Enduring Trust: The History and Aspirations of the Cleveland Foundation

Program Information

Cleveland Trust Rotunda

Cleveland Trust Rotunda

Cleveland Trust Bank

Cleveland Trust Bank

An anchor of support for Cleveland’s current and future quality of life was forged 100 years ago by an unconventionally forward-thinking bank president, Frederick Goff, the founder of The Cleveland Foundation.

Goff sought to address the needs of coming generations by pooling individual bequests into a community foundation, and, 100 years ago, these plans for the future-focused Cleveland Foundation were groundbreaking. But, Enduring Trust shows how Goff’s pragmatic and studied approach led to a series of pioneering charitable practices. Through archival photos and new interviews, the documentary is a lively portrayal of how the organization adapted to Cleveland’s ever-changing social and economic challenges—such as the Depression and school desegregation—while working to help make the city a better place.

Cleveland School Survey

Cleveland School Survey

Frederick Goff

Frederick Goff

Frances Goff

Frances Goff

The documentary shines light on some of the Foundation’s lesser-known history, including the influential role of Goff’s wife Frances, who convinced her husband of the importance of installing an appointed citizen board—unheard of up to that time. And, Enduring Trust also details how, during Cleveland’s socially volatile 1960s, an experimental wing of the Foundation, the Greater Cleveland Associated Foundation, acted in an advocacy role and, as former CEO Steve Minter tells it, “captured the Cleveland Foundation and helped return it to its roots.” The film also chronicles the differing roles of The Cleveland Foundation and its leadership during its first century, as well as the Foundation’s impact on Cleveland’s people and its educational, medical, recreational and cultural programs and landmarks—including Cuyahoga Community College, the Free Clinic, the Cleveland Metroparks and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Cleveland

Enduring Trust: The History and Aspirations of The Cleveland Foundation is a production of WVIZ/PBS ideastream in partnership with Telos Productions and is made possible by contributors to the ideastream Campaign for Community.

More Information

Visit the Cleveland Foundation’s Centennial Website where you will find a decade-by-decade timeline of the Foundation’s investments and activities.

Cleveland Trust Facade

Cleveland Trust Facade

The Sound of Ideas: Community Foundations at 100
The Cleveland Foundation is the world's first community foundation, founded on the notion that you don't have to be a Rockefeller to be a philanthropist. In this episode of The Sound of Ideas we learn in detail about the community foundation model and their impact on Greater Cleveland and nearly 2,000 other communities worldwide. Guests include Ronald B. Richard, President & CEO, The Cleveland Foundation, Steven A. Minter, former President, The Cleveland Foundation and Vikki Spruill, President & CEO, Council on Foundations.

The Sound of Applause: Enduring Trust Preview
Kathleen Cerveny, Director of Institutional Learning and Arts Initiatives at The Cleveland Foundation discusses the foundation’s historic commitment to the region’s arts and culture.

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