Cleveland Foundation Grants $17.4 Million in 2nd Quarter

Nearly $3 million goes to economic development

Release Date: 06.29.2010

The board of directors of the Cleveland Foundation this morning authorized $17.4 million in grants to a wide array of local nonprofit organizations, including $2.8 million to support economic transformation in Northeast Ohio.

Other grants were made in areas such as neighborhood revitalization, public school improvement, and arts and culture.

Those receiving grants this quarter include:

Economic Transformation

JumpStart received $750,000 for its entrepreneurship programs in Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio. The organization works to accelerate the growth of innovative, early-stage businesses and ideas. JumpStart helps these businesses by connecting them with successful entrepreneurs who can provide guidance, and by investing in high-potential companies.

A grant of $700,000 goes to NorTech to help grow the advanced energy and “flexible electronics” industries locally.  Flexible electronic devices are built on flexible – rather than rigid – backing or circuit boards, and their applications in consumer and business technologies are increasing.  The grant also will help continue NorTech’s work addressing issues that affect technology businesses in Northeast Ohio.

NorTech was also the recipient of a $500,000 grant to launch the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, also known as “LEEDCo.” With a mission to establish and grow the offshore wind power sector in Northeast Ohio, LEEDCo is working on creating a market for offshore wind power and installing the first wind turbines in Lake Erie.

A grant of $515,000 was authorized to Team NEO to encourage businesses to relocate to or expand in Northeast Ohio. The grant covers a specific initiative to attract minority-owned businesses to the area. The foundation put an additional $400,000 toward minority business development in Cleveland through a separate “Minority Business Accelerator” program and the establishment of a fund to provide growth capital to minority-owned companies.

Neighborhood Revitalization

The foundation will make a below-market loan of $1 million to New Village Corp., a subsidiary of Neighborhood Progress Inc., for the first phase of redevelopment of the historic St. Luke’s Hospital property in Cleveland’s Buckeye neighborhood. In this phase, the hospital’s central wing will be converted into 72 units of housing for low-income seniors. Units will be one- and two-bedroom, energy-efficient apartments with spaces for a community room, computer lab, supportive services, fitness room, and an onsite doctor’s office.

Arts and Culture

Case Western Reserve University was given $1 million by the foundation to restore the Temple-Tifereth Israel and transform it into a state-of-the-art performing arts center. Plans for the $32.6 million project include a 1,200-seat concert/lecture hall, 350- and 175-seat theatres, dance and drama studios, instructional space, a music library, and a pedestrian bridge connecting the West Campus area to Case Western Reserve’s central campus. The building will also continue to serve as a home for the Temple-Tifereth Israel congregation for use on Jewish high holy days and other special events.

The foundation granted a combined total of $1,377,500 to eight local arts groups as part of its Sustaining Excellence Program, which supports arts organizations that have risk-taking business models. Those receiving funding are:

  • Cleveland Orchestra – $475,000
  • Community Partnership for Arts and Culture – $285,000
  • Cleveland Play House – $142,500
  • Great Lakes Theatre Festival – $142,500
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland – $95,000
  • Playhouse Square Foundation – $95,000
  • Apollo’s Fire – $71,250
  • Cleveland Public Theatre – $71,250

The board authorized $278,000 for Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio to support three key areas: connecting local artists with students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and several first-ring suburbs; the ArtWorks program, which provides youth of various socioeconomic backgrounds the opportunity to apprentice with professional artists; and the Arts IS Education program, which helps CMSD schools infuse the arts into their curricula.


Two grants totaling $902,250 went to Cleveland Scholarship Programs (CSP). The bulk of the funds was directed to the Post-Secondary Access Initiative to increase opportunities for low-income, first-generation students who face barriers to post-secondary education such as aspiration, academic preparation, and affordability. About one-quarter of the grant goes to the Jane D. White Scholars of the CSP Lifelong Learners Program, for students 25 and older working toward four-year, post-secondary degrees.

A group of three independent Cleveland charter schools and charter school operators – Citizens Academy, Intergenerational School, and Zealous Schools – have come together to form Breakthrough Charter Schools (BCS), a nonprofit charter management organization. BCS, awarded a $350,000 grant, aims to provide its member schools with such services as financial planning, budget development, accounting, procurement of products and services, managing benefit plans, and information technology support. 

Other Grants

The foundation moved to improve public access to the Cuyahoga River by granting $300,000 to the Trust for Public Land. The nonprofit will facilitate the purchase of seven acres of land – formerly the site of the privately owned Commodore Club Marina – situated on a peninsula near Ohio City, Cleveland Metropolitan Housing’s Riverview Housing project, and the Flats. The foundation and the trust will work to ensure long-term public access to the site, including direct access to the river.

A grant of $100,000 to the Cleveland Metroparks will help to assess usage and plan for the future of the Metroparks’ facilities. The organization intends to conduct a comprehensive survey of area residents to determine park, conservation, and recreational trends.

The board authorized a grant of $75,000 to the Cleveland Zoological Society for hiring an outside firm to help the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with facility and strategic planning. The goal is to make the zoo more relevant, educational, and sustainable. 


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and the nation’s second-largest today, with assets of $1.8 billion and 2009 grants of $79 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