Cleveland: the Home and Heart of Community Philanthropy

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By Ronn Richard
President & CEO, Cleveland Foundation

I was honored to write for the Crain’s Cleveland Business 2014 Giving Guide on behalf of the board and staff of the Cleveland Foundation, the world’s first community foundation. We take pride in that distinction less for what it says about our organization than for what it implies about the creativity and humanity of Clevelanders past and present.

In this, the foundation’s centennial year, we are keenly aware of the legacy of giving that donors from all walks of life have sustained in collaboration with us. People here have a very strong sense of place; from lifelong residents to recent arrivals, we all feel the magnetic pull and the fighting spirit of a community that never quits. Often, this close identification with place prompts a desire to give back. At the Cleveland Foundation, we never forget the role our generous donors play in improving life for their fellow citizens, including future generations they will never know.

We have an exceptional donor partner in the organization highlighted in this publication: the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers Youth Fund is a Cleveland Foundation fund that supports programming for children, families and young adults in education, health, recreation, employment, entrepreneurship and life skills. We are proud to be associated with this fund and the team that established it.

In recognition of all our donors and the nonprofit grantees we have supported over the decades, we have supplemented the foundation’s regular grantmaking by giving our community free access to some of its most treasured public assets each month throughout our 100th year.

Additionally, we have made a series of significant, forward-looking grants, most recently to revitalize communal spaces, including Public Square. We can think of no better way to honor our past than to position Cleveland for a dynamic future.

If you would like to learn how you can enhance that future by partnering with the Cleveland Foundation, I invite you to meet with our Advancement team, which can answer your questions about community philanthropy and help you identify the charitable vehicle that is right for you. Giving through the foundation, you have the freedom to support any tax-qualified charitable organization you favor.

In closing, I want to salute Crain’s Cleveland Business, a valued media partner of the Cleveland Foundation. Crain’s is an indispensable resource for everyone who cares about charitable giving in our community.