About Barberton Community Foundation Grants

Barberton Community Foundation awards funding to programs and projects that document an impact on the community. Some awards are physically and monetarily very visible, like the Barberton High School our first award in 1997 for a total of $32 million. The vast majority of our awards – 87% – are smaller in monetary means but no less impactful for those who are touched by the programming that occurs.

Our smallest awards have provided swim lessons to Barberton’s 3rd-grade students, food baskets during the holidays, and smoke detectors for Barberton residents. These programs – and many others – were all awarded a small grant of $1,000 or less. Small amounts of money can make a big difference in our community.


As a public charity, we support the Barberton City Schools and the City of Barberton. Many of our larger awards are given in support of these areas. Our code of regulations also allows us to award to nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. Requests from these organizations are reviewed through our four focus areas identified in our strategic plan. Funding for these requests is generally $15,000 or less.

In 2015, the Foundation embarked on a new strategic granting model. Intended to provide a large impact while strategically granting dollars for projects and programs, this model focuses on three areas of giving:

Responsive EffortsStrategic CollaborationsFoundation Facilitated Initiatives
Goal: Address short term needs in our community for 1-3 years while developing a sustainability model and clear future for each initiative
Goal: Join with others to launch programs that maximize community impact
Goal: Launch and facilitate the continual development of foundation and community-driven initiatives that support transformational change to benefit the residents of Barberton

For the Foundation Facilitated Initiative grant, it can be presented for consideration in several ways including presented at any Foundation committee level by members of the Foundation, via the online abstract by staff, board member, community member or organization.

After the initial process, the concept will then be introduced to the Grants Committee for consideration, if the Grants Committee determines the concept meets the criteria of a Foundation Facilitated Initiative, then the Grants Chair will present the idea to the Barberton Community Foundation’s Executive Committee and then full board. If the board is in support of the initiative, then they will vote to adopt it as a “Foundation Facilitated Initiative” then the applicant will be invited to submit the grant. Approval of the concept is not necessarily approval of the future grant.

Complete the Foundation Facilitated Initiative Form

Available Grants:

  • Quarterly Grants
  • Small Grants
  • Specialized Grants
  • Youth Philanthropy Grants

Grants FAQs

The four focus areas for grant awards are:

Educational ExcellenceEconomic DevelopmentCommunity ImageSocial Services
Programs that build the knowledge base for all ages resulting in success in school and career
Projects that will expand the tax base and bring good paying jobs to the community
Projects or initiatives that will showcase the talents and treasures that Barberton has to offer to the region
Basic needs of access to food, services and housing concerns predominate this category. Technical assistance to organizations may also be considered.

In general, the Foundation does not see itself as the sole funder for any one project. Organizations should provide or secure funding for at least half of the program expenses and explore ways to collaborate with others or combine services.

Specialized Grants

Jeep Davis Olympic Hopeful Fund

This program is named in honor of Jeep Davis, the Barberton resident who won three gold medals in the Olympics – two for hurdles in 1956 and one as a member of the 4×400 meter relay in 1960. Grants assist individual athletes and youth sports teams in reaching their full athletic potential.

The individual athlete must:

  • Be sponsored by either the Barberton Public Schools or an amateur nonprofit youth sports team comprised of Barberton residents. (Funds can not be granted directly to the athlete.)
  • Be an elementary, middle school or high school student living in Barberton. Attending Barberton Public Schools is not a requirement. College age students who reside in Barberton may also be considered.
  • Be determined by the “Olympic Hopeful Fund Committee” to possess the athletic ability, commitment and the personality to exceed in his/her sport.
  • Be able to maintain an average grade of at least a “C” in all school subjects.
  • Be at a skill or ability level which exceeds the capabilities of the coaches provided by the school system or participate in a sport that the school system does not supply coaches for, such as figure skating (if requesting training funds in the area of coaching).
  • Need to travel to national or regional championships or other competitions that will assist in the athlete’s continued development (if requesting competition funds).
  • Not use the funds for normal living expenses, such as room and board, unless it is included in the fee for a special sports camp program that is in his/her designated sport or part of competition travel expenses.
  • Complete an Olympic Hopeful Scholarship Application in full with a copy of his/her latest report card and be prepared for a potential interview by an Olympic Hopeful Committee designee.
  • BCF Board and staff, their relatives and related corporations are not eligible for consideration.

The athletic team must:

  • Be either an established team in the Barberton Public Schools or an amateur nonprofit youth sports team comprised of Barberton residents.
Download Application

Harnden Family Fund for Academic Excellence

The Harnden Family Fund was established by Kathy and Tom Harden to commemorate their selection as Citizens of the Year by the Barberton Community Foundation in 2010. This fund assists Barberton City Schools students/groups with an academic related focus to attend state, national or international competitions.

Who may receive distribution from this Fund:

The Barberton City School District in support of students participating in academically related competition at the State of Ohio, the national or international levels.

  • These competitions may be classroom based or other enrichment school programming.
  • Participants may be in any grade level in the Barberton City School District.
  • Participants may be part of a group/team or may be an individual competition.

Examples of programs that meet the academic definition include, but are not limited to:

  • Destination Imagination (DI)
  • Distributive Education Club of America (DECA)
  • National Spelling Bee, and vocal competition

Examples of programs that are outside the scope of this fund include:

  • Athletic activities/competition and, until such time as the Band Boosters no longer fund competition participation
  • Band/instrument competition

Other criteria:

  • Number of Barberton students involved in the competition
  • Parental, advisor and student efforts to raise money in support of the competition
  • Total cost involved in attending the competition

Application process:

  • Participants in academically related competition who wish to apply for funding from this Fund must first have the approval of the Barberton School Board. Applications may not be submitted until participants in such competition are assured of participation in competition at the state, national or international level. Local and regional competition does not qualify for funding under this Fund.
  • Multiple teams/individuals in the same competition should submit one request rather than one request per team/individual.
  • The Barberton Public Schools submits and receives funding on behalf of eligible students/groups.
  • Application forms are available at the Barberton Community Foundation.

Download Application