Community West Foundation Joins the Fund for Our Economic Future

by | Dec 28, 2022

CLEVELAND—The Fund for Our Economic Future (the Fund) today announced that the Community West Foundation has joined the Fund’s civic collaborative. Martin Uhle, who serves as president & CEO of the Community West Foundation, will represent the organization on the Fund’s governance board.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Community West Foundation and Marty to the Fund for Our Economic Future,” said Fund President Bethia Burke. “Our Fund’s commitment to an ‘extraordinary tomorrow’ and Community West’s legacy of ‘illuminating hope’ illustrate a shared optimism for a more equitable, prosperous future for Northeast Ohio. This announcement reflects, as well, the shared commitment to putting in the work to achieve that vision.”

“Our philanthropic focus is supporting the least of our brothers & sisters in the community. The economic health of the region directly relates to this mission. We are eager to connect with our fellow members to advance the work that matters to us all as Northeast Ohioans,” Uhle said.

The board of the Community West Foundation has approved a grant of $33,333 to the Fund for Our Economic Future for 2023, eligible to be renewed for two additional years. This contributes to a $10 million grantmaking budget over the Fund’s current strategic phase, spanning 2022 through 2024. This pooled funding supports the Fund’s vision to growing Northeast Ohio economy creating good jobs and rising incomes for everyone, regardless of race or place.

Funding members commit to a minimum $100,000 contribution to the Fund over a three-year strategic phase. In 2020, the Fund added a civic path to membership in a deliberate move to broaden the racial diversity of leadership of an organization whose work centers on dismantling systemic racism as a core limiting factor of the region’s economic prosperity. Civic members are nominated by funding members, have equal voting power to funding members and represent a broad range of skills, expertise, and lived experience. Currently, the Fund comprises more than 30 members across philanthropic, business, civic, education and economic sectors, as well as numerous partners who support specific initiatives or contribute additional operating support.

Beyond a pooled resource, the Fund provides a creative space for leaders across Northeast Ohio to test new ideas, exchange information, build shared resources and amplify key issues that matter for equitable growth and opportunity, leading to more effective philanthropy, better coordination and greater impact. Over the past year, this has enabled the Fund to launch a groundbreaking site selection tool (wherematters.teamneo.org) to drive strategic business growth, to conduct an unprecedented analysis of Northeast Ohio’s workforce in the wake of the pandemic (wherearetheworkers.com), and to produce sustained transportation innovations to improve workforce mobility (paradoxprize.com), among other efforts across a portfolio of strategies to advance job creation, job preparation and job access.

More information about Fund membership and the slate of current members can be found at thefundneo.org/about/members.

About the Community West Foundation

Originally known as the Fairview/Lutheran Foundation, Community West has been supporting these Cleveland Clinic hospitals as well as many community non-profit agencies through grantmaking since 1997. The mission of Community West Foundation is to advance the health and well-being of our community. Learn more at communitywestfoundation.org.

About the Fund for Our Economic Future

The Fund for Our Economic Future is a network of philanthropic, higher education, community development, private sector, economic development, and civic leaders collectively investing in efforts to understand what matters, advance what works and prepare for what’s next to grow an inclusive economy in Northeast Ohio. Learn more at thefundneo.org.

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