement

The Foundation allocated $300,000 to assist with planning and design of six new “Opportunity Schools” within the Cleveland Municipal School District. Those schools include four single-gender K through 8 academies, the Ginn Academy for high school boys, and a science, technology, engineering and mathematics school.

A grant of $90,000 was directed to the Ohio Grantmakers Forum (OGF) to support that organization’s work in education. In December, the OGF released a report titled “Education for Ohio’s Future,” which described the challenges facing the state educational system and set forth a number of policy-related recommendations. The next phase of the project will focus on engaging government officials, grantmakers and the community on educational reform in Ohio.

The board also agreed to support the new Cleveland School of Science and Medicine through a $70,000 grant to create a teaching and learning plan, foster professional development among faculty, procure instructional materials, and recruit teachers.

Advanced Energy

The board granted $200,000 to the Cuyahoga County Commissioners to help fund a feasibility study around the installation of electricity-producing wind turbines in Lake Erie. The project was proposed last year by the Cuyahoga Regional Energy Development Task Force.

Early Childhood and Youth Development

The Foundation has also earmarked $135,000 to hire a consultant to help design a comprehensive youth development initiative for Cuyahoga County. The initiative will aim to improve the lives of children ages 5 to 17 in such areas as health, behavior, and family and housing conditions. A youth development taskforce has been meeting since February and will continue to review best practices, interview community experts, assess past youth development-related grantmaking in the county, and analyze public and private funding options. The board also authorized a grant of $11,621 to The Center for Community Solutions to gather data on the county’s youth.

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Established in 1914, The Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and the nation’s third-largest today, with assets of $1.7 billion and annual grants surpassing $80 million. The Foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders in perpetuity by building community endowments, 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, public school improvement, globalization, early childhood and youth development, neighborhoods and housing, and arts advancement.

For more information on The Cleveland Foundation, please visit ClevelandFoundation.org.