Keith Burwell, President
Greater Toledo Community Foundation

Keith Burwell, President
Greater Toledo Community Foundation

It’s been three years since the broadest protests in U.S. history erupted across the country after George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer. Those protests resulted in the heightened awareness of a historically significant problem in our community: the need for greater investment in Black-led nonprofits and communities of color.

The movement since that day has highlighted the need for social and political change, and the elimination of systemic racism. Greater Toledo Community Foundation is aware of this problem and, while we had been taking steps to address it, our efforts have increased over the last three years.

Our Foundation is always striving to ensure our grantmaking is helping advance equity and opportunity – and it’s going to take a larger effort to provide Black-led nonprofits and Black families with the support that’s needed.

We’re not alone in this. We also need the support of others in our community – government, business, nonprofits and individuals – to address this need.

Here’s what GTCF has done:

  • An independent committee comprised of current GTCF board members and community-minded individuals has worked to develop and implement a long-term strategy that proactively addresses issues relative to social determinants of health and nonprofit capacity that can impact equity and access.
  • The Foundation has committed grant funding toward this effort, and has awarded $451,800 in grants through three rounds of funding to 19 nonprofit organizations over the last two years that addresses these four focus areas to nonprofit organizations, which are located in and providing services for residents of northwest Ohio:
  • Advocacy
  • Economic Development
  • Employment
  • Nonprofit Capacity

Specifically, the grants awarded to date are addressing minority youth and adult employment, neighborhood leadership, uplifting the voices of populations that have experienced racism (Asian Americans), nonprofit capacity strengthening, women owned businesses, advocating for LGBTQIA+ and bias training for this community.

In addition to the grants awarded, the Foundation listened to the community through the received applications and supported a DEI webinar series at the request of applicant organizations. Three webinar trainings were offered, where 436 local nonprofit leaders, board members and volunteers were offered the expertise of Racial Equity Institute and follow up discussion with local leaders and ThirdSpace Action Lab at no cost to the nonprofits.

GTCF has committed an additional $200,000 over the next two years to local minority-led nonprofits, from smaller to permanent staffed nonprofits, to fund new and existing projects that align with the focus of the Equity & Access Initiative Fund.

Information about this open funding opportunity can be found at, Equity & Access Initiative Fund. The deadline for application is July 2, 2023.