This week I, along with several of my colleagues, had the opportunity to represent the Community Foundation at the Council on Foundations’ Fall Conference for Community Foundations in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to learning about the current landscape of community philanthropy and hearing from dynamic speakers, we were also celebrating a birthday. Actually a big birthday, this year marks the Cleveland Foundation’s centennial!
One hundred years ago, Frederick Goff started the first community foundation in Cleveland. Goff’s vision created the framework for residents to enhance their communities, now and for generations to come. As this model has spread around the world – to more than 1,700 communities – donors are able to build endowments to benefit their community, address local needs through grantmaking and provide leadership on strategic issues.
Few would argue with the notion that the community foundation model has had and continues to have a global impact, one community at a time. Certainly, a transformational idea!
While the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley, founded in 1986, is a relatively young institution compared to Cleveland’s, our community has embraced this mission. Through partnership with donors and nonprofits, the Foundation is able to enhance the lives of our residents and will continue to carry forward the legacy of our donors in perpetuity. That is a remarkable future!