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
Northwest Neighborhoods CDC (Formerly Detroit Shoreway CDO)
Famicos Foundation
Greater Collinwood Development Corp.
MidTown Cleveland/Asiatown
Metro West CDO
Old Brooklyn Community Dev. Corp.
Ohio City, Inc.
Tremont West Development Corp.
Slavic Village Development Corp.
Union Miles Development Corp.

Between 2020 and 2023, we have committed resources to these 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.

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.

Past Grantmaking – Neighborhood Solutions Awards

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress supports creative efforts and programs designed to improve civic engagement among residents in city neighborhoods throughout Cleveland. For the sixth round of Neighborhood Solutions Awards, applicants were invited to submit proposals that demonstrated the ways in which traditional community development approaches could be developed to proactively engage more city residents with the design, development and implementation of programs and activities for their neighborhood.

As in all previous Neighborhood Solution Award RFPs, the following evaluation criteria were considered: Innovation, Impact, Collaboration, Leadership, and Replication. The following five awards were announced at the 2018 Progress Institute on November 2, 2018:

Midtown Cleveland: $30,000
Proposal: Maintain Integrity of Community History by expanding Leo’s Listening Party

The Leo’s Listening Party Concert series is a community response to a community desire. Our community has rallied together to ensure that their history is also being told in the ever-changing landscape of the MidTown neighborhood and that their roots and achievements have both space and ability to be discussed and celebrated in our modern landscape. As Hough resident and community elder, Ms. Carolyn Allen shared in a call to action, “Why is the history of Leo’s important for this neighborhood? The history is the vibe.”

How: Efforts over the next year on this initiative will be driven by the community through participatory budgeting and may include:

  1. Additional music events for community building in and among residents and other neighbors (e.g. employers) as well as to build momentum and demand for black arts and culture.
  2. Dinner and Dialogue capturing oral histories and artifacts of the music clubs, many of which operated during the Hough and Glenville Riots, many of which were subjected to racial violence, demolition, and eminent domain.
  3. Incubate entrepreneurs for new entertainment business by gathering interested entrepreneurs to explore business enterprises to support the local economy (2-3 year plan).
  4. Resident stipend and other costs including community meetings, trainings, integration into MidTown planning and development processes.

Collinwood and Nottingham Villages Development Corporation: $30,000
Proposal: Build Opportunity for Connectedness and Collinwood Connects Micro-Grant Development

Family Feud game nights will be the medium for building connectedness. We are confident Game Nights will bring the community out in masses. Family fun nights are highly anticipated, attended and requested in Collinwood.

How: Inclusion of various community stakeholders as contestants and potential recipients of Collinwood Connects Micro-Grants to gauge the following:

  1. Impact will be measured by community participation in Surveys and Game Nights
  2. Successful implementation of Micro-Grant projects to continue connectivity and collective problem solving
  3. Sustained engagement resulting in 8 previously disconnected groups coming together for meaningful communication, prioritization and finally, a shared vision resulting in action goals

Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization: $25,000
Proposal: Employ Participatory Budgeting to facilitate the emergence of a cohesive voice in traditionally isolated and underserved neighborhoods including South Cudell and Southwest Detroit Shoreway

How: Residents will build and exchange skills and receive access to hands-on learningand collaboratively decide how to spend allocated funds to better serve their neighborhoods. Facilitated trainings & outcomes include:

  1. Mapping existing structures and processes of local power (e.g. how a council person relates to a CDC, or how local government works)
  2. Understanding alternative decision-making structures (e.g. consensus-building among diverse groups of residents)
  3. Concepts of racial equity and inclusion as well as barriers to accessing power

Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc.: $25,000
Proposal: Extend the programming opportunities and hours at Anton Grdina School to better serve the out-of-school time needs of Kinsman youth and families

How: Through the community wraparound initiative, BBC will extend the school hours to serve the families of the neighborhood, providing an engagement and activity hub in the neighborhood of Kinsman, and will have the following impact:

  1. 1.Development of Neighborhood Committees addressing Wealth/Job Training, College Exposure & Attainment, and Safety.
  2. 2.Agenda and activities informed and guided by collaborative Neighborhood Committees taking place in the engagement hub.
  3. New equity seat to Kinsman youth co-creating plans to improve the neighborhood in these targeted areas.

Metro West Community Development Organization: $15,000
Proposal: Eliminate the barrier to resources and information due to lack of internet access and community involvement.

How: Create and install neighborhood bulletin boards where

information can be easily shared and accessed by all members of the community and will provide impact in the following ways:

  1. Collaboration with local block clubs, residents, artists and organizations garnering collective input
  2. Increase information accessibility and communication
  3. Reach broader neighborhood audiences and increasing inclusive channels and diverse residents

2017 Previous Neighborhood Solutions Award winners
– Union Miles Development Corp. – $20,000
– Metro West Development Corp.  – $20,000
– Famicos Foundation – $26,500
– Old Brooklyn Community Development Corp.  – $28,500
– Midtown Cleveland, Inc – $30,000

2016 Previous Neighborhood Solutions Award winners

POOL 1 (Grants up to $5,000)
– Resident-driven Neighboring Interventions: Detroit Shoreway CDO
Sweat Equity: Detroit Shoreway CDO
Safety Town: Old Brooklyn Community Development
Nights Out: Bellaire Puritas Development Corporation
The Village Stage: Slavic Village Development
Safe Secret: Burten Bell Carr Development AND Buckeye Shaker Square Development Corp.
Light Up the Ville: Famicos Foundation
Cooking with Cops: St. Clair Superior Development Corporation
Peace and Unity Challenge Video: Harvard Community Services Center
Our voice. Our story. Our song.: Buckeye Shaker Square Development Corporation

POOL 2 (Grants up to $27,000)
– Midtown-CSU Bridge Transformation: Midtown Cleveland AND Campus District
Safety and Engagement in Little Italy: University Circle AND Little Italy Redevelopment Corp
The Ubuntu Gathering Place: East End Neighborhood House AND Buckeye Shaker Square Development Corp.
Morgana Run Trail Safety Improvements & Learning Lab: Slavic Village Development
Liven Up Lorain: Detroit Shoreway CDO

• 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