Please note that effective July 1, 2015, the Bruening Foundation has implemented a new online application system in an effort to increase our accessibility and ability to communicate on a more timely basis. Among many benefits we think you'll appreciate is your ability to control organizational contact information; to draft, save and submit online applications; and easily communicate with foundation staff.  

If your last application was prior to July 1, 2015, you must register as a new user. 



Grant Guidelines | Application Questions |

Tips for Completion | Attachment Checklist

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to access our ONLINE GRANT SYSTEM 

All applications must be submitted online. Before beginning your application, please review these steps.

STEP 1: Check your eligibility. Your organization or your program must:

  • be consistent with one of our focus areas (see our Grant Guidelines)
  • be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code
  • be based in Cuyahoga County (Rare exceptions may be made, on a case-by-case basis, for organizations headquartered outside the County that maintain facilities within the County, fall within our priority program areas, and serve the residents of Cuyahoga County.)
  • have submitted an interim or final report on any previous grants before a new request can be considered

STEP 2: See what information you will need.

STEP 3: Begin your online application.

  • FOR FIRST TIME USERS: Click on Start a New Application above. At the Sign-In page you should select new applicant. As a new user, enter your email address and a password. PLEASE NOTE: the email address and password you choose is for your organization and not you as an individual. The email and password will enable you and other staff members to save and return to an application, and it will be used to complete the grant report form if a grant is awarded. In addition, every application and report that your organization submits, from this point on, will be accessible by using this email address and password. If you outsource your grant writing, set up your sign-in and provide the grant writer with access to your account. The contract grant writer should never use your organizations sign-in account for other organizations' applications. The same email address cannot be used for more than one organization.  You will be prompted to enter your organization's taxpayer identification number. The Tax ID will be checked against the IRS database. PLEASE NOTE: If you are working with a fiscal sponsor, please contact our office before proceeding. Next you will complete an Eligibility Quiz.
  • FOR RETURNING USERS: If you previously created an account, and you are ready to submit another application, click Start a New Application above. At the Sign-In page, select returning online applicant and enter the email address and password that you originally created. If this new application is eligible, your organization name, address and other information will automatically be entered into the new application.
  • RETRIEVING A SAVED APPLICATION: If you previously started and saved an application, click on Continue an Incomplete Application above. Indicate that you are a returning online user and enter your email and password. You will then see the application that you have been working on in your account. At this point, you can complete the application and submit it, or edit, save and submit it at a later date. You have the ability to email a copy of the saved application to a colleague for review prior to completing and submitting it to the Foundation.

Step 4: Complete and submit the online application. When you click submit you will receive an email confirmation that we have received your application. PLEASE NOTE: Do not mail a duplicate hard copy of the application or any uploaded attachments.

The Distribution Committee members review grant proposals 3 times a year as follows:

Please note: From time to time the application may be updated; therefore, the online application will be available one month prior to the stated deadlines.
Application AvailableDeadline
March 1st April 1 May
May 1st June 1 August
September 1st October 1 December
When a deadline falls on a weekend or a holiday, the proposal is due in the Foundation's office by 4:00 p.m. the following business day.

Staff Assistance

The Bruening Foundation is staffed by Foundation Management Services, a grants management and advisory firm serving private foundations in Greater Cleveland, promoting effective philanthropy and collaborative funding partnerships. Applicants are encouraged to contact our office for further clarification of the Foundation's grantmaking policies. As part of the review process, staff often make site visits to requesting organizations. They also reserve the right to contact other funders and professionals in the field regarding the grant applicants under review.

Cristin Slesh, Consultant
Bruening Foundation
c/o Foundation Management Services

1422 Euclid Avenue, Suite 966
Cleveland, OH 44115-1952
Phone: 216-621-2901 Fax: 216-621-8198
Email: cslesh@fmscleveland.com

To conserve your costs and the environment, please do not send us more than one copy of newsletters, invitations, annual reports or other mailings. We prefer to receive any printed material as a .pdf attachment to an e-mail.