Responsive Grantmaking

Cleveland Foundation

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Grant amount: US $50,000 - US $75,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program, Education / Outreach, Capital Project

Location of project: Counties in Ohio: Cuyahoga County, Geauga County, Lake County

Location of residency: Counties in Ohio: Cuyahoga County, Geauga County, Lake County

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The Cleveland Foundation is the community foundation serving Greater Cleveland, including Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties. It is made up of more than 1,300 funds representing individuals, families, organizations, and corporations. Its mission is to enhance the lives of all residents of Greater Cleveland, now and for generations to come, by working together with our donors to build community endowment, address needs through grantmaking, and provide leadership on key community issues.

Responsive Grantmaking

About one-third of our flexible grantmaking dollars are given in response to direct requests from the community. In general, responsive grants are made (but are not restricted) to the areas of:

  • arts and culture,
  • civic affairs,
  • economic development,
  • education,
  • environment,
  • health, and
  • social services.

We generally do not have deadlines as grant applications are reviewed as they are received. We do not set a limit on the number of times an organization can apply for funding. Generally we prefer that organizations use discretion and submit requests only for top-priority projects and programs.

Capital Requests

Capital requests (such as those for buildings, land, or equipment), are supported when they meet certain stringent criteria. Capital projects must advance areas of impact help to meet a compelling community need, and offer a broad social benefit. When we do participate in a capital project, our support is contingent on funding from other sources. We generally do not authorize payment until the organization has raised a significant amount of its total dollar goal.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The Cleveland Foundation makes most of its grants to tax-exempt agencies classified as 501(c)(3) organizations (public charities as defined by the Internal Revenue Service) in Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties.
  • Some grants are also made to government agencies and churches.


  • We give priority to grant requests for programs or ideas that:
    • Improve access to services and programs for vulnerable and underserved populations
    • Strengthen nonprofit organizations
    • Test new ideas and different partnerships
    • Support policy and advocacy


  • The foundation cannot fund projects already under way or projects that have already been completed.
  • We generally do not make grants to:
    • Individuals
    • For-profit organizations
    • Endowment campaigns, annual appeals, or membership drives
    • Religious organizations for religious purposes
    • Travel for individuals or groups when travel is the proposal’s primary focus
    • Community services such as police and fire protection
    • Staff positions for government agencies
    • Capital projects for hospitals, nursing homes, or institutions of higher education
    • Publications, audiovisual projects, or video productions. However, consideration may be given when they fall within a promising project.