03/01/2016 in Grantmaking

Foundation Awards $7 Million at Winter Meeting

The George Gund Foundation approved grants totaling $7,083,637 at its February meeting, including continuing support for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and $1 million to help match Cuyahoga County’s major expansion of funding for high quality preschool.

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Inc. (CNP) has played a crucial role in supporting the health of Cleveland’s neighborhoods for almost three decades. It was a leader in developing innovative strategies to fight the urban ravages of the mortgage foreclosure crisis and the Great Recession.  The Foundation awarded CNP $3,600,000 over the next three years to incorporate more people-oriented strategies into the rehabilitation of Cleveland’s neighborhoods.

The Foundation committed $1 million over two years to the campaign for private donations to match $10 million from Cuyahoga County for expansion of its Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program.  “The social and economic evidence of early childhood education’s impact is overwhelming,” said Marcia Egbert, the Foundation’s senior program officer for human services.  “The County’s expanded program will increase the number of high-quality seats and will make them more affordable for children with the greatest need.”

Other grants of note included:

  • $25,000 to the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes to host a series of public events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the efforts to successfully fight the construction of the Clark Lee Freeway, which would have cut through the Shaker Lakes and Cleveland’s east side
  • $95,000, over two years, to GroundWorks DanceTheater for operating support and completion of work identified in its strategic plan to artistically and administratively move the organization foward
  • $175,000 for operating support and capacity building to the Cleveland Transformation Alliance, which oversees the implementation of the Cleveland Plan, our community’s education reform plan
  • $40,000 to the Healthy Fathering Collaborative for the Baby Elmo Project, which provides parenting education for previously incarcerated teen fathers to develop and strengthen relationships with their young children
  • $100,000 to Oberlin College for the Oberlin Food Hub.  The Hub will aggregate produce from multiple smaller Northeastern Ohio farms and then distribute the food to institutional buyers, such as grocery store chains

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 $696 million.