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Joseph's Home

WECO Fund, Inc.

Cleveland Foodband, Inc.

Eliza Bryant Village

Cleveland Housing Network, Inc.

The Free Clinic of Greater Cleveland

University Settlement, Inc.

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How to Apply

Through its Community Grants, the Saint Luke’s Foundation works with its partners to improve the overall health and well being of the neighborhoods throughout Greater Cleveland.  Through this grantmaking portfolio, the Foundation most closely impacts the real-time needs of Greater Clevelanders.

Application Process
The grantmaking process is designed to encourage consultation and collaboration between grantseekers and the Foundation. All organizations considering applying to Saint Luke’s Foundation are encouraged to call with any questions that arise during the application process.

Get Acquainted Meetings
Saint Luke’s Foundation staff welcomes the opportunity to meet with prospective applicants to talk about possible collaborations. These appointments, called "Get Acquainted Meetings," are scheduled prior to a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) submission in order to:

  1. Determine which of an organization’s funding priorities is the best match with the Foundation’s mission
  2. Introduce Foundation staff to a new organization or program or a key staff member at the organization
  3. Provide prospective applicants with detailed information regarding the Foundation’s mission and interests
  4. Work through the elements of a project that is in its formative stages

Get Acquainted Meetings often help an organization determine which of its funding priorities/proposed projects is the strongest match with the Foundation’s mission. If a project is in its formative stages, a Get Acquainted Meeting can also help the organization work through program design— it is expected at the point of an LOI submission that the body of a project is in place. To schedule a Get Acquainted Meeting, contact the Foundation’s office at 216-431-8010.

Letter of Inquiry
The application process begins with the submission of an electronic Letter of Inquiry (LOI) through the Foundation’s website. The LOI summarizes the prob­lem to be addressed, proposed activities, amount requested, anticipated outcomes, and capacity of the applicant organization to successfully implement the proposed program. All LOI’s are first reviewed by program staff to determine if there is a match between the proposed project and the Foundation’s mission.  Organizations may submit only one LOI per grant cycle.

Site Visit
If the proposed project is determined to be within the Foundation’s areas of interest, a site visit is scheduled. The site visit provides Foundation board and staff with detailed information used to determine if the proposed project should be presented to the Foundation’s board for funding consideration.

Site visits also provide an opportunity for Foundation board and staff to update prospective grantees on the Foundation’s initia­tives and activities. In general, site visits are held at the appli­cant organization’s location. The applicant organization is encouraged to set the agenda for the site visit; however, the visit is informal and intended to assist Foundation staff in determining if a formal proposal will be requested.

Proposal Submission and Review
Following the site visit, Foundation staff request proposals for those projects that are a strong match with the Foundation’s mission and funding priorities.  Quarterly logic model trainings are held to assist applicants in completing this key component of the proposal.  Proposals are reviewed by program staff and prepared with recommendations for presentation to the Board of Trustees’ Grant Committee and the full Board. As a function of the partnership between the Foundation and the applicant, Saint Luke’s Foundation staff members are available to offer support and guidance throughout proposal preparation. Applicants are highly encouraged to consult the Foundation with any questions that arise.

Who Can Apply
Applicants must either be an organization designated as non­profit under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or a governmental unit or agency.

The Foundation does not fund:

  • Individuals
  • Religious organizations for religious or evangelical purposes
  • Projects outside Greater Cleveland that do not directly benefit Cleveland residents
  • Fundraising events
  • Endowment funds
  • Biomedical research
  • Debt retirement
  • Lobbying

Timeline for Grant Submissions
Each grant cycle is approximately three months in length from letter of inquiry submission to the Foundation’s board meeting.

Decision Making
In deciding whether or not to request a proposal, the Founda­tion assesses the degree to which:

  • The project is consistent with the Foundation’s mission and vision
  • The project has clear goals, measurable outcomes, and a plan for evaluating progress
  • The project is fully conceptualized and designed to increase the likelihood that it will be successful
  • The project has sufficient community support and involvement to increase the likelihood that it will make a difference in the community
  • The organization has the leadership, staff, and infrastructure in place to carry out the project
  • The project and its benefits will live beyond Foundation funding
  • The costs proposed are reasonable and appropriate

In each cycle, we receive more requests than we have the ability to fund, therefore it becomes necessary to prioritize requests. As a result, in some cases, projects that meet all of our funding guidelines must be declined.

Staff Discretionary Grants
Foundation program staff can approve discretionary grants of up to $20,000 for time-sensitive projects. In requesting discretionary grant funds, applicants follow the Foundation’s standard application process, including the online LOI and site visit.  Requests are reviewed on a rolling basis. Requests of $5,001 to $20,000 also require a proposal; however, funding allocations are made following staff review of proposals.


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