Frederick Harris Goff was a visionary. He wanted to leave “a large sum of money” to support the future well-being of his community — Cleveland — but realized that he had no way of knowing what the needs would be 50 years in the future. So, in 1914, he created the world’s first community foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, now the second largest community foundation in the U.S.
Because of its prudent investment strategies, the Cleveland Foundation had the wherewithal in the worst economy since the Great Depression to create short-term programs to meet Clevelanders’ most pressing needs — food, clothing, shelter — while continuing to support longstanding initiatives ranging from early childhood education to arts and culture.
Looking for an upbeat concept in a down time, the foundation turned to Nesnadny + Schwartz to create its new annual report in 2009. With the foundation’s help, we located past benefactors whose contributions continue to affect Cleveland today. We photographed current donors, relatives of donors, and recipients, holding framed portraits of the past contributors who touched their lives. The foundation fell in love with the approach and asked N+S to extend it to its first-ever online interactive annual report.