The George Gund Foundation awarded $15.9 million at its July board meeting, with support for maintaining access to comprehensive reproductive health care a particular focus of grant awards. This included new awards to Pro-Choice Ohio ($240,000), New Voices for Reproductive Justice ($150,000), Signature Health ($67,000), and Adoption Network Cleveland ($225,000), as well as ratification of rapid response funds totaling $500,000 awarded earlier this spring to eight organizations on the front lines of preserving and delivering needed care. In addition, the Foundation approved up-to $1 million in additional grant dollars to be allocated later this year to a broad range of reproductive health access and justice organizations.
The George Gund Foundation has supported reproductive rights since its founding in 1952. “This is the first repeal of a human right in my lifetime,” said Anthony Richardson, president of The George Gund Foundation, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that eliminated access to safe and legal abortion as a matter of federal Constitutional right. “This is an example of how the undermining of democracy plays out in real life and affects the lives of millions of Americans.”
The Foundation’s other grants reflect priorities across program areas as well as the Foundation’s What We Believe statement. Grants include the following:
- $400,000 over two years to Equality Ohio Education Fund, the preeminent watchdog for the LBGTQ+ community in Ohio. Equality Ohio helps elevate community voices across Ohio to push forward proactive policies to support LGBTQ+ individuals and families and works to change public opinion and public policies in the interest of making Ohio an inclusive, welcoming place for all to live, work, and play.
- $2.5 million over two years to Cleveland Neighborhood Progress for operating support. CNP was founded more than 30 years ago by the George Gund, Cleveland, and Mandel foundations as an intermediary to support and invest in Cleveland’s neighborhoods. CNP’s key areas of work include community development advancement, equitable revitalization, advocacy, and support to community development corporations.
- Up-to $1,000,000 for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Integrated Health Initiative, a partnership of local philanthropy and Say Yes Cleveland. Recognizing that healthy children are better prepared for schooling, the Integrated Health Initiative works toward high-quality, universally accessible physical, mental, and behavioral health care in schools to truly support healthy child development and foster effective learning.
- $150,000 over three years to the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Musical Pathway Fellowship. The fellowship seeks to find and prepare African American and Latinx middle and high school students to enter the nations’ top music conservatories and eventually become orchestral musicians.
- $100,000 to Global Cleveland to launch its Global Entrepreneur-in-Residence program. This program is intended to specifically address the challenges faced by the international entrepreneurial community who wants to establish and grow companies in Northeast Ohio.
- $450,000 over three years to the West Creek Conservancy for operating support. West Creek Conservancy, which protects local natural areas, open spaces, streams, and waterways in our community, is leading the Irishtown Bend Park project, a 17-acre property adjacent to West 25th Street in the Ohio City neighborhood.
- $250,000 to College Now for the Say Yes Scholars Program at Cuyahoga Community College. This program seeks to dramatically increase the college completion rates of CMSD students who attend Tri-C. It is centered on highly intensive student success coaching, wraparound support services, community-building, student engagement activities, and a $1,000 financial incentive for room, board, and personal expenses.
- $300,000 over two years to Citizens Utility Board of Ohio, a nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer watchdog that advocates for residential and small business utility customers. Citizens Utility Board of Ohio will use grant dollars to increase consumer voice in its advocacy efforts, particularly as it relates to clean energy and climate mitigation.
- $500,000 over two years to ideastream, which entered into a new partnership with WKSU public radio in October 2021. ideastream seeks to more fully engage audience members in a meaningful way and continues to develop programming around its core subject matters: arts and culture, health, education, the economy, jobs, business, politics, and community affairs.
Further details on the July 2022 grants can be found at gundfoundation.org.
The George Gund Foundation was established in 1952 by George Gund, former chair of the Cleveland Trust Company. The Foundation funds programs that enhance our understanding of the physical and social environment in which we live and increase our ability to cope with its changing requirements. Grants are made three times a year in the areas of climate and environmental justice, creative culture and arts, public education, thriving families and social justice, and vibrant neighborhoods and inclusive economy. Foundation commitments to date have totaled over $866 million.