Serving the Community: A Timeline of Philanthropy, Charity, and Non-profit Organizations in Cleveland, Ohio




Through the 1980s and 1990s, foundations continued to be established in Cleveland. The non-profit sector continued its tradition of professionalization through the establishment of a graduate school for non-profit leaders at Case Western Reserve University and the establishment of organizations that provided highly specialized volunteers. Several hospital conversion foundations were established through the sales of local hospitals. New health concerns such as the AIDS epidemic, newly-emphasized social concerns such as child abuse prevention, and new cultural initiatives such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum were supported generously by local philanthropic organizations.

1981 United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland established to acquire and allocate funds for nonprofit organizations that alleviate suffering, poverty, and illiteracy and to empower the African American community

1981 Bellflower Center for Prevention of Child Abuse established with the support of the Junior League of Cleveland and the National Council of Jewish Women, Cleveland Section

1981 Cleveland Children’s Museum established

1983 AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland founded at a conference for lesbians and gay men held at Case Western Reserve University

1983 Abington Foundation established by David Knight Ford and Elizabeth Brooks Ford to support education, geriatric programs, health care, social services, and the arts

1983 Dr. Frank Vecchio and Helen Williams Vecchio Foundation established by Helen Williams Vecchio to support education, health care, and Catholic agencies and churches

1984 Women’s Community Foundation established to support empowerment programs for women and girls

1984 Second Foundation established by Kent H. Smith to support education, the environment, museums, and social services

1984 Cleveland Artists Foundation founded by William G. Scheel to preserve the heritage and promote the work of northeast Ohio artists

1984 Donors Forum of Ohio incorporated to build understanding between grantmakers and grantseekers and strengthen philanthropy through member services

1985 Greater Cleveland Community Shares created by 13 grassroots community-based advocacy organizations to advance social justice by providing member agencies with operating income through workplace campaigns

1985 Grantmakers Forum incorporated to serve member needs and strengthen philanthropy

1986 Women’s Project Foundation established to support projects which benefit women and children

1986 Murphy Family Foundation established by the Murphy family to support programs that alleviate poverty

1986 PLACE Fund established by Peter B. Lewis to fund a Jewish community fund and a theater festival

1986 Gries Family Foundation established by Ellen Cole and Robert Gries to support higher education, cultural programs, and hospitals

Woodruff Foundation established through the sale of Woodruff Hospital to support mental health and substance abuse programs and services

Windsor Hospital, Chagrin Falls
Windsor Hospital, Chagrin Falls

1986 Sihler Mental Health Foundation established through the sale of Windsor Hospital under the leadership of Herbert Sihler, Jr.; terminated 1998

1987 The Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations founded by Case Western Reserve University to provide graduate-level education for nonprofit leaders and managers

William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation established by Dorothy K. O’Neill to support family programs and general charitable giving

1988 Eva L. and Joseph M. Bruening Foundation established to support Roman Catholic causes, health services, and other community concerns

1988 Mandel Associated Foundations established by brothers Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel to support the Jewish Community Federation

1988 Samuel J. and Connie Frankino Charitable Foundation established by Constance and Samuel Frankino to support education, hospitals, medical research, and children and youth services

1988 Kennedy Foundation established by Virginia Lois Kennedy to fund scholarships

1988 HRH Family Foundation established to support hospitals, human services, and education; later known as the Lois U. Horvitz Foundation

Feminists for Life, Ohio Chapter founded to promote gender equity and oppose abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty

1989 Sculpture Center established by Bernice and David Davis to aid the careers of sculptors and assist in the preservation and maintenance of outdoor sculpture

Arthur B. McBride Sr. Family Foundation established by Arthur B. McBride, Jr. to support higher education, hospitals, human services, and Catholic agencies and churches

1989 Alice and Patrick McGinty Foundation established by Thomas McGinty and June McGinty to support primary and secondary education

1990 Spahr Foundation established by Charles and Mary Jane Spahr to support elementary and secondary education

1990 Harriet Tubman Museum and Cultural Association moves to permanent location; originally founded as the African American History Center by Hanif Wahab

1990 David H. and Barbara M. Jacobs Foundation established by David H. Jacobs to support the arts, education, hospitals, human services, and Protestant agencies and churches

1990 Frances and Jane S. Lausche Foundation established to support higher education, human services, and Catholic agencies and churches

1991 Ridgecliff Foundation established through the sale of Laurelwood Hospital to support mental health and chemical dependency programs and services

Sedgwick Family Foundation established by Ellery Sedgwick, Jr. to support education, wildlife protection, and human services

Business Volunteers Unlimited established to strengthen non-profit organizations through training, consulting, board-matching, and volunteer referral

1993 Lerner Foundation established by Alfred Lerner to support medical care and Jewish agencies, temples, and federated giving programs

1993 Philanthropic Archives established at the Western Reserve Historical Society

Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust established to support animal welfare and veterinary medicine

1995 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opens in Cleveland

Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation created through the sale of Mt. Sinai Medical Center to meet the needs of the Jewish and general communities through support of medical science

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland is established with the proceeds of the sale of a 50% share of St. Vincent Charity Hospital and St. John West Shore Hospital; the foundation focuses its giving through the Roman Catholic social teaching known as the preferential option for the poor

Fareeda Husam' Adeen, founder and co-director of the Girls Club of Ohio and Anesheia Hobbs, co-director
Fareeda Husam’ Adeen, founder and co-director of the Girls Club of Ohio and Anesheia Hobbs, co-director

1997 St. Luke’s Foundation established through the sale of St. Luke’s Hospital to fund health care initiatives and programs for the residents in the neighborhoods formerly served by St. Luke’s Hospital

1997 Deaconess Community Foundation is established through the 1994 sale of Deaconess Hospital to support community projects, health care initiatives, and social service programs

1997 Vivian H. Schultz Trust established to fund higher education, zoos, and religion

1998 Girls Club of Ohio founded by Fareeda Husam’ Adeen in Cleveland to develop leadership skills for females ages 7-21

1961-1980 2000-2006