What do emergency 911, the hospice movement, pap smears, public libraries, polio and yellow fever vaccines, rocket science, Sesame Street, white lines on highways, and ending world hunger have in common? They are all innovations initially funded by foundation grants.
The Council on Foundations, which has a wealth of online information, has a webpage highlighting these Great Grants.
While every grant makes a difference in a small or large way, this list of “great grants” was a fascinating quick read of ideas and visions brought to life through grantmaking. Of course, not all grants result in such wide-reaching, potentially life-saving ways, but taking risks is a part of funding any new idea.
Local foundations, including the Cleveland Foundation, have certainly made some “great grants” that have made a difference for our community – from Playhouse Square to University Circle to the lakefront. It will be interesting to see what current local innovations (and there are many of them!) will grow in scope and impact over time.