Community Foundation Announces Grants and New Grant Cycles 

The Community Foundation of Lorain County Board of Directors announced more than $1M in grant awards to 47 organizations focused on the four program areas: Arts & Culture, Education & Youth Development, Health & Human Services, and Strengthening Lorain County. The Community Foundation also announced they will add a Community Grant Cycle and pivot to its four focus areas.   

“The Community Foundation is excited to add grant cycle to our Community Grants,” says Cindy Andrews, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Lorain County. “Adding another grant cycle and having each cycle centered around a focus area will allow our staff, volunteers on our grants committee, and donors to focus on emerging needs in our community and ensure that we meet the needs of our non-profit partners.”   

Previously, the Community Foundation has offered two Community Grant Cycles, with applications due in February and July and grant awards announced in June and December. The new cycles will have Health & Human Service organizations apply by February 1 with awards in May, Education & Youth Development organizations apply by April 1 with awards in July, and Arts & Culture and Strengthening Lorain County apply by July 1 with awards in October.  The new grant cycles will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

“The new grant cycles give us the opportunity to strategically discuss our program areas, reach out to donors more effectively and help broaden our Grants Committee,” says Maria Grega, Chair of the Grants Committee.  

With only 12% of the Community Foundation’s grant-making funds unrestricted, many grants awarded come from Donor Advised Funds. Each fund holder can select which causes will receive their funds. “As we continue to be responsive and model Trust-based Philanthropy practices, we believe we should be transparent and make changes when warranted,” says Andrews. “We understand these changes will seem a little challenging for some, but we want to reassure our partners and community that we will continue to work together to connect people who care about causes that matter.” 

The recent grants include Solidarity Urban Farms, which received $30k to continue work combatting food insecurity in Lorain. The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer manages the urban farm, which provides healthy food for the church’s community meals program, healthy activities for neighborhood children and families, free food for neighbors and produce for sale to the community. United Way of Greater Lorain County, Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio, Lorain County Urban League, Main Street Lorain and the YWCA are partners with the program. Recently, staff at Solidarity Urban Farms and Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio have been able to include Solidarity Urban Farms produce as eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) and senior coupons, including delivery to families using WIC.  

“The generous support from the Community Foundation will support us continuing to operate Solidarity Urban Farm,” says Father Alexander Barton, Executive Director of Solidarity Urban Farms. “This grant will allow us to provide healthy options for the community and a safe place for the youth in our community.” The funds used to fulfill the Solidarity Urban Farms grant are coming from two unrestricted endowment funds held at Community Foundation of Lorain County. Unrestricted funds provide the most flexibility for the Grants Committee to respond to emerging needs. Community Foundation of Lorain County has a Touch the Future Fund that is open for donations. 

2022 Grant Cycle Awards 

Arts & Culture 
Elyria Arts Council           38,700  
Lorain County Historical Society           25,000  
North Pointe Ballet           20,000  
Oberlin Heritage Center/O.H.I.O.           20,000  
Oberlin-Wellington Rescue Theater Project           10,000  
Southern Lorain County Historical Society             3,634  
Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio             3,000  
Firelands Association for the Visual Arts           20,000  
Oberlin Choristers             7,000  
 Education & Youth Development  
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lorain County           50,000  
Camp Imagine           15,000  
Effective Leadership Academy           25,000  
Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio           15,000  
LifeAct           15,000  
National Inventors Hall of Fame          49,900  
OberlinKids           15,000  
Save our Children of Elyria, Inc.           50,000  
Youth Challenge           22,000  
Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio             5,000  
RePlay for Kids             7,859  
Standout Production Group/Scholastic Games             6,500  
 Health & Human Services  
A Dementia Friendly Life Foundation           50,000  
Blessing House           75,000  
Coalition for the Uninsured of Lorain County            38,750  
El Centro de Services Sociales           60,000  
Flat Rock Homes, Inc           20,000  
Hospice of the Western Reserve, Inc.           15,000  
Humility of Mary Housing           35,000  
Lorain County Health & Dentistry           50,000  
Lorain County Lutheran Presbyterian Cooperative Ministries           20,000  
Lorain County Office on Aging           42,269  
Mercy Foundation of Lorain County           55,000  
NAMI           13,500  
North Ridgeville Community Care           10,000  
Prevent Blindness, Northeast Ohio Chapter           15,000  
Primary Purpose Center, Inc.           20,000  
Road to Hope House, Inc.           50,000  
The Salvation Army Elyria           40,000  
A Kid Again (Northern Ohio Chapter)           10,000  
Avon/Avon Lake Community Resource Services, Inc.             5,000  
 Strengthening Lorain County  
City Fresh           30,000  
Episcopal Church of the Redeemer           30,000  
Friendship Animal Protective League           20,000  
YWCA Elyria           45,250  
Hearts of Patriots           10,000  
Ideastream             5,000  
SCORE Cleveland Chapter 30             3,000