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Rebuilding Cleveland: The Cleveland Foundation and Its Evolving Urban Strategy

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Rebuilding Cleveland is a critical study of the role that The Cleveland Foundation, the country's oldest community trust, has played in shaping public affairs in Cleveland, Ohio, over the past quarter-century. Drawing on an examination of the Foundation's private papers and more than a hundred interviews with Foundation personnel and grantees, Diana Tittle demonstrates that The Cleveland Foundation, with assets of more than $600 million, has provided continuing, catalytic leadership in its attempts to solve a ...
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Overview

Rebuilding Cleveland is a critical study of the role that The Cleveland Foundation, the country's oldest community trust, has played in shaping public affairs in Cleveland, Ohio, over the past quarter-century. Drawing on an examination of the Foundation's private papers and more than a hundred interviews with Foundation personnel and grantees, Diana Tittle demonstrates that The Cleveland Foundation, with assets of more than $600 million, has provided continuing, catalytic leadership in its attempts to solve a wide range of Cleveland's urban problems. The Foundation's influence is more than a matter of money, Tittle shows. The combined efforts of professional philanthropists and a board of trustees traditionally dominated by Cleveland's business elite, but also including members appointed by various elected officials, have produced innovative civic leadership that neither group was able to achieve on its own. Through an examination of the Foundation's ongoing and sometimes painful organizational development, Tittle explains how the Foundation came to be an important catalyst for progressive change in Cleveland. Rebuilding Cleveland takes the reader back to 1914, when Cleveland banker Frederick C. Goff invented the concept of a community foundation and pioneered a national movement of social scientists, business leaders, and government officials that made philanthropy a more effective force for private involvement in public affairs. Tittle follows the Foundation through the 1960s, when it began a major new initiative to establish itself as a civic agenda-setter and problem solver, to the present, as a new generation of Foundation leaders continues to build upon this renewed sense of purpose.
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