Workforce Grantmaking and Partnership – Deaconess Foundation
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What we Fund


We provide grants to 501(c)(3) organizations in Cuyahoga County that help people in need build careers that sustain them and their families.


Find more information on our strategic plan.


Grantmaking Process


Please note that we do not accept requests that have not been invited. This process is followed for all applicants, even those who are returning grantees.


Proposal Planning


The grantmaking process starts with what may be a series of conversations between the organization and Deaconess Foundation staff. Proposal planning discussions are intended to be substantive conversations through which Deaconess Foundation and the organization can work together to shape a project for consideration. We will ask that those conversations be reflected in a pre-submission document – containing the draft responses to certain critical grant application questions. Once both Deaconess Foundation and the applicant are satisfied with the content, a proposal will be invited.


Please note that this process may take some time; it may not always be possible to meet the next upcoming deadline from that point at which the conversations begin.


To begin a conversation with Deaconess Foundation, please contact Lissy Rand at  or 216-741-4077.


Application Submission


Once an invitation to submit a proposal has been extended, the organization will be given an access code that can be used to enter our grants dashboard. If you would like to view the application questions before getting to this point of the process, please feel free to contact Lissy Rand.


Applications are accepted according to the following schedule:



Application Due  Decision Date
February 15 April 17
July 1 September 11
October 1 December 4


Proposal Review


Deaconess Foundation staff will follow up on grant applications to learn more. A visit to the organization and/or a conversation with agency leadership and relevant program director(s) may be scheduled. This process allows us to round out the conversations that developed during the pre-submission phase so that we can develop a complete set of materials on which decisions can be based.


These materials go to a small subcommittee of staff and Board leadership for review. The subcommittee prepares a recommendation, which serves as a starting place for Board deliberation.


Board Decision


The Charitable Giving Committee, comprised of all members of Deaconess Foundation’s Board, reviews the materials prepared by the staff and makes a funding determination. Applicants are informed of the Board’s decision immediately after the meeting via phone and/or email.


Grant Agreement


The specific terms and conditions of each grant are summarized in a Grant Agreement, which is sent via email to the primary contact for the application. Signed Grant Agreements can be returned to the Deaconess Foundation office via mail or email. Funds will be released within two weeks of receipt of the signed Grant Agreement.


Grant Follow-Up 


Deaconess Foundation staff makes a follow-up visit roughly six months after the grant is made. A written report using a specific form will be required 12 months after the grant award or at the same time as the next request to the foundation, whichever comes first. Grant Follow-Up Forms are specific to each grantee, and are initially sent out with the Grant Agreement. The Form can also be downloaded from the Grants Dashboard.


Mission Outreach Fund


The process for the Mission Outreach Fund is different. Access the summary of the process of submitting a grant request.