09/22/2005 in Grantmaking

Foundation Awards $4.3 Million in September

The George Gund Foundation made commitments at its September meeting to help develop plans for a “campus town” in University Circle, create a system for a universal pre-kindergarten program in Cuyahoga County and introduce environmentally sensitive “green building” principles into new low-income housing projects.

Trustees approved 55 grants totaling $4,375,235 made to arts, educationhuman servicesenvironment and economic and community development organizations at the Foundation’s third quarterly meeting of 2005.

The Foundation also made a $500,000 program-related investment to the Enterprise Housing Financial Services for a revolving loan fund that will be used to help integrate green building standards into the renovation and building of affordable housing.

A $81,250 grant to University Circle Incorporated will support a planning process to create a vision and a set of design principles for new development in the Circle that will include housing, retail and entertainment in a “town center” or “campus town” at the intersection of Euclid Avenue, Ford Road and Mayfield Road.

The Foundation increased its commitment to Cuyahoga County’s Invest in Children Initiative, a groundbreaking public/private partnership to promote well-being for children ages birth through six, with a $137,000 grant. Funds will be used for research and planning for a voluntary, high-quality universal pre-kindergarten program for three and four year-olds.

The Foundation also continued it commitment to research on inherited retinal degenerative diseases with a $2 million grant to the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

Other grants of interest included:

  • $300,000 to the Cleveland Municipal School District for development of curriculum for the Cleveland Literacy System.
  • $250,000 to the Cleveland Foundation for the new Greater Cleveland Literacy Collaborative.
  • $60,000 to the Harbor Heritage Society for operating support for the Steamship William G. Mather Museum and the move from the E. Ninth Street Pier to a spot near the Great Lakes Science Center.
  • $50,000 to the Ohio Fair Schools Campaign for efforts to insure adequate and equitable funding for public education in Ohio.
  • $30,000 to the Nature Conservancy for biodiversity conservation projects in Northeast Ohio.
  • $100,000 to the Northern Kentucky Children’s Law Center for its Ohio office and its efforts to improve the state’s juvenile justice system.
  • $50,000 to Karamu House for its 90th anniversary theater season.

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 quarterly in the areas of education, human services, economic and community development, environment and arts. Foundation commitments to date have totaled more than $447 million.