Greater Cleveland Entrepreneurs Receive A JumpStart

When Kaye Ridolfi, our senior vice president for advancement, took her place behind the podium at tonight’s 2017 Annual Meeting presented by KeyBank, it was ostensibly to talk solely about Organizational Fund Partner Appreciation Week. While she did discuss the importance of recognizing the more than 170 Greater Cleveland nonprofits that have embraced the strategy of building a community endowment by partnering with the foundation to establish organizational funds, Ridolfi also had a surprise up her sleeve.

With the beautiful State Theatre stage as a backdrop, Ridolfi announced that JumpStart, a Cleveland-based nonprofit founded in 2004, has partnered with the foundation to establish the JumpStart Future Fund, a new organizational philanthropic fund. For JumpStart CEO Ray Leach, the choice on who to partner with was a natural one. “Since JumpStart’s founding, the Cleveland Foundation has been one of our most trusted partners, and we can think of no better organization to help us support philanthropic initiatives and JumpStart priorities that unlock the full potential of diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs to economically transform our community.”

The JumpStart Future Fund will focus on transformational initiatives that will extend the economic benefits of entrepreneurship and small business growth to all communities – not just those who are currently connected to the venture capital ecosystem. Throughout the next several months, JumpStart will be working with the Cleveland Foundation to finalize all details related to the priorities of this new philanthropic fund which will support important initiatives that advance our entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“On our biggest night of the year, it is wonderful to be able to announce JumpStart as our new organizational philanthropic fund partner,” said Ronn Richard, Cleveland Foundation president & CEO. “This type of long-term investment by JumpStart is crucial to sustained economic growth in our region. We applaud JumpStart’s vision of catalyzing even more opportunities for entrepreneurs and residents in Greater Cleveland.”

Read the full story on the Cleveland Foundation’s blog.