Burton D. Morgan Foundation Pledges $1.5 million in Support of Build Back Better Projects

At the June Board Meeting, Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustees approved support in the amount of $1.5 million for two area projects of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Build Back Better Regional Challenge that aims to develop and strengthen regional industry clusters across the country, all while embracing economic equity, creating good-paying jobs, and enhancing U.S. competitiveness globally. Additionally, they awarded $663,050 in grants that will support entrepreneurship programming and opportunities for youth, college students, and adults in Northeast Ohio.

JumpStart was awarded a $1,000,000 outright grant to support entrepreneurial services and programming in Northeast Ohio.   JumpStart leads one of eight projects included under NEO’s joint proposal for the EDA Build Back Better Regional Challenge, which seeks to align regional assets and bolster its advanced manufacturing cluster, with a focus on energy storage and advanced materials.  Grant dollars will be used as a cash match for the initiative if it is awarded. 

University of Akron Foundation was awarded a conditional grant of $500,000 to support its cash match toward the Build Back Better initiative, which will lead to construction of a Polymer R&D and Production Facility.  The EDA is expected to announce award decisions in September 2022.

"We are deeply appreciative of this support," said Ray Leach, President and CEO of JumpStart Inc. "It is meaningful to have philanthropic leaders like Burton D. Morgan Foundation, who understand the power of entrepreneurship and partner to impact inclusive economic growth. Through this partnership, we will deepen our collective impact by providing entrepreneurs access to the services, connections and capital they need to grow and through transformational collaborations like Build Back Better."

Kimberly Cole, Executive Director for The University of Akron Foundation, commented, “We are grateful for Burton D. Morgan Foundation’s support of The University of Akron’s Build Back Better grant application match requirement.  Their partnership here loudly demonstrates our region’s strength and commitment to harnessing this economic opportunity.  Again and again, leaders in all sectors in Northeast Ohio come together to turn high-impact ideas into reality that build on the talent and assets of our University and our region.”

Additional grants for entrepreneurship support were made to the following organizations:

Cuyahoga County Public Library - $100,000 to support an Innovation Center at CCPL-Solon Branch
Purdue University - $60,000 for co-curricular entrepreneurship programming for two years
University School - $303,050 to support Young Entrepreneur Institute in the 2022-23 academic year
Western Reserve Community Fund - $200,000 for loan capital to support small business lending

“It has been a great privilege and pleasure to work with the Foundation’s grantees over the last two decades,” commented President and CEO Deborah Hoover.  “I hope this package of carefully crafted grants will fortify the capacity and connectivity of our region’s dynamic entrepreneurship ecosystem. These grants represent another strategic step toward strengthening the environment in which founders launch and grow their ventures.  I look forward to staying engaged and supporting our region’s university-based ecosystem in new and exciting ways through Entrepreneurship Education Consortium.”

Other grants made by Morgan Foundation in the interim period between meetings to support entrepreneurship include:

Crafty Mart - $12,500 for the 2022 Maker Sessions, which includes Launch Market and Creative Catapult
Community Initiatives - $20,000 for operating support for Entrepreneurship Funders Network
Hudson City School District - $3,000 for the Six District Educational Compact
Kent State University Foundation - $1,000 for transportation costs associated with the Deshpande Symposium
Kent State University Foundation - $15,303 to conduct studies related to year 3 EntrepreNew evaluation work
Leadership Ohio - $5,000 for the two-day Leadership Ohio Akron session
North Akron Community Development Corporation - $20,000 to support NoHi and Market House operations
SEA Change Incorporated - $20,000 for the 2022 Northeast Ohio Signature Cohort focused on social enterprise
Summit Artspace - $20,000 to support artist entrepreneurship programs
Teen Enterprise Foundation - $5,000 to support the Young Entrepreneur Pop Up Shop Challenge
University of Massachusetts – Lowell - $20,000 to support the Deshpande Symposium in Cleveland
University School - $20,000 for the Greg Malkin Fund for Youth Entrepreneurship
University School - $20,000 to facilitate sponsorships on the YIPPEE site
Venture for America - $10,000 for the San Antonio Fellows program
VentureWell - $10,000 to sponsor the Open 2022 Conference

The Foundation accepts applications for grants to benefit the Hudson community twice per year, on May 1 and September 1.  Recent grants awarded for Hudson initiatives include:

Destination Hudson - $6,000 for operating and program support
Hudson City School District - $10,000 to support Hudson Middle School Clubs
Hudson Community First - $6,000 for the Career Panel and Intern for a Day Program
Hudson Community Foundation - $2,500 for the Hudson Bandstand fund, for the 2022 summer concert series
Hudson Community Foundation - $2,500 for educational programming focused on inclusive entrepreneurship
Hudson Community Service Association - $8,000 for the Food Pantry program
Hudson-Landsberg Sister City - $5,000 for the Christkindlmarkt event
Hudson Montessori School - $5,000 for operating support
Music from the Western Reserve - $3,000 for the 2022-23 concert season

The Foundation also made a recent proactive grant to Razom in the amount of $50,000 for the Emergency Response Project providing critical humanitarian war relief and recovery in Ukraine.