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GAR Awards More Than $2.25 Million to Akron-area Nonprofits


GAR Foundation awarded more than $2.25 million in grants to Akron nonprofit organizations at its May distribution meeting. The Foundation has focused significant support this quarter on inclusive economic and community development, through a grant to the Fund for Our Economic Future and through multiple grants to local neighborhood-serving community development organizations.

The Fund For Our Economic Future (the Fund) received a grant of $500,000 over three years. The Fund is considered our region’s backbone organization for inclusive economic development. Everything the Fund does is “designed to increase both economic growth and access to opportunity for the people of Northeast Ohio.” Its current portfolio of work features inclusive cluster-building, a focus on improving the effectiveness of workforce development systems, and efforts to improve job access through innovative approaches to transportation and business location.

“We continue to value our work with and support of The Fund as one of the best long-term investments we can make,” stated GAR Foundation President Christine Amer Mayer. “The Fund has been a thought leader in economic development and a critical partner in our local work with Elevate Greater Akron.”

The Foundation also made several grants supporting economic and community development in Akron’s neighborhoods. Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, Progressive Alliance CDC, South Street Ministries, and The Well CDC all received support, listed below.

“We believe that neighborhood-serving organizations provide an important ‘way in’ to economic and community development,” said GAR Foundation Program Officer Bronlynn Thurman. “Our holistic support of economic development must include CDCs supporting neighborhoods, downtown development, and systems work at the regional level.”

GAR Foundation expanded its use of multiyear grants this quarter, a practice it has long used with some Basic Needs grantees. “With grantees that are highly aligned with our strategy and in good financial health, multi-year grants make great sense. They enable grantees to focus more time on driving their mission in the community,” said Senior Vice President Kirstin Toth.

The Foundation awarded the following grants:

  • ACCESS, Inc., $160,000 for operations*
  • Akron Art Museum, $250,000 for operations*
  • ArtsNow, $125,000 for operations
  • Akron Black Artist Guild (ArtsNow), $25,000 for operations
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio, $85,000 for operations
  • Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture, $10,000 for operations
  • Community Legal Aid Services, Inc, $70,000 for operations*
  • Community Support Services, Inc., $10,000 for Homeless Outreach Center Programming Expansion
  • Early Childhood Resource Center, $180,000 for Early Childhood Workforce Retention Program*
  • Emmanuel Christian Academy, $50,000 for 2022 Summer STEAM Academy
  • Family & Community Services, Inc., $65,000 for Mobile Meals
  • FRONT Exhibition Company, $35,000 for FRONT International 2022 Installations in Akron
  • Fund for Our Economic Future, $500,000 for operations*
  • GroundWorks DanceTheater, $35,000 for operations
  • Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, $50,000 for programming in Akron Public Schools
  • Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, $70,000 for operations
  • Leadership Akron, $20,000 for operations
  • Musical Arts Association, $100,000 for Blossom Music Festival*
  • NCCAkron, $30,000 for operations and professional development
  • Ohio Debate Commission, $25,000 for 2022 General Election Debates for US Senate and Ohio Governor in Akron
  • Progressive Alliance CDC, $30,000 for West Akron Comprehensive Planning Process
  • Project Learn of Summit County, $120,000 for operations*
  • South Street Ministries, Inc., $45,000 for operations
  • Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, $30,000 for operations
  • SWAG, $30,000 for operations
  • The Well CDC, $30,000 for Akron Food Works
  • VANTAGE Aging, $40,000 for Meals on Wheels
  • Western Reserve Historical Society, $35,000 for Hale Farm & Village

*includes multi-year support

Other grants not listed include our annual Educator Initiative Grants program which will be announced in a separate press release.