The board of directors of the Cleveland Foundation approved more than $89 million in grants to area nonprofit organizations in 2012.
Here are some updates on 2012 grants that have already had a positive impact in the community:
· Extended hours at four City of Cleveland recreation centers over the summer is credited with contributing to a drop in crime in all four neighborhoods
A $200,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation in May allowed four City of Cleveland rec centers to keep their doors open until 11 p.m. four days a week throughout the summer. The grant also funded a midnight basketball program and life skills workshops.
The city tells the foundation that Cleveland Police statistical reports comparing crime in the immediate vicinity of the four rec centers in 2011 versus 2012, shows a drop in crime in all four neighborhoods this year: a 32 percent drop in the Lonnie Burten neighborhood, a 24 percent reduction near the Glenville rec center, 13 percent drop in the Cudell neighborhood, and a 3 percent decline near the Zelma George center.
In addition, more than 13,000 young people and adults took advantage of the extended hours and special programming.
· Cleveland Foodbank will break ground once $1 million is raised for new expanded cooler/freezer
The Cleveland Foundation made a $325,000 grant to the Cleveland Foodbank in September to help launch the campaign for an expanded cooler/freezer project. The doubling of cold storage space will allow the Foodbank to accommodate an increasing amount of fresh produce available through both national donors and the local farmers' network, to meet its goal of providing fresher, healthier food to its clients.
As of today, the Foodbank has raised $865,000 of the project's estimated $2.1 million cost. The Cleveland Foodbank will make plans to break ground on the project once that $1 million halfway point is reached.
· Eliza Bryant Center's Family Ambassador Program improves resident care
A $78,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation in 2011 allowed the Eliza Bryant Center to create a new position, a family ambassador, to serve as a liaison between family members and the Eliza Bryant clinical team. Eliza Bryant reports this move has resulted in improved communication and a 50 percent decrease in family complaints, allowing the clinical staff to spend more time on patient care. In addition, patient families have reported a reduction in family stress and employees have reported increased satisfaction rates.
A March 2012 Cleveland Foundation grant of $65,000 is helping to expand the Ambassador Program by supporting a second ambassador position.
Eliza Bryant shared the value of this initiative to other nonprofit facilities at a recent statewide conference, and it is being looked at as a model to replicate.
· Hattie Larlham's Hattie's Doggie Day Care & Boarding opens its first Cleveland location, employing 15 adults with developmental disabilities
A $200,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation in March helped support the first Cleveland-area Hattie's Doggie Day Care & Boarding operation, which opened on Brookpark Road in Cleveland in May. Hattie Larlham has set up a number of innovative vocational training programs throughout Northeast Ohio to provide meaningtful employment for adults with developmental disabilities.
The new Cleveland location employs 15 adults with developmental disabilities. The daycare operation is a cage-free pet boarding operation that provides day and overnight care for dogs, as well as a dog grooming service. There are also dog daycare operations in Twinsburg and North Canton.
· Cleveland Velodrome opens, providing area youths with free cycling classes while repurposing old St. Michael's Hospital site
A $50,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation in April 2012 was one of the largest donations to the capital campaign for the Cleveland Velodrome. The Olympic-style, outdoor cycling track opened in Cleveland's Slavic Village on August 30, repurposing the site of the former St. Michael's Hospital with the help of more than 250 volunteers.
The velodrome is operated by Fast Track Cycling, a nonprofit whose goal is to promote the sport of track cycling to youths to encourage them to exercise and be positively engaged. More than 50 young people already have participated in the velodrome's "Track 101", learn-to-ride program. In addition, the velodrome has welcomed 250 adult riders and 3,000 spectators.
Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world's first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $1.8 billion and 2011 grants of $80 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, 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.