Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund awards nearly $600,000 in initial round of Phase II grantmaking

Fund stands at more than $3.2 million to support frontline nonprofit organizations in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties

Release Date: 11.10.2020

CLEVELAND – The Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund announced today its first round of biweekly grants as part of its Phase II efforts to support the Greater Cleveland nonprofit community during the ongoing pandemic. In total, $570,000 was awarded to the following organizations:

  • Building Hope in the City ($20,000): To support the refugee and immigrant population in Cleveland’s Westpark neighborhood with emergency cash assistance, facilitating unemployment applications and short-term job placement applications for adults, as well as support for remote learning at the organization’s educational enrichment center
  • Garfield Human Development Corporation ($15,000): To continue to meet the increased demand for the organization’s food security programs and the distribution of PPE
  • Neighborhood Connections ($335,000 – from remaining Phase I funds): To provide grassroots community groups and small community-based organizations with PPE and personal care items to distribute to residents in their communities, and to expand a distribution and supplier network that has been developed to lower costs and increase access to PPE
  • Smart Development Inc. ($75,000): To provide food, basic needs items, employment assistance, language translation and housing support for new immigrants, people of color, and refugees in Cuyahoga County
  • Union Miles Development Corporation ($25,000): To purchase and distribute home COVID-19 testing kits and PPE for up to 300 low-income and senior residents in the Union-Miles, Harvard and Mt. Pleasant communities
  • United Way of Greater Cleveland ($100,000): For academic learning pods to provide remote learning support, meals, and enrichment to nearly 800 Cleveland Metropolitan School District students

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, with a focus on basic needs, family supports, and PPE, testing and contact tracing. These priorities were identified with input from nearly 750 stakeholders, including more than 300 community residents, almost 320 nonprofit organizations, and dozens of local and national leaders across sectors.

Starting with today’s announcement, grants will be awarded every two weeks and will continue for one year. Awards will range in size from $5,000 to $100,000, with a maximum grant amount of $100,000 for any nonprofit organization throughout the next year, ending Oct. 31, 2021. Organizations that were funded during Phase 1 (between March-July 2020) are also 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.

Leaders of the Fund will host a technical assistance webinar on Tuesday, Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. – noon to provide more information and answer questions from nonprofits interested in applying. The webinar information will be shared soon. A recording of the webinar will be available for those who are unable to attend.

In addition to a continuation of the Response Fund for immediate needs, the collaborative has been expanded to include an aligned fund partnership focused on adaptation in the nonprofit sector to build resilience and better prepare for future needs, as well as a focus on long-term, equitable recovery, centered on dismantling racist policies and affecting well-being, mobility, and living wages.

Contributions to the second phase of the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund have already exceeded $3.2 million, including new funding partner Cuyahoga County. A second grant from the County ($4 million) will create and support the efforts of a new work group to address homelessness and other basic needs as part of a new multi-sector Phase II COVID continuous recovery effort. This working group will involve multiple funders and providers to think together on more sustainable solutions to housing homeless and unsheltered individuals and other critical resources for residents during this pandemic. Both of the contributions will be funded through the County’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Thanks to the generosity of more than 80 corporate, civic and philanthropic partners, as well as nearly 2,300 individuals and families across the region, more than $8.6 million was distributed to nearly 160 organizations across Northeast Ohio during the first phase of the Fund. 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.

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