11/18/2015 in Grantmaking

Foundation Grants $17.7 Million at Final Meeting of 2015

The George Gund Foundation approved funding for a diverse array of organizations primarily serving Cleveland at its November meeting. The initiatives receiving grants range from continued support of a national teacher corps presence in Cleveland schools to a local program linking urban consumers with Northeast Ohio farmers.

The Fund for Our Economic Future received a three-year $4,000,000 grant to continue its efforts to grow the region’s ecosystem of entrepreneurship and to leverage philanthropic investments in regional economic growth and opportunity with those of the business community.

The Western Reserve Historical Society received a two-year $250,000 grant to create the “Cleveland Starts Here” permanent exhibit, which will feature local history at the Cleveland History Center in University Circle.

Bard College received a $150,000 grant to open a second early college high school as part of the Foundation’s commitment to innovative schools in Cleveland. The initial attendance for the first school, opened in 2014, has been extremely high. The school offers a tuition-free, credit-bearing college course of study in the liberal arts and sciences.

Trustees approved 96 grants to organizations working in human services, education, arts, environment and economic and community development at the Foundation’s final meeting of 2015, totaling $17,738,500.

Other grants of note included:

  • $5,000,000, over five years, to the Foundation Fighting Blindness for the creation of My Retina Tracker, a secure digital database that will accelerate identifying participants for clinical trials of potential treatments of macular degenerative diseases
  • $250,000 to Lake View Cemetery Foundation for the first phase of renovations to the historic James A. Garfield monument
  • $210,000, over two years, to Bike Cleveland for operating support and project funding to develop a citywide bike sharing program
  • $50,000 to the Young Women’s Christian Association of Cleveland for the “A Place 4 Me” initiative to end homelessness and provide support for youth who have aged out of the foster-care system
  • $25,000 to the local non-partisan think tank PolicyBridge for operating support in order to “create and sustain a high quality discourse that addresses public policy issues”
  • $65,000 to College Now Greater Cleveland Inc. to continue the work of the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland

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 $689 million.