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Community Foundations Celebrate 100 Years!

Frederick H. Goff, creator of the world's first community foundation
Frederick H. Goff, creator of the world's first community foundation

2014 marks the 100 year anniversary since lawyer and banker Frederick H. Goff established the first community foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. His vision was to pool the charitable resources of the city’s philanthropists into a single, great and permanent endowment for the benefit of the residents of Cleveland. The interest from this trust would then be distributed by community leaders for local charitable purposes for many years to come.

From this revolutionary idea, the Cleveland Foundation was born on 2nd January 1914. Within five years, other community foundations sprung up across America, and in 1975, the first UK community foundation was established in Swindon. Currently there are about 50 community foundations in the UK covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and 1,700 worldwide. The London Community Foundation was formed in 1995, and since then we have given out nearly £40 million to local charities and community groups, through over 5,000 grants across London.

2013 has been another success story for community foundations, topped off by Mark Zuckerberg’s donation of nearly $1bn to Silicon Valley Community Foundation in December, highlighting community foundations as key to investment in local causes. True to Goff’s vision, The London Community Foundation continue to act as the meeting place for many different donors, private and public who wish to benefit London residents in whatever way they can. Over the course of last year we awarded approximately £4.5 million in over 1,000 grants to an amazing array of groups who continue to work towards a strong and generous London. Here’s to a great 2014!

For more information about Frederick H. Goff, visit Cleveland Foundation's website

Published on 06 January 2014

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