Connection + Difference

Outreach to Partners: the Foundation of Successful Grantmaking

The Cleveland Foundation serves the greater good most visibly through grantmaking, with tremendous support from our donors, grantees, and community partners. In this report, you'll see examples of our strategic or targeted grantmaking, which requires our staff to draw on its field expertise to catalyze big, transformational initiatives with multiple partners and investors. You'll also read about our giving to address a broad spectrum of needs brought to us by the community. Here again, our grants are only part of the story. We also listen, link nonprofits with helpful resources, and strategize with them on how to fulfill their missions. The common thread is connection. An excellent example is unfolding in University Circle and six adjacent high-poverty neighborhoods. Here, scores of partners have rallied around a vision, a strategy, and a collection of projects known as the Greater University Circle Initiative, a point of pride for us.   —  Robert E. Eckardt, Executive Vice President

Institutional leaders anchor our team

Launched in 2005, the Greater University Circle Initiative is a landmark attempt to leverage the growth of the area's powerful anchor institutions to create jobs, build wealth, and stimulate reinvestment in six surrounding low-income neighborhoods and part of East Cleveland.

The city of Cleveland, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, and three University Circle anchors—Case Western

Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, and University Hospitals— are among the public, private, and nonprofit partners the Cleveland Foundation has brought to the table. Realizing that their success is tied to the vitality of their neighbors, the anchor partners are channeling a portion of their combined $3 billion a year in procurement spending into a "buy local" movement that includes the Evergreen Cooperatives.

Economic inclusion leaves no one behind

An innovative approach to employee ownership and job creation, the home grown Evergreen companies employ area residents who provide products and services to an expanding number of clients. We've helped launch a commercial laundry, an energy services firm, and the nation's largest urban hydroponic greenhouse, which will

produce 3 million pounds of lettuce and 300,000 pounds of herbs a year after it opens late in 2012. By then, we expect approximately 100 individuals to have gained employment and pride as they build ownership stakes in the businesses where they work.

Transit-oriented projects are gateways

Phase one of University Circle's Uptown District—launched in 2010 with a $1 million grant and a $4 million loan from the Cleveland Foundation—is essentially complete, and planning for the next two phases has begun with our $160,000 grant. Anchored by the new home of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland and the renovated and expanding Cleveland Institute of Art, Uptown is emerging as a vibrant, high-density urban space that will draw people together around housing, shops, restaurants, cultural attractions, and attractive public spaces.

Uptown will also be home to a rapid station that RTA will relocate to E. 119th Street and Mayfield Road from its current site at E. 120th

Street and Euclid Avenue. At Cedar Hill, RTA's Cedar-University rapid station and bus terminal will undergo renovation. RTA received federal transit funds for both projects. And, the tangled intersection at E. 105th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive— locally dubbed the "suicide circle"—will be rebuilt as part of future redevelopment in Upper Chester, the westernmost section of University Circle.

All these projects will improve safety and access to University Circle, which can be difficult to navigate by car or on foot. Just as critical, however, is the bridge these improvements will provide to the Greater University Circle neighborhoods, spanning the physical and psychological barriers that divided this community for decades.

We're building community together

In October 2011, leaders of the Greater University Circle Initiative agreed to continue working together for three more years. Their agenda comprises many more initiatives, some of which are described

in greater detail in this report. We believe this comprehensive partnership could forge a new model of community development, especially for older industrial cities rich in assets, like Cleveland.