07/12/2013 in Grantmaking

Gund Foundation Awards $5.5 million at Summer Meeting

Projects to develop a nonprofit community food processing center, support Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools and assist with health care reform implementation received grants at the George Gund Foundation’s summer Trustee meeting. 

SAW Inc., the nonprofit arm of the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities plans to open the 12,500 square foot center, which will employ its clients as well as provide services to everyone from local farmers to individual entrepreneurs, in 2014. The Foundation made a grant of up to $400,000 over two years for the purchase of food processing equipment to bottle, can, flash freeze and package products in the facility at West 117th and Berea Road in Cleveland. 

Foundation Trustees approved three grants totaling more than $1.6 million that will support efforts to provide excellent schools for all Cleveland children. The largest grant, $917,000, will fund redesign of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s (CMSD) central office to better support the Cleveland Plan, continued support for CMSD’s new and innovative schools and design and planning support for additional new schools. 

Breakthrough Charter Schools, which operates Citizens’ Academy, The Intergenerational School and EPrep/Village Prep schools, received a $300,000 grant to support its operations and its plans to open additional schools in Cleveland. Teach For America (TFA) will use a $390,000 grant to expand its program in Greater Cleveland, including placement of 20 TFA teachers in CMSD schools. 

The Foundation made grants to three organizations that are focused on the uninsured and underinsured and will provide assistance in understanding and implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and advocate for Medicaid expansion in Ohio. These grants included $200,000 over two years to the Health Policy Institute of Ohio for research, ACA implementation monitoring, health care trend analysis and communication with policymakers; $100,000 over two years to Community Catalyst, Inc. for technical assistance on ACA implementation; and $30,000 to Enterprise Community Partners to integrate primary health care into its Housing First model that works with the chronically homeless. 

These grants were among 89 totaling $5,526,550 approved July 11 at the Foundation’s second meeting of 2013. 

Other grants of interest included: 

  • $25,000 to United Way of Greater Cincinnati for the Ohio Partnership to Build Stronger Families which focuses on home visits to identify physical and development issues in young children and provide early intervention services 
  • $100,000 to University Circle Incorporated for 21st Century University Circle, a planning process that will examine critical issues and opportunities facing University Circle 
  • $30,000 to the Eleanor B. Rainey Memorial Institute for the El Sistema@Rainey music program 
  • $350,000 to The Energy Foundation for its work in coordinating efforts in Ohio around energy and climate change policy 
  • $200,000 over two years to the Environmental Law & Policy Center of the Midwest for the Ohio Clean Energy Initiative

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 more than $622 million.