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City of Akron Rolls out Two Revamped Grant Programs


Akron City Council Neighborhood Partnership and Beyond the Table grant award programs will offer a total of $280,000 to support big and small community projects across Akron

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt
Published: 06-11-2019

Yesterday, Akron City Council passed legislation that will breathe new life into two community-based grant programs.  The two programs, now named the Akron City Council Neighborhood Partnership and the Beyond the Table grant award program will both start accepting applications in the coming weeks.


“Together, these programs will offer more than $280,000 in funding to support neighborhood-based initiatives both big and small,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “Under the revised guidelines, our hope is to enhance our community impact with larger, targeted grants, while offering smaller awards to support neighborhood-based initiatives that have served our community for many years.” 

Beyond the Table will be a collaborative, neighborhood-based grant award program of the City of Akron and Akron Community Foundation. It will replace the former Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP), which has played a critical role in fostering grassroots initiatives in Akron for more than 20 years. Beyond the Table will encourage new, creative neighborhood efforts aligned with some of the priorities that emerged from Akron Community Foundation’s On The Table Greater Akron initiative: Diversity, Equity, and Social Inclusion; Drugs and Addiction; and Education and Youth.   


“It’s wonderful to see the voice of the people emerging in the form of dollars back into the community,” said John Garofalo, vice president of community investment at Akron Community Foundation. “On the Table is all about encouraging action, both from individuals and organizations, and we’re excited to see the action the city is taking. We look forward to seeing the needle move on these pressing issues.”


Beyond the Table will accept applications for grant awards ranging between $10,000 and $20,000, and will require 1:1 matching funds.  Applications will open on Monday, June 17, 2019 and are due to Akron Community Foundation no later than August 1, 2019.  Applications will be available at


Given the redesign of Beyond the Table, City Council leadership expressed a strong interest in continuing to support neighborhood initiatives through a revamped Council-based grant program, as well. Therefore, Akron City Council will administer the new Akron City Council Neighborhood Partnership, which will adopt many of the parameters of the former NPP.  This will also replace and improve upon the former Council grant program named My Neighborhood Our Akron.  A total of $80,000 is available ($8,000 per City ward), and no matching funds are required. 


“By eliminating the matching requirement, shortening the grant cycle, and doubling the funding in every ward, we believe the Akron City Council Neighborhood Partnership will be more effective and impactful,” Council President Margo Sommerville said. “Our goal in redesigning the program is to make the process easier and more efficient for residents seeking to start or continue neighborhood-based programs all across our City.”  


The final Council vote on the new Akron City Council Neighborhood Partnership (ACCNP) was 10-1 [Councilperson Neal voting against, Councilpersons Kilby and Freeman absent]. The ACCNP will provide grants ranging between $1,000 and $8,000 for neighborhood events/parades, community gardens, beautification projects, after school programs, mentoring programs, and other neighborhood initiatives.  Ward Council representatives will have direct input in grant awards within their district, with the final decisions being made by a committee of representatives from the Mayor’s administration and City Council. 


Applications for the ACCNP are open now through July 12, 2019.  Completed applications should be submitted to the Clerk of Akron City Council. The ACCNP application and guidelines are available on the Akron City Council website here.  Questions about the ACCNP can be directed to the Clerk of Council’s Office at (330) 375-2256.

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