How to Apply

The Cleveland Foundation makes most of its grants to tax-exempt agencies classified as 501(c)(3) organizations (public charities as defined by the Internal Revenue Service) in Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties. Some grants are also made to government agencies.

Application process:

1. Review Cleveland Foundation grantmaking guidelines

Visit our Grantmaking Guidelines page.

2. Obtain a username and password by completing our online request form, which will require the following information:
  • Organization Name
  • Organization Address
  • EIN Number
  • Name of Organization’s Executive Director
  • Executive Director’s E-mail Address
  • Authorized Users (including name, title, and e-mail address for each)

Grantee Login Request Form

3. Establish or update your organization profile

Your profile must be completed before submitting a grant inquiry or full application.

Organization Profile

Creating your organization profile is an important step in seeking funding from the Cleveland Foundation. Your profile will provide the opportunity to showcase your organization before foundation staff. Your profile must be completed before submitting a grant request.

Grants Login

4. Submit a grant inquiry
Grant Inquiry

The foundation requires all grant applicants to submit an online grant inquiry, outlining basic information about the proposed project. Inquiries may be submitted at any time. We recommend submitting one inquiry per proposed project. If it is determined that your project fits the foundation’s guidelines, you will be asked (within a few weeks) to submit a full application. Please note that an invitation to submit a full application does not guarantee funding at any level.

Grants Login

Our Grants Management staff is available to answer your questions and guide you through the inquiry/application process. Click here to see a preview of the questions. Feel free to contact us at 216.615.7254 or .

Supporting Organization Application

The foundation has developed a separate application for supporting organizations. You must submit a separate application for each supporting organization to which you would like to apply.  Applications will be reviewed biannually with standard deadlines of September 1 and March 1 of each year. The application will be a one-step process, meaning there will not be a separate inquiry submission.You will be notified of grant award or decline after the board meeting for the supporting organization to which you have applied.

Click here for a list of the supporting organizations of the Cleveland Foundation, their areas of focus, and their specific deadlines.