Neighbor Up Action Grants: fueling people power

Neighbor Up Action Grants fuel the power of neighbors to make the change they want to see in their communities.

Grants range from $500 to $5,000, and are meant to spur small, grassroots community 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.

We fund projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland. And thanks to support from the Funders Collaborative on COVID Recovery, we’re also able to offer funding for pandemic recovery proposals to groups in Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake counties.  Pandemic recovery includes work that:
●      reduces social isolation and improves mental health;
●      connects with and mentors youth;
●      or finds innovative ways to increase vaccine uptake in census tracts with low vaccination rates.

Grant applications are reviewed and funding decisions are made by a committee of Cleveland and East Cleveland residents. Check out previously funded projects here.

Neighborhood Connections is offering one-on-one grantseeker assistance via Zoom from Monday, August 8 – Friday, August 12 from 4-9 p.m. and Saturday, August 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please make sure you have your proposal started so that we can review it with you. These sessions are intended to provide assistance to people who want some last minute reviews of their proposal and/or have some specific questions about their proposal. These sessions are not meant to provide an overview of the grants program!

Click here to register for one-on-one grantseeker assistance.

Grant applications for the next round are due August 15. Please sign into our online grants portal below to apply.



Contact Nicole Hatcher by email or call 216-659-9346.

Grant Focus Areas

Please choose one focus area for your grant

Arts & Culture: Includes initiatives that focus on literature, theater, music, dance, ballet, painting, sculpture, photography, motion pictures, architecture, archaeology, history, natural history, or the natural sciences.

Circular Economy (Sustainability):  Includes initiatives that reuse products, repair products, and renew land to reduce our environmental impact related to Climate Change. A circular economy diverts waste from the landfill and reduces pollution, keeps products and materials in use and restores and renews the natural system. Examples include clothes swaps, repairing bicycles, sharing rides, community gardens, urban farms, beekeeping, saving water, using renewable energy sources.

City Repair (Land reuse, Design): Includes initiatives that take vacant land and make into a park or gathering space, paints alleys and walkways, natural building, beautification projects.

Civic Participation: Initiatives that encourage civic participation in the political process, including Get Out the Vote campaigns, voter education, candidate forums, issue education and mobilization, or educate on civics (the study of the rights and duties of citizenship). These grants cannot be for a specific candidate.

Communications: Initiatives that improve the transfer of good, timely and accurate information and stories within and across neighborhoods. Neighborhood newsletters, neighborhood newspapers, websites, social media.

COVID-19 Recovery: Includes initiatives that provides support for communities to  recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Initiatives include providing basic needs (food, transportation, medical and hygiene supplies, shelter), providing outreach, education, and mental health services, connecting to the internet, support for people to get vaccinated, and reducing social isolation related to the pandemic.

Digital Equity: Initiatives that support all individuals and communities to have the information technology necessary to participate in society.

Economic Interdependence: Initiatives where people swap, share, co-own, and co-create together. Examples include funds for local, small business associations to implement an initiative, local hiring initiatives, co-operative development, local buying initiatives, sharing economy (bartering, ride shares, time banks, etc.)

Education Equity: Initiatives that support and promote learning for all children and adults, where students have access to opportunities, resources, and support they need at the right moment in their education so they are prepared for success. Initiatives include providing resources (book bags, school uniforms, supplies, etc.), developing early childhood co-operatives and playgroups, creating learning pods, college exposure trips, after school programs, literacy initiatives, etc.

Get Outside: Initiatives are intended to welcome people from a variety of backgrounds into public spaces. Grants are intended to support people finding new ways to use outdoor spaces and overcoming the barriers to getting outside. Examples include skiing, snow shoeing, camping and road tripping with Zervs motorhome, use of public parks, summer camps, etc.

Health Equity:  Initiatives that work towards everyone having a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Examples include initiatives that support healthy eating and active living or work address to improve neighborhood safety, reduce infant mortality, address trauma and mental health, provide better access to healthy food, better access to medical care, and/or reduce obesity.

Racial Equity: Initiatives that work to build understanding of racial disparities and a willingness to adopt practices that create equitable opportunities for all. Examples include education on the history of white supremacy, initiatives that support people of color and indigenous people’s cultural heritage, conversations and action that bridge understanding on racial oppression, join or create a movement, spotlighting black or brown led organizations through storytelling, and initiatives that create opportunities for people who have been historically marginalized because of their race.

Thank you to our funders and partners!