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 supports creative projects and programs designed to foster Racial Inclusion in neighborhoods throughout Cleveland. For the fifth round of Neighborhood Solutions Awards, applicants were invited to submit proposals that demonstrated the ways in which traditional community development approaches could be reoriented to intentionally interrupt patterns of othering, and create a sense of belonging for historically marginalized members of the community.

As in all previous Neighborhood Solution Award RFPs, the following evaluation criteria were considered: Innovation, Impact, Collaboration, Leadership, and Replication. Eleven proposals from community development corporations were received. The following five awards were announced at the 2017 Progress Institute on October 31, 2017:

Union Miles Development Corp.
The Problem: UMDC service area is faced with high rates of blighted housing and many residents are faced with barriers to employment due to criminal records for non-violent offenses.
The Solution : Passages Inc. and UMDC will teach formerly incarcerated individuals construction skills so that they may rehabilitate blighted homes and become certified in the trade. This will provide a pathway to employment for these individuals and help remediate deteriorated housing in the neighborhood.

Metro West Development Corp.
The Problem: A disconnect exists between the various ethnic, racial and cultural groups in the neighborhood, resulting in misguided communications, fears and misunderstandings.
The Solution: Facilitators will lead discussions with youth in the neighborhood to discuss how structural racism impacts their lives. They will then work with artists to translate their experiences into painted expressions on doors which will be installed in highly-visible vacant lots around the neighborhood.

Famicos Foundation
The Problem: Underrepresentation of people of color in urban planning and community development professions due to a lack of exposure to these careers to young people.
The Solution: Working with young people in the neighborhood to catalogue Glenville’s history while exposing them to urban planners and community development leaders so they may better understand how these professions have impacted their neighborhood and city.

Old Brooklyn Community Development Corp.
The Problem: Missing connections to communities of color in OBCDC’s service area have led to an under-representation and unintentional exclusion of these residents from OBCDC’s outreach and programming.
The Solution: Engaging in culturally appropriate organizing to build connections to communities of color and resident leaders who may help the organization be more inclusive and representative in its outreach and programming.

Midtown Cleveland, Inc
The Problem: A lack of understanding of  how the organization’s real estate practices development policies and practices may unintentionally perpetuate structural racism and inequities for residents living in or adjacent to the CDC’s service area.
The Solution: An audit of Midtown’s real estate development process to better understand its real estate development pipeline, identify where inequities may exist, and make recommendations for more racially equitable and inclusive policies and practices.


Each of the winning CDCs will promptly receive these funds from Cleveland Neighborhood Progress in December 2017 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

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