Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund awards $346,750 in second cycle of Phase II grantmaking

Fund stands at more than $3.2 million to support frontline nonprofit organizations in Greater Cleveland

Release Date: 11.24.20 

CLEVELAND – The Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund announced today its second cycle of biweekly grants as part of its Phase II efforts to support the Greater Cleveland nonprofit community during the ongoing pandemic. In total, $346,750 was awarded to 11 organizations and groups serving Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties, bringing the overall grantmaking amount to more than $915,000 in Phase II.

  • Cleveland Kosher Food Pantry ($15,000): To continue to meet the increased demand for delivery of culturally sensitive meals for seniors and low-income families in eastern Cuyahoga County
  • Denison Avenue United Church of Christ ($14,000): To allow for the expansion of shelter service through April, while also continuing food distribution to shut-ins and hot meals for small groups of youth on Cleveland’s near west side
  • The Edna House for Women ($15,000): To continue to provide shelter, housing and sobriety services for women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction in Cuyahoga County, including the purchase of tablets to allow for group meeting participation while quarantining
  • Greater Cleveland Congregations ($50,000): To work in conjunction with UnitedHealthcare to bring COVID-19 testing sites to the Slavic Village, Lee-Harvard and Glenville neighborhoods for four weeks, while also developing a process to follow up with people who test positive for COVID-19 at these testing sites to ensure they can isolate safely without transmitting the virus to other family members
  • Heights Christian Church ($27,000): To continue to support collaboration with other churches and community organizations as part of the Unity in the Community food pantry program, which addresses food insecurity for nearly 200 households in Cleveland’s east side neighborhoods
  • May Dugan Center ($45,000): To hire a Spanish-speaking mental health counselor, while continuing to support the organization’s drive-through food distribution service and victim service programs in Cuyahoga County
  • Neighborhood Connections ($121,500): 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 $648,627 to 199 groups and organizations.
  • Aloysius Catholic Church ($10,000): To support the organization’s outreach to senior citizens as well as homebound residents and families dealing with food insecurity in the Collinwood, Glenville and St. Clair-Superior neighborhoods
  • Salaam Clinic of Cleveland ($13,000): To purchase PPE and infection control equipment and to expand telehealth services so that the clinic can continue providing health care services to the uninsured and underinsured population of Northeast Ohio
  • SMART Recovery ($26,250): To continue to provide tools and peer support for individuals and their families dealing with addiction across Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties
  • Zion Hill Baptist Church ($10,000): To continue to provide healthy meals and snacks to senior citizens in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood

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.

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 next cycle, ending Oct. 31, 2021. Organizations that were funded during Phase 1 (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.

Leaders of the Fund hosted a technical assistance webinar last week to provide more information and answer questions from nonprofits interested in applying. A recording of the webinar is available here for those who were 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. 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.

For more information or to donate, visit

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