Mini Grants

We're on a mission to connect people, place, and health.

Westwood Works is an asset–based community development organization that celebrates the Westwood community. We do this by building on strengths that exist and connecting people to create a vibrant future. Westwood Works advocates for a positive, collaborative, and meaningful approach to community building.

In a neighborhood 30,000 strong we have lots of neighbors with great ideas to make Westwood the best neighborhood to live, learn, work and play. Our neighbors have the ideas, Westwood Works mini-grants are our opportunity to provide community members with the resources to bring those ideas to life. In 2022 / 2023 we are focusing on connection to people, places, and health.

What is a mini grant?

Mini-grants are small grant resources of no more than $1000 awarded to individuals, associations, and nonprofit organizations. Requests must focus on the Westwood neighborhood in one of the following focus areas:

  • Connection to People — an idea or event that brings people together in new and meaningful ways.
  • Connection to Place — an idea or event that brings attention or new life to a physical location in Westwood.
  • Connection to Health — an idea or event that addresses health issues and concerns in Westwood.

Who is eligible?

Anyone who lives, works, worships, or goes to school in Westwood can apply. Applicants under 18 years old are eligible and encouraged to apply with the permission of their parents or guardian. 

Employees and Members of the Westwood Works board of directors are not eligible to apply for a mini-grant.

What can the funds cover?

  • Website development fees, social media advertising, marketing
  • Supplies that directly and specifically support the project, event, or program such as but not limited to:
    • Flowers, planters, mulch, tools, gloves
    • Paint and brushes
    • Art supplies
    • Permit application fees

Mini-grants may not be used to fund alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or vaping products, someone’s salary, firearms or ammunition, and capital expenditures such as building, plans, construction, or renovation.

2022 Winners

Theresa Devine

Amount: $1,000

Theresa will be opening a Social Enterprise Food Truck. Some days the food truck will be selling to customers, and other days the food truck will be offering free food to our neighbors experiencing food insecurity. Westwood United Methodist Church is offering Theresa fiscal sponsorship while she works to create an LLC.

East Westwood Improvement Association

Amount: $1,000

The mini-grant will be used for an event called East Westwood Springfest. This event will include the painting of a mural, a community barbecue, and trail improvements as a way to build community pride and camaraderie.

Westwood United Methodist High School Youth

Amount: $1,000

Westwood UMC’s youth group is 85% BIPOC, with most members being the children of African immigrants. They will use their mini-grant for service projects in the neighborhood. Students will plan these projects to assist neighbors with household repairs, neighborhood beautification, litter abatement, and work in the community garden.

Senior Self Care Week at Western Hills High School

Amount: $1,000

Senior self-care week will allow all senior class members to receive self-care packages and a 30-minute massage to help relieve the stress and realities of three school years that the pandemic has touched.

Have an idea?

Apply For a Mini Grant

You can apply for our mini grant program online or submit a hard copy. If you’d like to submit a hard copy, you’ll need to print both the application + report form (linked).

 

Mail It

Westwood Works
C/O John Eby
3315 Dartmouth Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45211

 

Drop It Off

  • Gamble Nippert YMCA (3159 Montana Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45211)
  • Westwood United Methodist Church (3460 Epworth Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45211)

Important Dates

August 31

Grant application opens! There will be an information meeting at the August Westwood Works meeting. 7:00 PM @ Frond (3126 Harrison Ave)

November 11

Grant Applications due at 5:00 PM ET

November 12

Mini-grant review process begins and grant awards will be announced on 11/19.

January 25

Mini-grant awards will be presented at our Annual Meeting on January 25, 2023. Grantees will have until October 31, 2023 to implement their idea.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money can I apply for?

Applications should be for no less than $100 and no more than $1000. If your project costs more than $1000, you must verify that the other funds have been secured.

Does this include East Westwood?

Yes! Applicants from both East Westwood and Westwood are eligible to apply. 

When do I have to complete my project?

Grantees have one year to implement their project. For example, if your idea works best in warmer weather, you can plan to complete it in Spring/Summer 2023. Projects must be completed by 10/31/2023.

What happens after I apply?

The Westwood Works Mini-grant committee will meet and review each grant. They may ask you to provide more information to help them decide.

All applicants will be notified of their application status no later than 11/19/2022.

Who is reviewing these grants? Do they know anything about Westwood?

Grant application reviewers will include the board of directors of Westwood Works, community members, volunteers, and business owners from the Westwood neighborhood. Each reviewer will understand community needs and consider the unique assets of Westwood to evaluate all applications. They will be given instructions to ensure a just and fair review process.

Mini-grant applications will be reviewed by the appointed mini-grant application review committee. The committee shall consist of:

  • Two Westwood Works board members
  • The facilitator of the Westwood Coalition
  • One resident at large approved by the Westwood Works board.
  • One business owner at large approved by the Westwood Works board.

The review committee will be formed in the first week of November and will meet to review mini-grant applications in the second week of November.

What makes a good grant application?

Each proposal will be reviewed to ensure the application meets the minimum requirements. Incomplete applications or those that do not follow instructions will not be accepted. There is no guarantee that the submission of a proposal will result in funding at the requested level.

How will applications be scored?

All applications will be scored based on the following Scoring Rubric. Please review your application to make sure you answer all the questions as thoroughly as possible.

  1. Introduction and Project Overview – 30 points
    • Did the applicant provide complete contact information for themselves and/or their organization?
    • Did the applicant provide their connection to Westwood?
    • Did the applicant provide a complete overview of their project?
  2. Program Information – 80 points 
    • Did the applicant provide a clear picture of the project for which they are seeking funding including how it will benefit Westwood?
    • Did the applicant provide a detailed schedule for the program?
    • Did the applicant provide information on the population they plan to serve and how many individuals will be served?
    • Did the applicant provide (at least) 1 measurable goal, and is the goal realistic?
    • Did the applicant provide (at least) 2 thoughtful outcome goals, the goals were specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely?
    • Did the applicant clearly describe in detail why they are requesting funds and how those funds will be leveraged.
  3. Budget/Budget Narrative – 30 points
    • Did the applicant submit a budget?
    • Did the applicant provide a clear picture of what they were requesting funds for in the specific materials categories?
    • Is their budget realistic?

Will it be a fair process?

Organization/Individual’s name will be blacked out of each proposal during the scoring process.

Reviewers will independently review and score each application using a rubric based on the RFP. The review team will discuss each application, determine final scores, and make funding recommendations. Following recommendations from the review team, potential grantees will be asked to prepare 5-10 minute presentations. The recommendations and scoring rubrics will be presented to the Board of Directors of Westwood Works for final review and approval.

How will I find out if I'm accepted?

The Westwood Works Board will notify each grantee in writing, by email or a phone call and invite
them to the Annual Meeting to receive their grant packet.

Individuals or organizations that are awarded a mini-grant must agree to the following:

  • The Grantee must sign the Mini-grant Acceptance Form within ten days, or the grant is
    forfeited and will be awarded to another recipient.
  • The Grantee must agree to be part of a mini-grant celebration at the Annual Meeting.
  • All grantees must agree to sign the “Certification & Liability Release Form” for Westwood Works and all our funders.
  • The grantee agrees to allow Westwood Works to publish photos of their event to the Westwood Works website, annual report, and social media pages.

How will I update Westwood Works about my project?

We want to see the awesome things you’re bringing to life in Westwood! We will work with you to coordinate a site visit during the implementation of the funded project. All Grantees that are awarded a mini-grant must agree to the following:

  • The grantee must provide Westwood Works with regular updates on the progress of their program or event. Updates can be made with a telephone call or email.
  • At the end of the program or event, the grantee must provide Westwood Works with a
    written report that includes:
    • Receipts for all items or services provided for the program and paid for with money from
      the mini-grant.
    • Number of people served by the program or event.
    • A brief description of how the program or event served the community.
  • The grantee agrees to all these requirements or Westwood Works may ask the grantee to refund all
    of part of the mini-grant funds.