Mini Grants

Westwood Mini-Grant Overview & Information 

Westwood Works, an asset–based community development organization that celebrates the Westwood community. By building on strengths that exist and connecting people to build a vibrant future, Westwood Works advocates for a positive, collaborative, and meaningful approach to community building.

Westwood Works knows that 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 and only need financial support to make their idea come to life. Westwood Works mini-grants are our opportunity to provide our community members with the resources to bring their ideas to life. In 2021, we are focusing on Black-led ideas in order to lift up an underrepresented portion of our community.

Who Is Eligible to Apply & Selection Criteria:
Anyone who lives, works, worships or goes to school in Westwood can apply. Applicants under  18 years old are eligible & encouraged to apply with the permission of their parent or guardian.

Successful applications will have black leadership as a core component of their proposal. 

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

What does mini-grant mean? What will Westwood Works fund?
The mini-grants are small grant resources no more than $1000 that can be awarded to both individuals and nonprofit 

Mini-grants requests must be focus on the Westwood neighborhood and one of the following Focus Areas:

  • Connection of People — brings people together in new and meaningful ways. 
  • Connection of Place — brings attention or new life to a physical location in Westwood 
  • Connection of Purpose — addresses an issue or concern in Westwood 

If you have questions about whether your project site is within the established boundaries of Westwood, please contact Vashti Rutledge (she/her/hers), at: 

What can the funds cover?
Funds can be used to start a new program, or the expansion of an existing program. 

*Capital expenditures such as building, plans, construction, or renovation are not eligible.  

How do I apply?
Fill out the application below to submit online. 

To submit a hard copy application:
Print out a copy of the form here.

Mail it to us:
Westwood Works
P.O. Box 11301
Cincinnati, OH 45211

Drop-Off Sites:

  • Gamble Nippert YMCA (intersection of Montana and Cheviot) 3159 Montana Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45211
  • Westwood Library (intersection of Epworth and Montana Ave) 3345 Epworth Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45211
  • Wondercade, 3143 Harrison Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45211

Key Dates

Applications Open
7/15/21 Grant application is available to Westwood community!
7/19/21 Online grant application opens, Get that money
Optional Applicant Information Sessions
8/5/21    Applicant Info Zoom     5:30 pm
Zoom Recording will be made available after the event
8/11/21 Applicant Info Meeting 12:30-1:30 pm Westwood Library 3345 Epworth Ave,     Cincinnati, OH 45211
Applications Due
9/30/21 Completed Grant Applications due (5:00pm ET)
Review and Selection
10/1/21 Mini-grant review process begins
10/4-10/15 Finalists will be scheduled for presentations
10/29/21 Grant awards announced
Grants Begin
11/1/21-10/31/22 Grant Implementation period




Frequently Asked Questions:

What do we mean by Black-led Ideas?
Ideas and proposals should come from either black-led organizations, groups or individuals. Inclusion of other racial and ethnic representatives as partners, contributors, and supporters is welcome and encouraged, but not required. 

Why Black-led Ideas?
Our community has a wealth of wonderful people and ideas representing a diverse set of cultures and communities. However, in the most formal organizations and community leadership positions, our Black neighbors historically and presently have less representation and voice in both the decision-making process and access to capital and resources. This intentional focus within our mini-grants gives Westwood Works and our community an opportunity to lift up and gain the benefits of the rich wealth of ideas from these neighbors. 

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 be able to 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 your project. Ex. if your idea works best in warm weather you can plan to complete in Spring/Summer 2022. Projects must be completed by 10/31/2022. 

What happens after I apply?
Finalists  will be asked to prepare 5-10 minute presentations delivered to the review committee in October

All applicants will be notified of their application status no later than 10/29/21.

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, parents, and teachers from the Westwood neighborhood. 

Each reviewer will understand community needs and will consider the unique assets of Westwood in order to evaluate all applications. They will be given instructions to ensure a just and fair review process. 

What makes a good grant application? What are we looking for?
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 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 completely as possible.

  1. Introduction and Purpose Statement? 50 points 
  • Provide a detailed overview of who you are or who your organization is and your connection to Westwood. 
  • Provide a description of how you will learn through failure and improve the quality of the project as you go. How will you know this is successful? 
  • The proposer successfully shows if and how they will make this initiative sustainable including leveraging resources and anticipating challenges and how they will overcome them.  

2. Program Information 80 points 

  • Proposer provided a clear picture of the program for which they are seeking funding including how it will benefit Westwood. 
  • Proposer provided a detailed schedule for the program. 
  • Proposer provided information on the population they plan to serve and how many individuals will be served. 
  • Proposer provided (at least) 1 measurable goal, and the goal is realistic. 
  • Proposer provided (at least) 2 thoughtful outcome goals, the goals were specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. 
  • Proposer clearly described in detail why they are requesting funds and how they will be leveraged. 

3. Budget/Budget Narrative 30 points 

  • You filled out the Overall Project budget correctly
  • The proposer provided a clear picture of what they were actually requesting funds for in the specific materials categories. 

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 meet to 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 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 are required to submit an end of the year report on program outcomes that includes photos and/or video.