$4 Million Gift Will Support Fund’s Phase 4 Work to Transform Northeast Ohio’s Economy
CLEVELAND–July 16,2012–The George Gund Foundation announced today its commitment of $4 million to support the next phase of the Fund for Our Economic Future, a collaboration of philanthropy that strengthens Northeast Ohio’s economic competitiveness.
“The members of the Board of Trustees of the George Gund Foundation are pleased to be the first foundation to commit to the fourth phase of the Fund and show our commitment to sustaining our collaboration with our philanthropic peers, as well as forging a stronger partnership with private sector partners that support economic competitiveness efforts,” said Geoffrey Gund, president of the George Gund Foundation.
The next three-year phase of the Fund (2013-2015) will be focused on aligning goals, resources and actions with partners in the private sector to support key strategies and initiatives that will help achieve the goal of having Northeast Ohio outperform the national economy.
Since 2004,philanthropic organizations and institutions have deployed nearly $75 million through the Fund, a collaboration of organized philanthropy rooted in the belief that philanthropy can and should play a vital role in leading and sustaining efforts to build a vibrant, globally competitive Northeast Ohio. Members of the Fund collectively determine how it will invest its resources. During its present third phase, the Fund has54 voting members and has raised about $15 million. The Fund expects to raise$15 million in its fourth phase.
The George Gund Foundation and other Fund members work with partners in business, the public sector, higher education and the civic sector to create systemic change across four areas: the region’s ability to grow businesses, develop talent, be inclusive, and help local governments more efficiently and effectively govern. These four priority areas are empirically grounded in economic research, as well as through broad-based civic engagement.
“The Fund has successfully engaged the region’s philanthropists to focus on transforming our region to a high growth economy,” said David Abbott, executive director of The George Gund Foundation and chair of the Fund. “Sustaining such a collaboration is challenging, but the progress we’ve seen in our region’s entrepreneurial culture and our ability to attract growing companies to the region inspires us to continue to work together. And the opportunity to work more closely with our partners in the private sector promises even more progress in the future.”
On June 7, 2012, members of the Fund for Our Economic Future unanimously endorsed continuing the collaboration and committed to forging a closer partnership with the business community.
“The Fund has regularly partnered with private sector stakeholders on initiatives that have helped attract jobs and investments to the region,” said Brad Whitehead, president of the Fund. “We look forward to even greater results as we elevate that partnership to a more strategic level. The shape and scope of the partnership will evolve over the next several months.”
“The Fund for Our Economic Future is an important ally to the business community in our efforts to strengthen Northeast Ohio’s economic competitiveness,” said Ward J. Timken, Jr., chairman of Team Northeast Ohio, the regional business community’s hub for economic development, and chairman of The Timken Company Corporation, based in Canton. “We in the business community look forward to strengthening our partnership with the Fund so that our economic competitiveness efforts will be even more effective. Together we will align resources and actions to address key priorities that will help Northeast Ohio outperform the rest of the country.”
Whitehead thanked the George Fund Foundation for its willingness to commit first to the next phase of the Fund. “The George Gund Foundation’s leadership and commitment coupled with our emerging partnership with the private sector adds up to great opportunity for Northeast Ohio,” he said. “Working together, we can position Northeast Ohio as a leader in the global economy.”