Cleveland Foundation Introduces Basic Needs Fund and Economic Crisis Indicators

Release Date: 07.07.2009

As part of its ongoing response to the economic downturn, the Cleveland Foundation announced the creation of the Basic Needs Fund and the Greater Cleveland Area Pulse. The fund supports nonprofit organizations that offer basic human services, while the Pulse is an online data indicator designed to show how the economic crisis is affecting Cuyahoga County residents and how the Cleveland Foundation is responding.

The Basic Needs Fund will help sustain local nonprofits that provide essentials such as food, clothing, and shelter. Those who wish to donate to the fund can do so online at and selecting “Make a credit card donation to the Cleveland Foundation,” or by calling the foundation’s Gift Planning and Donor Relations team at 216.861.3810.

“We felt it was important to have a dedicated fund for people to support nonprofit groups working with those who are struggling in the current economic climate,” said Caprice Bragg, vice president of gift planning and donor relations.

The Pulse tracks monthly data in Cuyahoga County on people receiving food stamps, children receiving Medicaid assistance, foreclosures, and unemployment. The statistics are provided by Northeast Ohio Community and Neighborhood Data for Organizing, a free and publicly accessible social and economic data system of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western Reserve University.

“Every day we see the impact of the economy on our grantee organizations and the people they serve,” said Kathleen Hallissey, director of community responsive grantmaking. “We have already given more than $1 million in grants in direct response to the indicators on the Pulse.”


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and the nation’s third-largest today, with assets of $1.6 billion and 2008 grants of $84 million. The foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders 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