Cleveland Foundation Announces New Program Officer

Nelson Beckford brings variety of management experience to community foundation

Release Date: 06.12.2008

The Cleveland Foundation today announced the appointment of Nelson Beckford as its newest program officer. Beckford will assist the foundation’s board of directors in its grantmaking decisions, working with grant seekers and evaluating their funding requests.

Beckford brings to the foundation a wide range of management experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit arenas. Most recently, he was assistant director for the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization. Prior to that, he worked as a network development and managed care contracting specialist for both Great West Healthcare and University Hospital Health System, where he was responsible for physician recruitment and contract negotiation and monitoring.

Beckford’s career also includes stints with Cole Managed Vision, the American Red Cross, and the Madison Development Company. He also served in the U.S. Army for three years.

Beckford earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cleveland State University.

“Nelson is an outstanding addition to our grantmaking staff,” said Robert Eckardt, senior vice president for programs and evaluation at the Cleveland Foundation. “His talent, ideas and experience are sure to benefit our grantee organizations.”


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and the nation’s third-largest today, with assets of $1.9 billion and 2006 grants surpassing $85 million. The foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders in perpetuity by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. Currently the foundation proactively directs two-thirds of its flexible grant dollars to the community’s greatest needs: economic transformation (including advanced energy and globalization), public school improvement, early childhood and youth development, neighborhoods and housing, and arts advancement.

For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, please visit