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ACF announces $2.7 million in quarterly grants

Civic Affairs grants support community engagement, economic development initiatives

AKRON, Ohio (Sept. 14, 2018) – Today, Akron Community Foundation’s board of directors approved grants totaling $2,740,221, including $529,333 in competitive civic affairs grants chosen by the foundation’s Community Investment Committee.

This quarter’s civic affairs funding included several grants for economic empowerment initiatives, such as a $10,000 grant to Akron SCORE to support mentoring programs and workshops for small-business owners and entrepreneurs. The agency’s volunteer mentors provide free counseling on a wide range of subjects, including business plan development, asset management and strategic marketing. The organization also offers free and low-cost educational workshops to help entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses.

“It’s a revolving door here – we’re overwhelmed at times with the number of clients that we see,” said Mike Rubino, Akron SCORE counselor. “We provide about 2,100 separate services in the Akron area, and the need has grown immensely. We’re seeing a lot of students coming out of the universities who want to start their own business, as well as retirees and veterans who aren’t ready to leave the workforce.”

An additional grant of $15,000 was awarded to the United Way of Summit County to support the new Akron Financial Empowerment Center, which offers financial counseling and tax preparation services to residents at no cost. This year’s program will serve at least 1,350 low- to moderate-income individuals and families by helping them create a budget, reduce debt and raise their credit scores.

“Initiatives like these provide more than just a one-time, transactional service,” said Sylvia Trundle, chair of Akron Community Foundation’s Community Investment Committee and retired Akron police captain. “Participants receive training and mentoring that can help them take control of their financial or professional future.”

An additional $50,500 in civic affairs funding was contributed through the community foundation’s grant co-investment program, which enables donor-advised fundholders to review the board’s competitive grant applications and support initiatives that align with their charitable interests. Participating in the co-investment program this quarter were the Charles E. and Mary K. Booth Family Fund and the Alan J. Woll Family Fund.

Their funding joins that of the following field-of-interest and board discretionary funds, which were created by charitable residents to support emerging needs in our community: Adam Fund; V.E. (Tom) Atkins Fund; Board of Directors Annual Giving Fund; Dick and Chris Chenoweth Fund; Community Fund; Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Fund; Lucille Scott Harris Fund; Arthur Kelly Fund; William C. Krisher Fund; John A. McAlonan Fund; Polsky Fund; Helen S. Robertson Fund; James G. Robertson Fund; Roush Memorial Fund; Shaw Foundation Fund; George Stevens Fund; Ronald L. Stiles Fund; Emma Vioran Fund; Orpha and Howard Wellock, Parents of Cheryl Wellock Fund; and William C. and Betty J. Zekan Fund.

Their grants will support the following civic affairs programs:

Akron Development Corporation, to support the implementation of a joint economic development strategic plan based on recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Task Force, $25,000

Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs, to provide camp scholarships for children and adults with disabilities so they can attend overnight, day and respite camps, $8,500

Akron SCORE, to support mentoring programs and workshops for small-business owners and entrepreneurs, $10,000

Akron Zoo, to support animal education programs in local classrooms, including up-close encounters with live animals, $7,500

Big Love Network, for the Akron City Repair Project, which empowers residents to create public spaces that foster civic engagement and a shared neighborhood identity, $7,500

BVU: The Center for Nonprofit Excellence, to support consulting services designed to strengthen Summit County nonprofits, including board development and succession planning training, $5,000

CASA Board Volunteer Association, to train community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the Summit County Juvenile Court system, $21,500

City of Akron, for the 2019 Neighborhood Partnership Program, which helps citizens revitalize and reinvent their communities, $55,000

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, for operating support, completion of the new Central Visitor Center, and a diversity and inclusion initiative, $50,000

ConxusNEO, to address the workforce skills gap by mobilizing stakeholders and connecting job-seekers with area businesses to build the capacity of the local talent system, $20,000

Crown Point Ecology Center, for the First Fruits Initiative, which provides organic food for hunger relief programs in Summit County, as well as camp scholarships and farming internships, $5,000

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, for operating support, including affordable programming for residents, educational field trips and maintenance of vintage railroad equipment, $31,000

Development Fund of the Western Reserve, to support a community loan fund that improves distressed neighborhoods in the City of Akron by offering tax credits and flexible loan terms for revitalization projects within these communities, $10,000

Downtown Akron Partnership, for operating support, including downtown Akron planning efforts, public space enhancements and economic development initiatives, $16,500

Dr. Bob's Home, to support the upkeep of Alcoholics Anonymous founder Dr. Bob's home and to preserve archives within the house, $5,000

East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation, to support community-building activities, including mini farmers markets, the East Akron Jubilee, a Labor Day parade, neighborhood meetings and revitalization projects, $15,000

First Tee of Akron, for an educational, golf-based youth development program for kids ages 4 to 18 that teaches life skills alongside the game of golf, $7,500

Foundation Center – Cleveland, to help Summit County nonprofits secure funding and increase their sustainability through educational programs and services, $2,500

Friends of WKSU, to support the Akron Initiative, a story series about Akron’s transformation that connects citizens to a broader narrative about the city, $7,500

Fund for Our Economic Future, for operating support to help transform the Northeast Ohio economy by fostering a broad entrepreneurial culture and advancing job creation and preparation, $33,333

Furnace Street Mission, for counseling, trauma training and support services for Summit County safety forces personnel and their families, $10,000

GASP: Guardians Advocating Child Safety and Protection, to support child safety activities, including child identification kits, community outreach programs and educational materials, $6,000

Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, to support neighborhood revitalization initiatives, including exterior home repair programs, interest-free mortgages, and recycling deconstructed home materials, $10,000

Humane Society of Summit County, for animal intake testing, vaccinations and microchipping for Summit County’s rescued cats and dogs, $17,500

International Soap Box Derby, for operating support to continue Soap Box Derby races and educational STEM-based programs like the Gravity Racing Challenge, $25,000

Jewish Community Board of Akron, to support programming costs for Forum 360, a community radio and television show, $5,000

Keep Akron Beautiful, to support urban beautification through public landscapes, litter prevention and removal, the Adopt-A-Site program and award recognitions, $10,000

Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, to develop a retail strategy for Kenmore’s Boulevard District to attract investors and new businesses, $12,500

Leadership Akron, for the Signature Class 36 Opening Retreat and Junior Leadership Akron Philanthropy Day Project, $15,000

Let's Grow Akron, to increase access to affordable, healthy food through neighborhood farmers markets, community gardens, urban agricultural workshops, and cooking and food preservation classes, $15,000

North Akron Community Development Corporation, for the Wise Neighbor program, which trains residents to recognize the needs of their neighbors and connect them to local services and resources, $5,000

PechaKucha Akron, to support a quarterly speaking series that highlights diverse community perspectives on important civic issues, $3,000

Project Ujima, to enhance civic engagement by teaching and facilitating dialogue circles among residents, $5,000

Rebuilding Together Northeast Ohio, for safety modifications and repairs to help low-income, elderly, disabled and veteran homeowners remain in their homes, $15,000

South Street Ministries, for operating support to provide community engagement activities in the Summit Lake and South Akron neighborhoods, as well as re-entry resources for formerly incarcerated residents, $15,000

Summit Food Coalition, to bring community members and stakeholders together to improve healthy food access for Summit County residents, and to spur economic development by providing resources for emerging farm and food businesses, $25,000

Truly Reaching You, to support employment training programs for men who are re-entering the community after an extended period of incarceration, $7,500

United Way of Summit County, to support the Akron Financial Empowerment Center, which offers financial counseling and tax preparation services to low-income residents at no cost, $15,000

The Well Community Development Corporation, for Akron Food Works, a shared-use kitchen and incubator for local food entrepreneurs, $10,000

Women's Network, for operating support to provide professional development programs for women and to conduct research on women’s leadership roles in Summit County, $10,000

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 63 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. As of June 30, 2018, it is a philanthropic endowment of more than $220 million with a growing family of more than 610 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded $155 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.