The Philanthropic Archives collects and makes available for research print and non-print material that documents the history of philanthropy and charity in northeast Ohio. It houses manuscript collections consisting of personal papers of individuals and families, oral histories, and the institutional records of foundations and nonprofit organizations. These materials include grant files and board minutes, administrative and financial records, correspondence, photographs, publications, and audio and video tapes.
The Philanthropic Archives provides two critical services:
• It preserves the documentary evidence of philanthropic activity in Greater Cleveland by cataloging and providing access to permanently valuable operating records, allowing for efficient and informed management of the philanthropies.
• The records in the Archives allow the study of resource allocation decisions by the donor agencies for both current grant-making and historical analysis.
The value of Cleveland philanthropy to the region is not just the immediate changes caused by funding a program, person, or groups, but the long-term effect. To determine such effect, analysts must research and study the original records created by the philanthropic organization in its decision-making process. Resource allocators and social planners need to know whether strategies were successful or failed for both the philanthropic organization and recipient. This information helps determine the most efficient process for setting research priorities and directing intellectual resources for future grant requests and decisions. Whether individual philanthropic and charitable organizations cease to exist or continue indefinitely, the documentation they create is an invaluable social legacy.
Agencies that have donated to the Philanthropic Archives
Bascom Little Fund
Bingham Associates Fund
The Brush Foundation
Children’s Aid Society
Cleveland Clearing House Association
Cleveland Development Foundation
Cleveland Families Oral History Project
Cleveland Friends of Music
Cleveland Women’s City Club Foundation
Eva L. and Joseph M. Bruening Foundation
Center for Community Solutions
Gay Educational Awareness Resources (GEAR) Foundation
George Gund Foundation
George S. Dively Foundation
Greater Cleveland Growth Association
Greater Cleveland Community Shares
|Gustavus Adolphus Aid Society
Health Fund of Greater Cleveland
Hungarian Ladies Charity Club
John P. Murphy Foundation Katherine and Lee Chilcote Foundation
Kulas Foundation Martha Holden Jennings Foundation
The Mukti Fund
Nord Family Foundation Nordson Foundation
Ohio Council of Fund Raising Executives
Payne Fund, Inc.
Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation Saint Luke’s Foundation
The Sihler Mental Health Foundation
Thomas H. White Foundation
United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland
United Way Services of Greater ClevelandWilliam Bingham Foundation
Women’s City Club of Cleveland
Philanthropic Archives Exhibits
Serving the Community: A Timeline of Philanthropy, Charity, and Non-profit Organizations in Cleveland, Ohio
Women in Philanthropy and Charity in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio: Celebrating Over 200 Years of Generosity and Civic Commitment
The Philanthropic Archives is part of the WRHS Corporate and Philanthropic History Archives Program.
To learn more about the collection, to donate material, or to support our efforts at the Western Reserve Historical Society, contact:
Robert Suriano, CA
Corporate and Philanthropic History Archivist
Western Reserve Historical Society
10825 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 721-5722, ext. 1524