Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund awards $238,000 in eighth cycle of Phase II grantmaking

Fund stands at more than $3.5 million to support frontline nonprofit organizations in Greater Cleveland

Release Date: 2.23.2021

CLEVELAND – The Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund coalition announced today the most recent round of biweekly grants to support the nonprofit community. In total, $238,000 was awarded to four organizations and groups serving Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties. Since the start of Phase II in mid-November, partners have granted more than $2.8 million.

The latest round of grant recipients includes:

  • Motivated and Empowered, Inc. ($25,000): To provide basic needs, food, care kits, PPE and vaccine education outreach to at-risk youth in Cuyahoga County
  • Neighborhood Connections ($175,000): To provide grants ranging from $500-$5,000 to small nonprofit organizations, faith-based congregations, and grassroots and neighborhood civic groups throughout Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties for a broad range of essential human needs such as healthy food, safe shelter, and to reduce social isolation. Since receiving its first round of funding on April 10, Neighborhood Connections has awarded $846,000 to 276 groups and organizations.
  • Ravenwood Health ($20,000): To provide clients in Geauga County with basic needs, including temporary housing, security deposits, rent payments, winter necessities, toiletries and transit vouchers
  • United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland, Inc. ($18,000): To purchase PPE and to allow for technology upgrades for virtual programming for children and adults with disabilities in Cuyahoga County

As announced last month, the Fund’s grantmaking priorities are now primarily focused on basic needs, responding to housing challenges, and PPE distribution to reduce the spread of the virus. Applications in the family support priority area for Phase II will not be considered at this time unless they also fall in one of the aforementioned focus areas. This change to the funding priorities will continue until the end of March. At that time, the Fund will evaluate community needs and adjust priorities as necessary.

The Fund partners recently released a request for proposal (RFP) seeking one or more firms to assist in delivering a comprehensive COVID-19 vaccine communications and marketing plan that will encourage vaccine uptake, especially among Black people, immigrants, and other people of color – populations historically skeptical of vaccination due to well-known injustices and personal experiences with mistreatment while navigating the healthcare system. Responses are due Friday, March 5, and the RFP can be found here.

Contributions to the second phase of the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund total more than $3.5 million. Funding partners urge other foundations, corporate entities, individuals and organizations to contribute to the Fund. Donations of any amount are welcomed, and all contributions are tax deductible.

Based upon the charitable structure of the Rapid Response Fund, the second phase is currently accepting grant applications from eligible organizations serving Cuyahoga, Lake and/or Geauga counties. The Fund is designed primarily to support human service nonprofits with operational budgets of less than $20 million.

The Fund partners encourage collaborative proposals that involve multiple organizations within similar sectors or neighborhoods working on shared issues.

Grants during Phase II of the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund are awarded every two weeks and will continue for one year. Awards range in size from $5,000 to $100,000, with a maximum grant amount of $100,000 for any nonprofit organization throughout the current cycle ending Oct. 31, 2021. Organizations that were funded during Phase I (between March-July 2020) are eligible to apply for additional funding. Grants are limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution.

For more information or to donate, visit

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