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“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.

2016 Responsive Grants

Learning

  • American SCORES Cleveland – $20,000 for after-school literacy and fitness programming for CMSD youth
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland – $10,000 for workforce development programming
  • Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio – $ 15,000 for the Academy Program, providing academic enrichment and college preparatory support
  • Centers for Arts-Inspired Learning – $15,000 for early childhood dance programming
  • City Year Inc. – $30,000 for programming in 8 CMSD schools
  • Cleveland International Film Festival – $5,000 for CMSD students to participate in FilmSlam 2017
  • Cleveland Public Theatre – $10,000 for Brick City after-school/summer arts program
  • Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation – $10,000 to after-school literacy programming for CMSD
  • College Now Greater Cleveland – $35,000 to provide college access services for low-income adults
  • Cuyahoga Community College Foundation – $30,000 for the Youth Technology Academy
  • Cuyahoga County Office of Early Childhood – $264,000 (over 2 years) to implement family engagement best practices within the Universal Pre-K program
  • Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio – $7,500 for dance residency programming for CMSD schools
  • Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County – $100,000 for PRE4CLE family recruitment and evaluation
  • Esperanza, Inc. – $10,000 to help high school students prepare for the OGT
  • Great Lakes Science Center – $15,000 for the CMSD Place Based Learning Collaborative for science/environmental education
  • Great Lakes Theater – $8,000 for the School Residency Program for CMSD students
  • Hathaway Brown School – $30,000 for the Aspire program
  • ideastream – $50,000 for professional development for CMSD teachers in Pre-Kindergarten to 2nd Grade
  • Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland – $12,000 for economic education programming for youth in after-school programs
  • Lake Erie Ink: a writing space for youth – $2,400 for a writing residency for middle school students at St. Rocco school
  • LifeAct – $7,500 for suicide prevention programming for middle school students
  • 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 and Resource Center
  • Musical Arts Association – $10,000 for Musical Neighborhoods, an early childhood learning and teacher training program
  • Nature Center at Shaker Lakes – $10,000 for the CMSD Place Based Learning Collaborative for science/environmental education
  • Open Doors Academy – $15,000 for out-of-school time programming for middle and high school students
  • Playhouse Square Foundation – $10,000 for theater residencies for 3rd grade classrooms
  • Progressive Arts Alliance – $15,000 to expand arts-integrated STEM programming
  • Rainey Institute – $10,000 for early childhood arts enrichment programming
  • Roots of American Music – $5,000 to provide song writing residencies in CMSD schools
  • Saint Ignatius High School – $10,000 for the Arrupe Summer program, an academic and enrichment program for youth
  • Seeds of Literacy – $35,000 for adult basic education
  • Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland – $25,000 to accelerate early learning in the Central Promise neighborhood
  • Teach for America – $15,000 for teacher professional development
  • The Cleveland Museum of Natural History – $10,000 for the CMSD Place Based Learning Collaborative for science/environmental education
  • United Way of Greater Cleveland – $100,000 to support the Community Wraparound Strategy at Adlai Stevenson
  • Youth Opportunities Unlimited – $40,000 for Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates

Safety Net

  • Achievement Centers for Children – $10,000 to provide services for children with disabilities in childcare programs
  • Beech Brook –  $20,000 for the Family Drop-in Center
  • Catholic Charities Corporation –  $20,000 for the 2016 Catholic Charities Annual Appeal
  • Cleveland Housing Network – $15,000 for the Family Success program
  • Cleveland Rape Crisis Center – $25,000 for sexual assault crisis intervention services for children and families
  • Cleveland Sight Center – $15,000 for early intervention services for children with visual impairments
  • Cornucopia, Inc –  $10,000 for vocational training and placement services for people with disabilities
  • Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center – $10,000 for emergency shelter services for children
  • East Side Organizing Project – $10,000 to provide financial literacy education and counseling for low-income senior citizens
  • EDEN, Inc – $25,000 to hire a housing stability specialist for homeless young adults, ages 18-24, as part of the County’s “A Place4Me” Initiative
  • Family Promise of Greater Cleveland – $20,000 for program support for homeless families
  • FrontLine Service – $50,000 for start-up of the Assertive Community Treatment model for individuals with mental illness
  • Greater Cleveland Food Bank – $40,000 for operating support
  • Legal Aid Society – $35,000 for the Housing Advocacy and Homelessness Prevention program
  • Linking Employment, Abilities, & Potential – $25,000 for employment services for adults with disabilities
  • Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry – $15,000 to provide adult guardianship services
  • Magnolia Clubhouse – $10,000 for workforce training and employment for individuals with mental illness
  • MedWish International – $10,000 for the Skill Building program, a workforce training program for individuals with disabilities
  • MobilMed1 Inc (Medworks) – $20,000 to operate health care clinics
  • Prevent Blindness Ohio, Northeast Ohio Chapter – $5,000
  • Rose-Mary Center – $50,000 to build group homes
  • Scranton Road Ministries Community Development Corporation – $30,000 for the Youth Jobs Partnership
  • The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland – $25,000 to provide mental health services for high-risk families
  • The Salvation Army – $20,000 for programming to support homeless families at Zelma George Emergency Family Shelter
  • University Settlement – $20,000 for the Transition-in-Place housing program
  • West Side Catholic Center – $20,000 to provide housing stability services for homeless families
  • Youth Challenge – $10,000 for capital improvements to expand programming and capacity

Community-Wide Impact

  • Foundation Center Cleveland – $10,000 for operating support
  • Literacy Cooperative – $100,000 to raise awareness, provide leadership, and manage collective impact for literacy initiatives
  • Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition – $15,000 for operating support