Grantmaking /

Apply for a Grant

Application Deadlines

Proposals are considered three times a year by the Foundation’s trustees. Deadlines for submitting proposals for consideration are as follows:

Winter Meeting

Proposal Deadline: November 15, 2023
Trustee Meeting: February 14, 2024

Summer Meeting

Proposal Deadline: March 15, 2024
Trustee Meeting: June 27, 2024

Fall Meeting

Proposal Deadline: July 15, 2024
Trustee Meeting: November 7, 2024

Please note that all proposals submitted for a specific deadline date are not guaranteed consideration at the corresponding trustee meeting. On occasion, the Foundation is able to consider grants in between trustee meetings. Please contact the relevant program director or grants manager for more information.

Lake Erie Frank Gohlke

Application Procedures

In order to reduce paper and streamline our proposal process, the Foundation requires all applications for grants be submitted online. To avoid delays with the proposal review process, please read all directions carefully and have appropriate materials available before beginning the application form.

Step 1. Determine eligibility

Review information on The George Gund Foundation’s What We Believe page to learn about our areas of focus. Reading this content will help you determine whether or not your organization is a potential fit for funding. Click here for guidance on capital grants. For information on program-related investments, click here.

Step 2. Check your organization’s name and IRS status at GuideStar by Candid

Before beginning the application, have your organization’s IRS status and legal name available. Enter your EIN at for this information.

Step 3. Log in or create an account

You will be able to apply for funding online by clicking the Online Grant Application button below on this page. You will be prompted to sign in using an email address and password. If this is your organization’s first-time using our online application system, select “New Applicant” and follow the prompts.

Only one account for your organization will be recognized by the system. If you have previously created an account with the Gund Foundation and would like to submit a new application, enter your email address and password and click “Login.” If you forget your password, please request your password and it will be sent to you.

Step 4. Complete the Application

Our online application system is designed to make the application process as easy as possible for our grantees.

You will be asked to enter your organization’s IRS classification to verify your charitable designation. If you are working with a fiscal sponsor, please enter that group’s EIN.

Please note that you will not be able to submit the proposal if all “required” fields are not completed.

Step 5. Attachments

Review the list of attachments needed to submit a proposal. Any missing required documents will result in the delay of consideration of your proposal.

Organization Background

History, mission, any current organizational issues, types of programs offered, constituencies served

Project Description

Justification of need, specific goals and objectives, activities planned to meet goals and objectives, project timeline, qualifications of key personnel, methods of evaluation

Project Budget

Anticipated expenses, including details about how Foundation funds would be used, and anticipated income, including information about other sources approached for funding

Organizational Budget

Previous and current year budget and proposed budget for project year(s), showing both income and expenses

Required Supporting Documents

  • List of current trustees
  • Most recent audited financial statement (if available)
  • Climate Change Statement (a brief explanation of what the organization is doing or considering to reduce or to eliminate its impact on climate change). Please see Climate Change Statement for examples
  • Arts organizations working with SMU DataArts (formerly Ohio Cultural Data Project) should submit the George Gund Foundation report available at SMU DataArts

Optional Supporting Documents

Letters of support, annual reports or brochures, media coverage

Step 6. Review and submit

After you have completed all required fields and uploaded the necessary documents, click “Review & Submit.” Your entire application (not including documents you attached) will appear in full and you may make any changes you feel are necessary. To officially submit the application, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click “Submit.” You will receive an email message verifying that the Foundation has received your application.

Our grants management team is available to answer any questions and guide you through the application process. Feel free to contact them at 216.241.3114 or via email.

All proposals are screened and evaluated by the staff before presentation at Trustee meetings.

Cuyahoga River Lois Conner

Information and Resources

As part of each application, we ask that you briefly discuss what your organization has thought and done with regard to the three central challenges discussed in the Foundation’s statement of what we believe.  Below are a few sources of information and resources to help you consider these issues.

Climate change

Climate change can feel overwhelming and can seem like an issue that only the world’s governments can tackle. In fact, everyone can make a contribution to reducing the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. The most important actions individuals and organizations can take to advance climate change policy are protecting and exercising active citizenship and democracy. Please see the resources under Threats to democracy. In addition, we have assembled a list of specific actions that you can consider. They can be found here.

Inequality and racial equity

Intentional learning about racial equity issues is usually an essential step for individuals and organizations trying to understand their nature and depth. ThirdSpace Action Lab offers racial equity awareness trainings. These intensive introductions to historic, institutional and systemic racism challenge assumptions that often are deeply held and they reveal with sobering clarity the devastating impact of persistent racial inequality. Trainings are offered in half-day and two-day sessions. More information can be found here.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership’s (GCP) Equity and Inclusion division works to increase board, senior management, workforce and supplier diversity among all industries and sectors with the goal of ensuring that minority businesses and minority workers are part of Northeast Ohio’s economic prosperity. GCP has created a Best Practice Library to share articles, reports and research that will help organizations regardless of where they are on their diversity and inclusion journey.

The Centre for Global Inclusion serves as a research and education resource for individuals and organizations in their quest to improve diversity and inclusion. The Centre has developed Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks to help organizations determine strategy and measure progress in managing diversity and fostering inclusion. That information can be found here.

Equity in the Center works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase race equity. The Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture publication is designed to serve as a reference as organizations build and expand internal and external capacity advance race equity.

Threats to democracy

Nonprofit organizations should not shy away from engaging in the democratic process. Doing so is more than a civic obligation; it amplifies their voices and their impact. Nonprofit VOTE is the largest source of nonpartisan resources that help nonprofits integrate voter engagement into their ongoing activities and services. The organization’s voter engagement resource library provides helpful tools, guides and checklists for nonprofits looking to participate in democracy building efforts.

Democracy is about much more than elections and voting. Active citizenship in many forms is essential to robust democracy, and it is especially vital that all voices in a community are heard. Nonprofit organizations are themselves often avenues of civic engagement and as they seek to fulfill that role, they should think about how they can strengthen the ability of all people to influence decisions affecting their lives. The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity’s Principles for Equitable and Inclusive Civic Engagement framework describes essential elements of effective civic engagement, particularly in communities dealing with the adverse effects of poverty and disenfranchisement. It shows that civic engagement work is most effective by understanding the larger cultural, political, and socioeconomic context—both historical and current—in a community and embracing diversity as strength. 

2023 Grants

$30,394,182 / 244 Grants

View all the Awarded Grants