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. 

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.

2024 Winners

Dance for Everyone (Meridyth Kues)

Grant provides funding for a portable tap floor to be used for CincyTap classes. The new floor will allow Ms. Kues to expand where she can teach and increase safety for the students.

Food from the Heart (Teresa Devine)

Ms. Devine will continue to offer free, healthy cooking classes to neighbors with limited incomes at My Neighbor’s Place. These classes will focus on cooking with items commonly found in local food pantries or covered by SNAP benefits. Project is co-sponsored by Westwood United Methodist Church.

Free Book Fair (Lia Myers / Gamble Nippert YMCA)

In May 2024, Gamble Nippert YMCA will host a free book fair for children enrolled in their preschool, before or after-school care programs, as a way to promote a love for reading and provide students with books at home.

Gary’s Garden (Christina McDonough)

In 2023, Gamble Montessori lost their beloved school pet pig, Gary, at only three years old. In honor of Gary, Gamble will create a peaceful outdoor space to be used for educational purposes and to help beautify the school grounds.

Gamble Library (Jessica Depew)

Gamble Montessori Elementary is a Title I Cincinnati Public School in Westwood that does not currently have the space for a full-size library or paid librarian. Volunteers and teachers have started a Little Library area in the school for the students and are going to use the grant to supplement the existing books with graphic novels (much requested!) and decodable books for students struggling with reading.

Goltra Hiking Trail (Kyle Reiser)

This grant will help Kyle Reiser, along with the East Westwood Improvement Association and CORA, extend their work in the Goltra Nature Preserve in East Westwood. When finished, the trail will offer the respite of nature to an urban area and will connect the neighborhood with South Fairmont.

Laundry of Love (Karen Pitz / Westwood United Methodist)

This grant will help Laundry of Love continue their service to the community by providing free laundry services, food, and games for children at the Super Laundry near Harrison and McHenry. Laundry is a hardship for many Westwood neighbors. This program fosters community and promotes mental and physical well-being.

Montessori Market (Mary Dudley)

Gamble Montessori High School students will have the opportunity to continue honing their entrepreneurial skills as they learn to make and sell their own products. The group meets once weekly during the school year to learn about creating products and running an ethical business. Their work culminates in an in-person Montessori Market event where they have the chance to showcase their work and make a little money to invest in the future of their business.

Penrose Pathway (Darla Meadors)

This project will update a neglected, and thus, not frequently used, path from Penrose to Epworth and into the Westwood Town Hall Business District. Volunteers will clean up, maintain, and beautify the path.

Protect the Garden at Roll Hill School (Kellie Gray)

This project in East Westwood will help CPS Roll Hill School get their garden back up and running, teaching students the fun that comes along with growing your own food. Specifically, funds will be used to put a fence around the garden. In previous years, the success of the garden has been affected by woodland friends.

Spring Into Mt. Airy (Lee & Jason Hamzy)

Little Schoolhouse in the Woods will host a Spring Celebration in Mt. Airy Forest, providing at no cost to the Westwood community an event that includes a nature scavenger hunt, games, face painting, puppet and story time, along with snacks and time to enjoy the forest in our backyard!

Westwood Farmers Market (Ally Larsson)

This grant will help further efforts to create a weekly summer fresh food farmers market in Westwood, providing access to fresh produce, spices, and goods to the community, while supporting local farmers, producers, and small businesses.

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)

2024 Application coming soon!

Important Dates 2024

August 1

Grant application opens! There will be an information meeting at the July Westwood Works meeting. 7:00 PM @ (Location TBD)

November 1

Grant Applications due at 5:00 PM ET

November 6

Mini-grant review process begins and grant awards will be announced in December.

January 2025

Mini-grant awards will be presented at our Annual Meeting in January 2025 (actual date TBD). Grantees have until October 2025 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.

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 December 2024.

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.