Foundation Announces July 2012 Grants 07/17/2012

The George Gund Foundation has committed more than $1.5 million for projects that continue to support the groundbreaking Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools. 

Two grants, totaling $950,000, will be used to provide direct support for new and innovative schools in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), staff the CMSD Office of New and Innovative Schools and implement other aspects of the plan including efforts to improve low-performing schools and increase communication and community outreach. 

“We are pleased that our investment in new and innovative schools in Cleveland helped lay the groundwork for the Cleveland Plan and the supporting state legislation which was signed into law earlier this month,” said David Abbott, Foundation executive director. “We will continue to work with the CMSD and partnering charter schools to ensure that every child in Cleveland attends an excellent school, and that great educational choices for families exist in every neighborhood.“ 

Other grants to Cleveland Plan partners include: 

  • $325,000 to Breakthrough Charter Schools which works in partnership with the CMSD to provide high-quality education to Cleveland children. 
  • $75,000 to Berea Children’s Home (dba Guidestone) for start-up expenses of Stepstone Academy, a new school in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood that will integrate behavioral health support services for students. 
  • $170,000 over two years to the Positive Education Program to partner with the CMSD at Margaret Ireland School which will serve children with emotional and behavioral issues. 

The grants were among 106 totaling $10,568,375 awarded at the Foundation’s second meeting of the year to a wide-range of human services, education, environment, arts and community and economic development organizations. 

The Foundation also continued its commitment to the Fund for Our Economic Future, a philanthropic collaborative focused on strengthening the region’s economic competitiveness, with a three-year $4 million grant. 

Grants made at the Foundation’s summer meeting also focused on a new strategy for funding preventive social services proven to be effective and reforms in the juvenile justice system. 

New Profit, Inc. received a $100,000 grant on behalf of Third Sector Capital Partners and the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago received a $50,000 grant to help Cuyahoga County explore and pilot a Pay for Success model that works to shift government payment for specific processes and services to paying only for specific outcomes. 

Grants to continue efforts to reform Ohio’s juvenile justice system and services for young offenders were awarded to the Northern Kentucky Children’s Law Center ($100,000), Case Western Reserve University’s Center for Innovative Practices ($50,000) and Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth of Ohio ($40,000). 

Other grants of interest included: 

  • $500,000 over two years to ideastream for news and public affairs programming. 
  • $150,000 over two years to Environmental Health Watch for operating support. 
  • $35,000 to Earthjustice for a study of Ohio’s rules and regulations related to fracking. 
  • $240,000 over two years to the Museum of Contemporary Art-Cleveland for operating expenses in its new building in University Circle. 
  • $50,000 to the Western Reserve Land Conservancy for the Thriving Communities Institute. 

The George Gund Foundation was established in 1952 by George Gund, former chairman of the Cleveland Trust Company. The Foundation funds programs that enhance our understanding of the physical and social environment in which we live and increase our ability to cope with its changing requirements. Grants are made three times a year in the areas of education, human services, economic and community development, environment and arts. Foundation commitments to date have totaled almost $595 million.