Saturday, December 9, 2023

A Helping Hand: Funding available for local nonprofits through community foundation

Times of economic distress affect everyone, but tend to disproportionately impact marginalized communities. In light of current events, the importance of addressing those communities’ needs is greater than ever.

To that end, the Greater Toledo Community Foundation (GTCF) offers grants and funding opportunities for northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan nonprofit organizations. A portion of their funding is available to support community groups through a new Equity and Access Initiative Fund. 

What is the Greater Toledo Community Foundation?
GTCF has been serving the Toledo region since 1973. They assist individuals, families, and businesses with philanthropic interests while creating better communities throughout the area. 

With an overarching goal of enriching people’s daily lives, GTCF works towards permanent endowment to support community organizations with providing improvements to social services, the arts, education, neighborhood and urban affairs, natural resources, and physical and mental health services. 

Community Impact
In the first half of 2021 alone, the Greater Toledo Community Foundation has paid more than $8.5 million in scholarships and grants. In addition, they have established over 200 scholarship funds and, thanks to generous donors, were able to provide $1.1 million in scholarship awards to students this past year. (For scholarship opportunities visit

In addition to scholarships, GTCF has funded a variety of successful grant programs. By providing tools and resources to a network of nonprofits, they foster collaborative means of addressing the ever-changing needs of Toledo’s diverse neighborhoods. 

There are also open grant opportunities in the categories of Community Impact, Community Builder, Civic Engagement and Environmental Impact, Strategic Alliance Partnership, and Islamic Understanding. These programs have real, tangible effects on our local communities. (To learn more and apply for these programs, visit

The Equity and Access Initiative Fund
Among upcoming grant opportunities, the Greater Toledo Community Foundation has money available for local nonprofits as part of its Equity and Access Initiative Fund. This fund was created to proactively address concerns raised by communities that are disproportionately impacted by inequity and lack of access in the Greater Toledo area.

Nonprofit organizations located in and providing services for residents of northwest Ohio or southeast Michigan— small capacity nonprofits, grassroots associations and established nonprofits— are encouraged to apply for funding for new and existing projects that align with the overall focus of this initiative.

The Foundation seeks proposals that address a variety of areas including advocacy, economic development, employment and nonprofit capacity and is especially interested in collaborative proposals that leverage multiple partners’ expertise.

Keith Burwell, president of Greater Toledo Community Foundation, states, “Our efforts as they relate to equity and access for marginalized groups in northwest Ohio are being more formalized, and will continue to support the Foundation’s ongoing mission of creating a better community and achieving sustainable prosperity for all people across our region.

“Our hope is that by coming together, we can offer solutions to our community challenges in creative and inclusive ways.”

Organizations interested in learning more about this program can attend a series of virtual webinars beginning late June and running through early July. There will be several invitation-only group discussions, and one live session open for public registration. Those interested in the public session can register here.

For more details about the Equity and Access Initiative and guidelines on how to apply, visit:

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