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GAR Foundation Grant

Grants to Akron, Ohio Nonprofits for Education,
Community Programming, and Economic Development

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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GAR Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

08/01/18 5:00 PM Receipt


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Grants to Akron, Ohio nonprofit organizations to benefit the local community in the areas of education, economic and workforce development, and community programming. LOIs are due January 4. Applications are invited from key partners and high-functioning organizations under the following program areas:

I. Systemic Solutions:

In June, 2017 GAR shared the news that it will be narrowing its focus with the goal of deepening community outcomes. This means that with a portion of available funds, the Foundation seeks to do fewer things better, to go deeper in a small number of high-priority areas. In conjunction with key partners, the Foundation focuses on roots causes to seek long-term solutions at the intersections between these three systems.

Early Childhood Education:

Goal: 80% of Akron children are Kindergarten ready by 2022.

-Improve transitions from early learning to Kindergarten settings
-Strengthen high quality adult-child interactions
-Empower and engage families to be their child’s first and best teacher

K-16 Education:

Goal: Akron Public Schools students experience high-quality teaching and engaged learning to be college and career ready.

-Support the development of College and Career Academies of Akron
-Support quality out-of-school-time learning experiences
-Support school investment in high-quality teacher professional development

Economic and Workforce Development:

Goal: Improve Akron’s economic health as evidenced by a decrease in poverty, and an increase in the median household income and family-sustaining jobs.

-Help to design a high-functioning network of economic and workforce development providers whose work is driven by shared goals, defined roles, accountability for outcomes, and a single data platform
-Support implementation of the network design for economic and workforce development in Akron
-Encourage Akron’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem, as evidenced through population-serving businesses, creative placemaking, and neighborhood development

II. Community Programs:

Community Program grants are awarded to organizations and programs that foster the needs of Akron’s residents and fall within the three primary areas of giving.

Basic Needs:

Grantmaking Focus: The most basic human needs of Akron residents in crisis.

GAR supports high-functioning organizations that are working at scale to:
-Distribute food from the regional hub to food pantries and to other organizations who serve the hungry.
-Provide emergency shelter and services to people in crisis.
-Meet the basic needs of Akron’s immigrant and refugee population.

Arts and Culture:

Grantmaking Focus: The contribution of arts and culture to Akron’s identity as a vibrant, unique, and creative community.

-Support high-quality, relevant anchor arts and culture institutions across a diverse range of art forms that will appeal to Akron’s population
-Allocate some resources to emerging artists and innovative arts and cultural initiatives.
-Invest in the overall health and growth of the arts and culture sector by supporting quality sector infrastructure.

Nonprofit Sector Leadership:

Grantmaking Focus: The leadership capacity and effectiveness of Akron’s nonprofit sector.

-Support initiatives that build skills of nonprofit leaders and volunteers.
-Support information-sharing efforts that increase knowledge and understanding of the nonprofit sector.

The following criteria make a strong request:
-Demonstrate the ability to show how future funding needs will be met
-Communicate and cooperate with other organizations pursuing similar or complementary goals
-Establish measurable outcomes that are shared and valued by the sector
-Provide substantial community benefits
-Respond to community needs
-Reflect innovative goals and strategies
-Employ a capable, experienced staff

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174059

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

GAR Funds:
-Key partners working in the Systemic Solutions areas
-High-functioning organizations working at scale in the Community Programs areas
-Organizations or programs that benefit Akron, OH residents
-Organizations that have been recognized as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

Not Funded:
-Private, non-operating foundations
-National organizations
-Religious organizations
-Disease specific organizations
-Medical research or hospitals
-Food pantries; except to regional food banks
-Special events and fundraisers
-Computer hardware, software, and related equipment in schools

Pre-Application Information:

GAR staff reviews inquiries every week, so no need to wait until the LOI deadline to inquire. The established LOI deadlines are designed to give potential applicants time to receive feedback on their concept prior to investing significant time in completing a full application.

Applications must be received at GAR’s administrative offices by 5:00 PM on the deadline date to be eligible for review at the corresponding meeting.

2018 Letter of Inquiry Deadlines:

-To apply for the Jan. 16 application deadline, the Foundation must have your LOI by January 4, 2018 by 5:00 PM

-To apply for the May 1 application deadline, the Foundation must have your LOI by April 16, 2018 by 5:00 PM

-To apply for the August 1 application deadline, the Foundation must have your LOI by July 16, 2018 by 5:00 PM

If the application deadline date falls on a weekend, then your application is due by 5:00 PM of the Monday following the deadline date.

The Distribution Committee meets three times per year: in April, August, and November.

Applicants are notified by phone or email of the distribution committee’s award decisions within 24 hours of the meeting’s end. Written notification is also provided within one week of the meeting.

Read about GAR's new strategies:


2018 Grant Application Deadlines:

Funding Priorities:


Letter of Inquiry Instructions:

Application Instructions:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit a Letter of Inquiry:

Jessica A. Cherok, Grants and Evaluation Associate

GAR Foundation
Andrew Jackson House
277 East Mill Street
Akron, OH 44308


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Ohio: Akron