03/08/2013 in Grantmaking

Gund Foundation Awards $10.3 million at Winter Meeting

The George Gund Foundation continued its longtime commitment to revitalization of Cleveland’s neighborhoods and transformation of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) with significant grants for both efforts at its first meeting of 2013. 

Trustees approved a three-year $3,750,000 operating support grant to Neighborhood Progress Inc. (NPI) to help implement the organization’s new strategic vision that shifts from a tight focus on “bricks and mortar” to a more comprehensive community development approach to creating vibrant neighborhoods. 

The Foundation also committed $879,500 to projects that support implementation of the CMSD Cleveland Plan, develop a financial model that shifts budget control to individual schools, create a Transformation Alliance to monitor Plan progress, help turn around failing schools and develop a new vision for the Cleveland School of the Arts. 

The grants were among 59 totaling $10,353,385 that were approved at the Foundation’s February 28 meeting. 

Eight grants also were awarded to organizations working on health care reform, including the Cuyahoga Health Access Partnership and Ohio Grantmakers Forum for their efforts on implementation of Medicaid expansion in Ohio. 

Grants also were made in memory of George Gund III, a longtime Foundation trustee who passed away in January, to three organizations he served as a trustee and supporter: the Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland International Film Festival and the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Cinematheque. 

Other grants of interest included: 

  • Up to $250,000 to the Downtown Cleveland Alliance for operating support

  • $180,000 over two years to the Cuyahoga Valley Conservancy for its work in preservation of local farmland and promotion of local food

  • $150,000 over two years to The Nature Conservancy for support of its Ohio office

  • $20,000 in start-up support for Ohio City Writers

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 $616 million.