Noteworthy Women in Philanthropy

Headshots of four women leaders
Left to Right: Debra Green, Beth Oldenburg Rankin, Dr. Ellen Burts-Cooper and Sally Gries.

Cleveland has never been at a loss for brave, forward-thinking women. Here at the Cleveland Foundation, we’re proud that many such women have shaped our history, and continue to shape our future. 

Black and white portrait of Edith Anisfield Wolf In 1935, poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf founded an annual prize for the best new books focusing on racism, equity and diversity. Upon her death in 1963, Edith left her home to the Cleveland Welfare Association, her books to the Cleveland Public Library and her money to the Cleveland Foundation for a community service award, aid for the needy and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. Over the course of 82 years, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards have fostered a canon of indispensable works as the only national juried book prize of its kind. 

Edith’s story is a watershed example of innovation, bravery and civic optimism. Today, we’re honored to work with a new generation of female leaders in philanthropy. Click here to meet four women – Debra Green, Beth Oldenburg Rankin, Dr. Ellen Burts-Cooper, and Sally Gries – who are embracing their personal experience, passions and talent for the greater good of Greater Cleveland.