The Cleveland Foundation:
At A Glance

  • The Cleveland Foundation's mission is to enhance the lives of all residents of Greater Cleveland, now and for generations to come, by working together with our donors to build community endowment, address needs through grantmaking, and provide leadership on key community issues.
  • Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world's first community foundation, the vision of Cleveland banker and lawyer Frederick H. Goff. He wanted to pool the charitable resources of Cleveland's philanthropists into a single, great, and permanent endowment for the betterment of current and future residents. His revolutionary idea has grown into an organization that has benefited millions of lives for nearly 100 years and forever reshaped the way community members come together to care for one another. Today, the Cleveland Foundation is one of the largest community foundations in America in terms of assets.
What is a Community Foundation?    
  • A community foundation is a charitable organization created by and for a community of people. Local donors support it. A board of private citizens governs it, working for the community's greater good. Funds come from a variety of sources, including bequests and living trusts, and are invested in perpetuity. The earnings on investments are then distributed to worthy organizations or causes. Today, about 1,700 community foundations exist around the world.
  • We are the stewards of donor dollars, protecting and growing assets and ensuring that the wishes of our donors are met. Our board and our investment advisors guide a diversified investment strategy.
  • We are Greater Cleveland's and Ohio's largest grantmaking organization. The foundation awards most grants to registered nonprofit organizations that support projects and programs that benefit Greater Cleveland's citizens, meet community needs, and test new ideas. We annually award about 3,000 grants, ranging from a few hundred dollars to several million dollars. Some two-thirds of our discretionary dollars are directed to areas identified as the community's priority areas: economic transformation, public school improvement, youth development, neighborhood revitalization, and arts advancement.
  • The foundation exists because of the extraordinary generosity and vision of our donors. We offer many creative and rewarding ways to give back to the community, some with significant tax advantages. The foundation consists of more than 1,300 funds established by individuals, families, organizations, and corporations. We are the center for charitable investment in the Greater Cleveland community.
Leadership and Partnership    
  • The foundation leverages its resources and magnifies its impact on important causes in the community by working in partnership with many organizations. We focus our attention and efforts on vital issues and often serve as collaborator and convener as well as grantmaker.
Financial Summary →