CDC Grantmaking

Strategic Investment InitiativeNeighborhood Solutions Award

Neighborhood Progress believes that neighborhoods prosper through targeted and layered investment, partnership and inclusive planning.

Through a competitive grant process, Neighborhood Progress provides operating support to the following community development corporations through our Strategic Investment Initiative (SII):

Burten, Bell, Carr Development
Detroit Shoreway Community Development Org.Metro West Community Development Organization
Famicos Foundation
Northeast Shores Development Corp.
Ohio City Incorporated / Tremont West Development Corp.
Slavic Village Development
Old Brooklyn Community Development Corp.
Lee-Harvard Community Collaborative
St. Clair Superior Development Corp. / Collinwood Nottingham Village Development Corp.

Between 2017 and 2020, we have committed resources to twelve community development corporations (CDCs) as a comprehensive strategy for building market strength and healthy communities. These organizations have demonstrated success in their operations; have put forth solid strategies to advance Placemaking and Economic Opportunities; and are working in neighborhoods that have significant assets from which to build. They have shown the capacity to take on catalytic projects that signal a positive change in market forces, have the ability to work with community partners to leverage additional resources, and have a willingness and ability to engage residents and stakeholders in the planning and implementation processes.

On average the service areas of these CDCs contain between 3,000 and 5,000 households and represent a diverse range of incomes, building conditions and social conditions. The twelve chosen groups represent the east and west sides of Cleveland and have a variety of economic, social and cultural conditions that are characteristic of Cleveland.

Our goal is for each of these areas to build on assets, support residents in healthy living and positive options for housing, education, and employment, and become neighborhoods of choice. We support the work of these community development corporations and offer a holistic approach to community revitalization. Better housing alone does not improve neighborhoods, but concentrated, strategic allocation of resources can have a demonstrable positive outcome and can form a counter-measure against the challenges of foreclosure, vacancy, and disinvestment. Our comprehensive approach to neighborhood revitalization incorporates real estate development, safety, access to education, work and amenities, and civic involvement.

Our grantmaking program was recognized in 2010 as a Bright Idea by The Ash Center at Harvard University. Chosen out of a pool of nearly 600 applicants, Neighborhood Progress was acknowledged for its strong partnership with the City of Cleveland in comprehensively focusing on neighborhood assets, sustainability, stabilization and collaboration.

For more detail on our grantmaking process, please read our Press Release for the 2017-2020 Strategic Investment Initiative (SII) Program Cycle [PDF Link].

Neighborhood Solutions Awards

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress completed the fourth installment of its Neighborhood Solutions Award funding cycle in 2016. The Neighborhood Solutions Award is focused on a program or project that is ready to launch but in need of additional financial resources. This year, Cleveland community development corporations (CDCs) were instructed to focus on neighborhood placemaking and security.

A total of 29 proposals for the Neighborhood Solutions Award were submitted. The process was highly competitive and involved a thorough review of all proposals. Finalist organizations presented their proposed programs and projects to a panel of distinguished funders and local professionals. Panelists thoughtfully evaluated the finalist presentations using the criteria as stated in the Request for Proposals (RFP) that was issued in July 2016. Throughout the presentations, each CDC addressed how its neighborhood solution featured innovation, impact, collaboration, leadership and replicability.

The following programs or projects were chosen as the 2016 Neighborhood Solutions Award Grantees:


Resident-driven Neighboring Interventions (Detroit Shoreway CDO)
To reduce spot crime and increase resident familiarity, neighbors will bring chairs, coffee, and apples to various places in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood and encourage neighbors to join them in friendly conversation. These stands will help build stronger connections amongst neighbors and improve safety by increasing activity and engagement.

Sweat Equity (Detroit Shoreway CDO)
A series of clean-up activities in the Detroit Shoreway area will be planned to improve overgrown alleyways and illegal dumping areas. Volunteerism will be motivated and institutionalized by modest gift cards.

Safety Town (Old Brooklyn Community Development)
A two-day safety town focused on younger and older youth will reach over 750 children in the Old Brooklyn school system, in partnership with Beachwood. The activities will range from the rules of the road for pedestrians and cyclists to how youth can partner with police officers to address drugs and violence.

Nights Out (Bellaire Puritas Development Corporation)
BPDC will work with neighborhood groups and block clubs to conduct safety-minded events designed to convene neighbors in local parks on four Summer evenings. These events will give neighbors the resources to promote interaction with people they would not ordinarily see, raise awareness about safety issues, and gain future participation in proactive community outings.

The Village Stage (Slavic Village Development)
Slavic Village Development and the Fleet Avenue Stakeholders will enhance vacant lots along of Fleet Avenue with a multi-functional mobile stage built by Slavic Village makers and artists. Three interactive events will bring the community and police together while embracing local talent, with the stage equipment enduring long past the scheduled programs.

Safe Secret (Burten Bell Carr Development AND Buckeye Shaker Square)
The Safe Secret project will facilitate an anonymous letter exchange between youth and police to create community dialogue around safety, race, and policing. A community conversation and curated exhibition displaying postcards from both children and police are both included in the plans.

Light Up the Ville (Famicos)
In a two-day event in the Glenville neighborhood, Famicos will create open spaces for dialogue amongst residents who may not know each other, have meaningful and hard conversations about neighborhood safety, police and community relations, and what residents can do to help.

Cooking with Cops (St. Clair Superior Development Corporation)
At Cooking with Cops events, community members and police officers will share a meal, an experience, and connect with one another. During the meal, participants will discuss strategies for vacant lot activation.

Peace and Unity Challenge Video (Harvard Community Services Center)
Two underused local parks will become venues for a musical skit involving the police and young residents that will be filmed and released on social media.

Our voice. Our story. Our song. (Buckeye Shaker Square Development Corporation)
Monthly literary workshops in local community businesses will encourage community togetherness by supporting the collective artistic development of community based storytellers, literary, and performing artists in the Buckeye and Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods.


Midtown-CSU Bridge Transformation (Midtown Cleveland AND Campus District)
The bridge over the inner belt on Euclid Avenue between E. 24th and E. 30th streets will be improved with overhead pedestrian and colorful energy-efficient LED lighting, as well as sidewalk branding and student art. This renovation will create a stronger connection between the two districts and enhanced security.

Safety and Engagement in Little Italy (University Circle AND Little Italy Redevelopment Corp)
Residents along E. 120th, Coltman, and E. 123rd will feel safer in their neighborhood with the improvement of public and private lighting, the installation of cameras, and engaging residents in regular block club meetings, building a stronger sense of community and trust.

The Ubuntu Gathering Place (East End Neighborhood House AND Buckeye Shaker Square)
A visually appealing and interactive gathering place and vital neighborhood corner previously known as the site of a blighted building. A kiosk will be included as an area of sharing and communication. The area will be encompassing the philosophy of Ubuntu—a focus on connectivity between people.

Morgana Run Trail Safety Improvements & Learning Lab (Slavic Village Development)
Funding will foster initial planning, lighting, and vegetative pruning for an area along the Morgana Run Trail where the Boys and Girls Club plans to install an Outdoor Learning Lab.

Liven Up Lorain (Detroit Shoreway CDO)
Specific infrastructure improvements will “Liven Up Lorain” from W. 73rd to W. 83rd. Additions will include tree pruning, pedestrian lighting, surveillance cameras, neighborhood branding, and public art.

Each of the winning CDCs will promptly receive these funds from Cleveland Neighborhood Progress in December 2016 and work will commence immediately. The CDCs will also receive technical assistance throughout the grant period from Neighborhood Progress staff. It is anticipated that each program or project will be active within 12 months.

Previous Neighborhood Solutions Award winners:
• One West Park brand: Kamm’s Corners Development Corp. & Bellaire Puritas Development Corp.
Gordon Square Wayfinding Initiative: Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization
#WhatsYourOldBrooklyn: Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation
• Gold Coast Entertainment Series: Famicos Foundation
BBC Community Radio: Burten, Bell, Carr Development

U-Mag: Union Miles Development Corp.
Community Café at the South Branch Library: Old Brooklyn Community    Development Corp.
Hatch St. Clair: St. Clair Superior Development Corp.
Collinwood Renter Equity Program: Northeast Shores Development Corp.

Acti-Vacant: Northeast Shores Development Corp.
Near West Recreation: Ohio City Inc., Tremont West Development Corp., Detroit Shoreway Community Development Org., Stockyards, Clark Fulton, Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office
UpCycle St. Clair: St. Clair Superior Development Corp.
Urban Farm Diet Program: Burten Bell Carr Development
Community Engagement and Economic Opportunity Plan: Tremont West Development Corp., Stockyards, Clark Fulton, Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office, MetroHealth



  • Citizens Bank
  • City of Cleveland
  • The Cleveland Foundation
  • Dominion Foundation
  • Enterprise Community Partners
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • The George Gund Foundation
  • The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation
  • Key Bank
  • The Nord Family Foundation
  • PNC
  • The Surdna Foundation
  • Third Federal Savings & Loan