SOURCE: The Cleveland Foundation

March 22, 2005 11:49 ET

The Cleveland Foundation Awards More Than $7.7 Million in Grants

Foundation Renews Program Providing Small Grants to Neighborhood-Based Organizations

CLEVELAND, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 22, 2005 -- At its quarterly meeting, The Cleveland Foundation's board of directors approved $7,708,303 in grants to local nonprofit organizations.

In its largest grant action, the Foundation's board allocated $2,550,000 for Neighborhood Connections, a program that provides $500 to $5,000 grants to community groups in the City of Cleveland. In its two years of operation, Neighborhood Connections has awarded more than $600,000 in grants to projects that benefit Cleveland's neighborhoods, ranging from youth education and activities programs and public art projects to block watches and community gardens.

"Neighborhood Connections provides people living in Cleveland's neighborhoods an opportunity to improve their community in a tangible way," said Ronald B. Richard, president and CEO of The Cleveland Foundation. "Through this program, people are becoming actively involved and are playing a part in making their neighborhoods a better place for them and their children."

In other grant action, Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) received a grant for $245,695 to implement an Honors Program. Over the past two years, the College has seen its student population evolve into one that more closely resembles the student body of a four-year institution. This is happening as an increased number of graduating high school students are beginning their college careers at Tri-C and more than 40 percent of the student population is enrolled on a full-time basis. The new Honors Program will enable Tri-C to better serve its high-achieving students and assist them in transferring to four-year institutions after completing their associate degrees. The Foundation's funds will help the college develop the program curriculum.

Working for Empowerment through Community Organizing (WECO) received a $90,000 grant in support of its Individual Development Account (IDA) and microenterprise lending programs. WECO helps low- to moderate-income individuals, primarily in the Woodland Hills, Central and Kinsman neighborhoods, gain financial literacy and make steps towards building wealth. The IDA program provides a 2-1 match on participants' savings, which can then be used to purchase an appreciating asset like a home, business or education. Through the program, WECO also provides intensive one-on-one debt management counseling. The organization's microlending program, the only one in Cuyahoga County, provides small loans to individuals, usually women and minorities, who are considered to be "pre-bankable" but have the skills, ambition and work ethic to succeed. Since its inception, WECO has provided 31 businesses with loans totaling more than $500,000 and created 80 jobs.

The Women's Center of Greater Cleveland received a $230,544 grant to support its substance abuse program. As Cuyahoga County's only drug and alcohol treatment center for women, clients can wait up to five weeks to enter the program. The Foundation's grant will allow for the addition of an afternoon treatment program that will help alleviate the long wait for women who desperately need these services. The Center's programs have proved to be successful, with almost 40 percent of its clients remaining sober for 90 days after treatment, compared to a national average of 34 percent.

For a complete list of first quarter grants, visit The Cleveland Foundation's Web site at

The Cleveland Foundation is a public charity dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Greater Cleveland. It is the oldest and second-largest community foundation in the nation. Its establishment in 1914 is cited as one of 10 events that most heavily influenced the development of the nonprofit sector in the 20th century and it continues to be a leader in its field. The Foundation has assets of approximately $1.63 billion and in 2004 awarded more than $86 million in grants and low-cost loans to Cleveland area nonprofit organizations. Since its inception, it has provided more than $900 million to nonprofit organizations and causes.

The Cleveland Foundation is made up of more than 800 funds created by individuals, families, organizations and corporations. It offers donors of all means the opportunity to have a lasting impact on their community while maximizing income, gift and estate tax benefits.

Contact Information

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    Rick Batyko
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