As Times Have Changed, So Has the Cleveland Foundation’s Grantmaking
With an endowment of $1.8 billion, the Cleveland Foundation gives away about $80 million annually to causes important to the Greater Cleveland community. Almost half of those charitable dollars are recommended by donors to specific causes; the remaining half is directed by the foundation’s board and staff to priority areas where the community is most vulnerable.
Historically, the foundation has spent two-thirds of its flexible grant dollars responding to requests from the community and one-third proactively placing grant dollars into areas deemed critical to the community. Today, in an era of dwindling government and corporate dollars available to meet community needs, there is a greater burden on community foundations to fill the gap. For the Cleveland Foundation, it has meant a dramatic shift in our flexible grantmaking mix, which now is two-thirds proactive and one-third responsive.
The Cleveland Foundation gives away some $80 million annually,
with about half of those charitable dollars directed by board and staff.
to direct requests
Most people familiar with the Cleveland Foundation know about our responsive grantmaking. The Cleveland Foundation contributes one-third of our flexible grant dollars to respond to the expressed needs of the community. Nonprofit organizations often look to the Cleveland Foundation for our leadership and financial support to help them meet needs and test new ideas for the benefit of Greater Cleveland and its citizens.
Priority is given to programs that reflect one or more of the following:
- Improve access to services and programs for vulnerable and underserved populations
- Strengthen nonprofit organizations
- Test new ideas and different partnerships
- Support policy and advocacy
to vital issues of the day
To fulfill our mission to improve the lives of Greater Clevelanders, we must direct our efforts and dollars into long-term solutions to our biggest problems. With the guidance of our board of directors, the Cleveland Foundation is steering the majority of our flexible grant dollars into priority areas vital to our community’s long-term well-being.
These are the Cleveland Foundation’s priority areas:
- Economic development
- Public education reform
- Neighborhoods and housing
- Youth development and human services
- Arts and culture
- Revitalizing Greater University Circle