GTCF Equity & Access Fund Opens Fourth Round Application Process

The Truth Staff

The Greater Toledo Community Foundation staff has geared up for round four of its Equity & Access Initiative Fund dispersal and, to that end, held a community meeting for prospective applicants on Thursday, April 27 at the Mott Branch Library. The application process is now open.

About 30 interested parties turned out to learn more about the fund that is designed to assist new and experienced non-profit organizations, regardless of size, further their goals in four focus areas: advocacy, economic development, employment and nonprofit capacity.

Artisha Lawson, project manager, led the discussion and detailed the timing, the funds available and the GTCF assistance available during eh application process.

Pariss Coleman, chair of the Advisory Committee, explained the origins of the Equity & Access Initiative Fund and the reasons for its development.

“On May 25, 2020, we witnessed the George Floyd murder and the protests that followed. The Greater Toledo Community Foundation moved quickly to establish the Equity and Access fund … and to target … and support people who may not have a seat at the table.”

Keith Burwell, CEO of the GTCF, also spoke of the reasons for the fund stating: “we try to find ways to say ‘yes,’ not ways to say ‘no.’”

The rest of the evening’s session was devoted to an elaboration of the application process and what the GTCF is seeking in prospective grantees.

Applications to the next round of the Equity & Access Initiative will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on July 2 and must be submitted through the GTCF’s online application system. Applications should succinctly describe the proposed project and detail how it meets the priorities of the fund.

Proposals will be reviewed by the Foundation’s professional staff and the Equity & Access Initiative Advisory Committee. Recommendations will then be made to the full Board of Trustees. Determinations will be announced three months after the deadline.

The primary applicant must have 501©(3) status, however, the primary applicant may have partners or collaborators on the proposal who are not of the 501©(3) status – quite all right as long as the lead partner is.

The GTCF does prefer collaborations so the status of the secondary partners should not deter an application from being submitted, said Lawson. “We really prioritize collaboration. Collaborations are preferred not just in this initiative but in general.”

Individual organizations that submit a stand-alone application may request up to $15,000. Collaborative applicants may request up to $25,000.

Throughout the process, the Foundation staff will be available to answer questions and steer applicants through the online procedures. Learn more at or call Artisha Lawson at 419-241-5049.