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Cleveland foundation awards The Cleveland Orchestra with $10 million gift

Cleveland Foundation announces record $26.6 million in grants Includes $10 million to The Cleveland Orchestra and nearly $10 million for core neighborhood and youth initiatives Release date: March 28, 2013

CLEVELAND – The board of directors of the Cleveland Foundation has authorized a record $26.6 million in grants in the first quarter of 2013, including a $10 million grant to The Cleveland Orchestra and grants totaling nearly $10 million in support of core neighborhood and youth initiatives.  The previous quarterly grantmaking record was in the third quarter of 2012, when the foundation awarded $21.6 million.

The $10 million grant to The Cleveland Orchestra is the largest single grant to an arts organization in the Cleveland Foundation’s 99-year history. The grant to the Orchestra’s “Sound for the Centennial” Campaign is in support of the Orchestra’s recent efforts to attract a new, broader audience and to transform itself as it looks to the future.
“Through the years, the Cleveland Foundation has stepped up to provide significant support to major institutions at pivotal times,” said Ronald B. Richard, president and chief executive officer of the Cleveland Foundation. “We hope and intend that this grant will catalyze additional leadership funding for the Orchestra’s creative efforts in the community to make this world-class institution accessible and enjoyable to all of Greater Cleveland for years to come.”
“We are deeply grateful for the Cleveland Foundation’s extraordinary grant and the confidence in the Orchestra’s strategic direction that it represents,” said Gary Hanson, executive director of the Cleveland Orchestra. “Over the past year, the foundation’s staff and board have rigorously assessed the Orchestra’s ongoing transformation and we sincerely appreciate their generous commitment to our work.”

The Cleveland Foundation’s board authorized other significant grants, including:
$5 million to Neighborhood Progress, Inc. to support the organization and its strategic plan to forge a new community development network for Cleveland’s underserved neighborhoods. With this grant, the foundation’s support to NPI totals nearly $50 million.
“The Cleveland Foundation has long recognized the importance of restoring and maintaining the health and vitality of our inner-city neighborhoods,” said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation. “To this end, we helped launch NPI in1988, and it is among the largest recipients of foundation support in our history.”
$1.01 million in grants to advance the following Cleveland Metropolitan School District efforts:
$879,750 to support the CMSD’s Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools. Since 2006, the foundation has given nearly $22 million to further local school reform efforts.

$75,000 to the Friends of the Cleveland School of the Arts for design development for the new Cleveland School of the Arts.

$100,000 to Cuyahoga Community College Foundation for the Freedom Project, an academic and leadership training program  for middle and high school students to prepare them for college.
$1 million to support implementation of the Evergreen Cooperative Corporation businesses, which the Cleveland Foundation helped launch in Cleveland’s inner city neighborhoods: Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, Evergreen Energy Solutions, and Green City Growers. Part of the funding will support staffing and organizational expenses. Other funds will go to the National Development Council, which manages the Evergreen Cooperative Development Fund, the source of working capital for the businesses.
$917,000 to support the MyCom program, the youth development initiative the Cleveland Foundation leads with Cuyahoga County. Part of the grant funding will be used to expand the MyCom program from its current eight neighborhoods (Central, St. Clair-Superior, Slavic Village, Mt. Pleasant, Cudell-West Boulevard, Bellaire-Puritas-West Park, South Shaker and Parma) to neighborhoods in the Greater University Circle area. MyCom connects students to a caring network of adults and out-of-school activities to keep young people engaged in the learning process.
$450,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland to continue its partnership with the Cleveland Peacemaker’s Alliance on a successful anti-gang initiative. The grant will fund the work of 10 outreach workers or peacemakers and four case managers who provide targeted support services to youth involved with gangs and those at risk of gang involvement. In the last year alone, these outreach efforts have contributed to a 37-percent decrease in crimes involving youth and firearms in the city of Cleveland.
$300,000 to Downtown Cleveland Alliance to support the group’s efforts to sustain a safe, thriving downtown Cleveland. The Cleveland Foundation has been one of DCA’s key funders since it was formed in 2007. With DCA’s leadership, since 2011 downtown’s population has grown 11-percent to 11,700, and more than 25 businesses have relocated to, or expanded in, downtown Cleveland.


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world's first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $1.86 billion and 2012 grants of $91 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – economic transformation, public-school improvement, youth development, neighborhood revitalization, and arts advancement – and responds to the community’s needs.
For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, please visit