We offer small grants as a way to invest in groups of residents in Cleveland and East Cleveland doing projects that improve the quality of life in their communities.

Grants range from $500 to $5,000.

Grants are intended to spur small, grassroots community projects. We partner with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture to support arts and culture projects, and the Cleveland Climate Action Fund to support environmental projects.

Grants may be used for a wide variety of projects, and groups are encouraged to think in new ways about what will work in their communities and with whom they might partner.

Proposals are accepted twice each year on the second Friday in February and August. Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. on those days.

Proposals are reviewed and funding decisions are made by a volunteer committee of Cleveland and East Cleveland residents.

Funding information

Grants range from $500 to $5,000. Grant recipients must secure a dollar-for-dollar match equal to or exceeding the grant amount requested. The match can be in the form of cash, volunteer labor, or donated goods or services.

Any resident-led or community group is eligible to apply, including those that aren’t an official nonprofit organization.

Grant duration is up to one year. A group may only apply for one grant at a time. No group may receive two grants within a one-year time period.

We do not make grants to:

  • Capital campaigns
  • Endowment funds
  • For-profit entities
  • Fundraising events
  • Government agencies or departments
  • Individuals
  • Lobbying efforts
  • Political groups
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Single businesses

Fiscal agent

Grant applicants that do not have an official nonprofit status must identify a fiscal agent. A fiscal agent is a 501(c)(3) organization that will handle the grant money on behalf of the neighborhood group. A letter from the organization willing to function as a fiscal agent must accompany the grant application. The fiscal agent’s 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter should also be included.

Other indications of support

Grant applications should include letters of support from community partners whose cooperation or involvement is necessary to the project’s success. In addition, letters of commitment from governmental agencies or schools should be included when appropriate. For example, if the project involves public property, the governmental agency associated with the property should include a letter of support for the project and a commitment to provide whatever service is required to accomplish the project.