announces $16.3 million in grants
Dec. 19, 2013: Less than two weeks before the Cleveland
Foundation marks its centennial on Jan. 2, 2014, the
foundation’s board of directors has approved $16.3 million in
fourth-quarter grants, including more than three-quarters of a
million dollars to expand two existing programs in Cleveland to
create a framework for the Encore program being launched
as part of the foundation’s centennial celebration.
At its annual meeting in June 2013, the foundation first
revealed plans to create a local Encore program, part of a
national movement which promotes “second acts for the greater
good” by utilizing the time and talents of Americans aged 50+
for the betterment of the community. Following the announcement,
the Cleveland Foundation spent the second half of 2013 meeting
with national Encore experts as well as representatives from
local community organizations and residents to determine the
niche of Cleveland’s initiative. Based on the ongoing dialogue,
the foundation determined the local Encore program will have a
special focus on youth.
The grants approved will enhance two venerable programs in
Cleveland to form a starting point for the Encore program:
• $526,000 to Greater Cleveland Volunteers (GCV)
to expand the local AARP Experience Corps (EC) intergenerational
tutoring program, which focuses on improving the literacy skills
of underperforming students in kindergarten through third-grade.
GCV has managed the EC program in the Cleveland Metropolitan
School District (CMSD) since 1997. This grant will allow GCV
to double its capacity from 1,000 students in 13 schools to
nearly 2,000 students in 19 schools.
• $245,000 to Business Volunteers Unlimited (BVU)
to build on existing programs with an emphasis on attracting a
broader audience of mature volunteers. BVU plans to engage 50
Encore volunteers as pro bono consultants focused on providing
new sources of expertise to Greater Cleveland’s nonprofit
entities to address critical issues in the community. The grant
will also provide planning dollars so BVU can explore the launch
of an Encore Fellows program, which could potentially provide
paid opportunities for experienced Clevelanders through the
Helping the foundation to
further define and implement its effort will be Encore
Innovation Fellow Mikelann Ward Rensel. Rensel is one of
14 Encore Innovation Fellowships assigned by the national Encore
organization, Encore.org, throughout the country. She recently
started her year-long fellowship at the Cleveland Foundation,
after a nonprofit career in Cleveland that included serving as
executive director of the Slavic Village Broadway Development
Corporation and executive director of the Cleveland Neighborhood
In addition to the grants supporting the Encore program, the
following are highlights from the $16.3 million in grants
approved by the board:
Public Education Reform
• $600,000 to Teach for America to help fund year
three of Cleveland’s program, supporting 200 corps members who
are deployed in area schools.
to Esperanza to expand a variety of its academic and
family engagement programs, including its workshop-based Family
Engagement Program, which seeks to enhance the role of parents
in the education of their children.
to Guidestone to support the agency’s successful
Stepstone Academy in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood. After
its first year, 85-percent of its students, many of whom were
underperforming, exceeded one year’s worth of academic growth.
to support the school quality project of the Cleveland
Transformation Alliance. The funding will assist with the
creation and distribution of a public report card for district
and charter schools.
to United Way for the agency’s “wrap-around” strategy for
CMSD “investment schools,” low-performing schools targeted for
significant intervention. The strategy focuses on providing
comprehensive social services and resources to meet the needs of
families and students.
Arts and Culture
The Cleveland Foundation launched its Engaging the Future
program in 2011 to assist local arts organizations to work
creatively to build audiences of the future. As Engaging the
Future enters its third and final year, the foundation is
helping organizations to fund programs they have developed and
prototyped through this process:
• $200,000 to
Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) to help bring to scale
CPT’s Teatro Publico de Cleveland project, which focuses on
cultivating actors to reflect the diverse audiences of Greater
Cleveland. CPT’s recent sell-out inaugural productions focused
on the Hispanic community.
• $80,000 to
DANCECleveland to further develop its DanceAdvance Team
project. The group’s DanceAdvance Team is made up of local
dancers who use their personal networks to invite
“non-attenders” to have a first-time dance experience. The
success of the prototype project attracted national attention
and a grant from the Doris Duke Foundation to help dance
companies nationwide replicate this model.
MyCom, the youth development program led by the Cleveland
Foundation and Cuyahoga County, seeks to connect youth with a
network of services, positive experiences, and caring adults to
help them reach their potential. The following grants were
approved to agencies that lead specific areas of focus for the
MyCom program throughout the county:
• $661,000 to
Starting Point, Northeast Ohio’s child care and early
education resource and referral agency, to manage MyCom’s
“out-of-school time” or after school and summer programming,
which last year served more than 3,500 youth throughout Cuyahoga
• $300,000 to
Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) to lead the youth
employment programs for MyCom. Last summer, 3,400 youth were
paired with local employment opportunities through YOU.
• $80,000 to
Voices for Ohio’s Children (VOC), an advocacy organization
focusing on advancing public policies at the local, state, and
federal levels that positively impact children and young people.
VOC is the lead advocacy agency for MyCom.
Established in 1914, the
Cleveland Foundation is the world's first community foundation
and one of the largest today, with assets of $1.86 billion and
2012 grants of $91 million. Through the generosity of donors,
the foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders by
building community endowment, addressing needs through
grant-making, and providing leadership on vital issues. The
foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – economic
transformation, public-school improvement, youth development,
neighborhood revitalization, and arts advancement – and responds
to the community’s needs.
For more information on
the Cleveland Foundation, visit:
www.ClevelandFoundation.org/purpose and follow us at
facebook.com/ClevelandFoundation or @CleveFoundation on twitter.