graph

“The Bruenings strongly believed in the importance of education for youth, in providing comfort for the elderly and disabled, and in programs that brought hope to the poor.”

Responsive Grantmaking

The Bruening Foundation’s responsive grantmaking strategy is a modern interpretation of our founding couple’s core interests. The Bruening’s giving during their lifetime reflected that they “strongly believed in the importance of education for youth, in providing comfort for the elderly and disabled, and in programs that provided hope for the poor.” A preference for alleviating the roots of poverty permeates the Bruening Foundation’s grantmaking and is reflected in our focus on young families and early childhood development. It is an integral part of our responsive grantmaking areas of Learning and Safety Net Services.

At the Bruening Foundation, we believe learning is the process through which people develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that allow them to flourish as human beings and citizens. Learning is important throughout our lifetime, but as we have discovered through our research, especially important early in life. The Foundation’s Learning strategy aims to support organizations and programs that place an emphasis on learning for low-income populations.

The safety net protects those who need the most help in our community. The Bruening Foundation understands that Safety Net Services help individuals and families meet their basic needs. Often times, these individuals and families are in crisis and require assistance to address the most immediate needs, as well as help to create a more long-term plan so as not to find themselves in crisis again.

Best Practices

The Bruening Foundation hopes to fund organizations that implement best practices or evidence-based programming. A best-practice is a method or technique that has shown results superior to those achieved through other means, and that is used as a benchmark. Evidence-based programs are grounded in research. We encourage applicants to share information about their programs that are either best practices or evidence-based programming.

Eligibility/Geographical Boundaries

The Bruening Foundation awards grants to 501(c)3 organizations based in Cuyahoga County. Very rare exceptions may be made, on a case-by-case basis, for organizations headquartered outside the County that maintain facilities within the County, fall within our priority program areas, and serve the residents of Cuyahoga County. Organizations can contact staff to clarify these eligibility requirements.

Preferred Types of Grants

Requests for program, start-up or emergency operating and capital (see capital campaigns sections) support will be considered. Applicants are discouraged from submitting requests for endowment, general operating expenses, research, symposia/seminars or fundraising events. No grants are awarded to individuals, nor does the Foundation respond to mass mailings or annual campaign solicitations.

Capital Campaigns

The Bruening Foundation, may, on occasion, provide support for capital campaigns and capital renovation projects. Preference will be given to projects that fit the Foundation’s stated responsive grantmaking interests. Given the Foundation’s limited resources, organizations interested in submitting an application for capital support should first submit a letter of inquiry (LOI) to be considered at one of the Distribution Committee’s three scheduled meetings (May, August and December).

The LOI should include general information about the capital project and how it aligns with the Foundation’s responsive focus areas of Learning or Safety Net Services. LOIs should be emailed to Kara McCullough at kmccullough@fmscleveland.com by the deadlines of March 1, June 1, and October 1. If the LOI is approved at one of these meetings, a full application may be submitted for the next deadline.

All full applications should also include answers to the Capital Campaign Checklist.

Learning

The Foundation’s Learning strategy aims to support organizations and programs that place an emphasis on learning for low-income populations. We believe learning is the process through which people develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that allow them to flourish as human beings and citizens. Learning is important throughout our lifetime, but as we have discovered through our research, especially important early in life.  We believe that the conditions that foster learning and the “teachers” that impart learning are just as important as the content and experiences.

The Bruening Foundation hopes to develop and maintain partnerships with organizations that:

  • Provide innovative learning experiences that integrate academic, social and emotional growth and create positive conditions for learning for children 0-8.
  • Provide older students with learning experiences that go beyond acquisition of basic skills to foster critical thinking, curiosity, and social-emotional growth;
  • Build relationships that foster learning, e.g. mentoring, coaching, parent support;
  • Remove barriers to adult learning, e.g. college access, adult literacy, etc.

Safety Net Services

The safety net protects those who need the most help in our community. The Bruening Foundation understands that Safety Net Services help individuals and families meet their basic needs. Often times, these individuals and families are in crisis and require assistance to address their most immediate needs, as well as help to create a more long-term plan so as not to find themselves in crisis again.

The Bruening Foundation hopes to develop and maintain partnerships with organizations that:

  • Connect families to resources to address immediate/crisis needs and assist them to access long-term social service benefits (e.g ., child care subsidies, the Earned Income Tax Credit, health insurance and food stamps);
  • Address the needs of chronically homeless families by providing permanent housing with support services such as critical time intervention and time sensitive case management;
  • Assist families to access health care services, including prevention education;
  • Connect and prepare individuals for employment that leads to economic self-sufficiency, including providing assessment, training, placement, case management and financial education;
  • Provide wrap-around services to seniors to maintain their independence and/or their quality of life;
  • Provide employment and other specialized services to disabled persons.

2017 Responsive Grants

Learning

  • America SCORES Cleveland – $20,000 for literacy and fitness programming in CMSD
  • Art House. Inc. –  $20,000 for the Urban Bright arts residency program in CMSD schools
  • Bard Early Colleges – $50,000 for start-up of Bard Early College Cleveland-East
  • Center for Arts-Inspired Learning – $10,000 for ArtWorks, an arts-based youth development and college readiness program
  • Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center – $10,000 for literacy and language programming in Head Start preschool classes
  • Cleveland Public Theatre – $10,000 for Brick City after-school/summer arts programming
  • College Now Greater Cleveland – $35,000 to provide college access services for low-income adults
  • DanceCleveland – $10,000 for early childhood literacy and movement programming in CMSD schools
  • Daily Dose of Reading – $10,000 to provide pre-literacy education
  • East Cleveland Neighborhood Center – $12,000 to operate a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School literacy-based summer program
  • Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County – $ 75,000 for PRE4CLE family recruitment and evaluation
  • Family Connections of Northeast Ohio – $10,000 for Family School Connection, a kindergarten family reading readiness program
  • Girl Scouts of North East Ohio – $10,000 for after-school programming for low-income girls, ages 5-11
  • Great Lakes Museum of Science, Environment and Technology – $15,000 for the Cleveland Learning Experience for Science Collaborative in the CMSD
  • Great Lakes Theater – $10,000 for the School Residency program for CMSD students
  • ideastream – $50,000 to provide professional development and coaching
  • Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland – $12,000 got economic education programming for youth in after-school programs
  • Malachi Center – $10,000 for after-school programming
  • Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage – $10,000 for Stop the Hate: Youth Sing Out, an interdisciplinary learning program for youth from 4 school districts
  • May Dugan Center – $20,000 for the Education Resource Center
  • Minds Matter of Cleveland – $15,000 for academic and mentorship programming
  • Montessori Development Partnerships – $7,000 for home-based programming for families of young children
  • Musical Arts Association – $10,000 for Musical Neighborhoods, an early childhood learning and teacher training program
  • Near West Theatre – $10,000 for youth theatre programs
  • Rainey Institute – $10,000 for early childhood enrichment programming
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – $10,000 for the Toddler Rock program for Head Start classrooms
  • Saint Ignatius High School – $10,000 for the Arrupe Summer program, a free academic and social-enrichment program for youth
  • Starting Point – $35,000 for professional development on child resilience for infant-toddler professionals
  • Western Reserve Historical Society – $10,000 to develop Cleveland Starts Here Discovery Guide

Safety Net

  • Achievement Centers for Children – $10,000 to provide services for children with disabilities in childcare programs
  • Bellefaire Jewish Children’s Bureau – $50,000 for inpatient pediatric psychiatric unit
  • Care Alliance – $25,000 for school-based health services in the CMSD
  • Cleveland Rape and Crisis Center – $25,000 for the Childhood Sexual Trauma program
  • Cleveland Sight Center – $10,000 for earl intervention services for children with visual impairments
  • Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center – $20,000 for emergency shelter services for families
  • Far West Center – $25,000 to provide recovery support for moms with postpartum depression
  • Greater Cleveland Food Bank – $40,000 for operating support
  • HELP Foundation – $20,000 for the summer program for children and young adults with disabilities
  • Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland – $15,000 to provide health programming for those receiving emergency food assistance
  • Legal Aid Society – $35,000 for the Housing Advocacy and Homelessness Prevention Program
  • Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry – $15,000 for guardianship services for older adults
  • MedWish International – $10,000 for Skill Building, a workforce training program for individuals with disabilities
  • MedWorks – $20,000 to operate healthcare clinics for the uninsured and underinsured
  • OhioGuidestone – $20,000 to expand trauma-informed services for young children
  • Providence House – $20,000 for the Family Center
  • Scranton Road Ministries CDC – $30,000 for the Youth Jobs Partnership
  • Senior Transportation Connection of Cuyahoga County – $20,000 for new vehicles to transport seniors and disabled adults
  • The Musical Theater Project – $7,500 for arts education residencies for CMSD students with special education needs
  • Towards Employment – $15,000 for job preparation, placement, retention and advancement services for individuals with criminal backgrounds
  • United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland – $10,000 for therapy and case management services for children with disabilities
  • West Side Catholic Center – $20,000 to provide housing stability services for homeless families
  • Women’s Recovery Center – $35,000 to reconfigure the facility to expand capacity

Community-Wide Impact

  • Foundation Center-Cleveland – $5,000 for program support