02/28/2017 in Grantmaking

The George Gund Foundation awards its first grants of 2017

The George Gund Foundation, which has long supported building a robust nonprofit voice in public policy deliberations at all levels of government, targeted significant funding for an array of policy-related organizations at its winter meeting.  The grants support organizations and efforts to defend access to essential human needs, ranging from clean energy to health care, now being threatened in the emerging federal policy environment.

Among these grants are: 

  • $200,000 to the New Venture Fund for the Safety Net Defense Fund, a pooled national philanthropic fund designed to facilitate funders’ rapid deployment and leveraging of resources in defense of the nation’s safety net social programs.
  • $250,000 to the Center for Community Solutions for the creation of the Rapid Response Fund which will provide emergency support to organizations on the front lines of local, state and federal policy debates impacting low-income and vulnerable children and families in Greater Cleveland.
  • $200,000 over two years to the Center for Law and Social Policy, a national, non-partisan public policy organization focusing on economic security for low-income families.
  • $450,000 over three years to the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution for its work analyzing the implications for cities and metropolitan areas of the policies proposed by Congress and the new administration.
  • $100,000 over two years to the Equality Ohio Education Fund to provide support to persons and communities facing increased challenges and threats resulting from changes in federal policies.
  • $100,000 over two years to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of Greater Cleveland for increased efforts to empower Northeast Ohio’s LGBTQ community through advocacy, education, collaboration, and celebration.
  • $200,000 to the Energy Foundation to create an effective communication effort that tells a unified and comprehensive story about the human and economic value of clean energy and the looming threat of climate change.

The Foundation board of trustees awarded 66 grants, totaling $5,229,050. Other grants of interest include:

  • $150,000 over three years to Cleveland Institute of Music for its minority artist fellowship pilot program, created to cultivate a larger local minority student talent pool and prepare them for entrance into top national conservatories and orchestras.
  • $75,000 to Cleveland Neighborhood Progress for “Growing Equity in Northeast Ohio: 2017 Year of Awareness Building.” The program seeks to broaden and deepen the discussions of race and inequality in Cleveland.
  • $100,000 to the Group Plan Commission for event programming and operations support at Public Square.
  • $54,000 to Strategies for Youth to help finalize and implement formal youth protocols guiding interactions between the Cleveland Police and area youth.
  • $59,000 to the ACLU of Ohio to support a detailed review of Cuyahoga County bail policies and to support bail reform.

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 $694 million.

Further details on the winter 2017 grant awardees can be found at www.gundfoundation.org.