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Want to know what is on our minds? Find blog posts written here, by the City Club staff, members, and partners. Every week you can find a new edition of #FreeSpeech in the News — a collection of related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century that’s making the news. You’ll also find takes on current events, past forums, and issues surrounding Northeast Ohio. Read on for all things City Club.

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Friday, July 14, 2023

The City Club of Cleveland Receives Major Gift from the Cleveland Foundation

City Club Staff

The City Club of Cleveland Receives Major Gift from the Cleveland Foundation

Pictured above (L to R): Tony Richardson, President, The George Gund Foundation; Connie Hill-Johnson, Chairperson, Cleveland Foundation Board of Directors; Ronn Richard, President & CEO, Cleveland Foundation; Kristen Baird Adams, Board President, The City Club of Cleveland; Dan Moulthrop, CEO, The City Club of Cleveland

$1 million total investment will support The City Club of Cleveland’s move to Playhouse Square

Cleveland – The City Club of Cleveland and the Cleveland Foundation jointly announced today a major investment by the foundation to support the buildout of the City Club’s new home at 1317 Euclid Ave. The contribution was announced in today’s forum featuring Cleveland Foundation’s outgoing President & CEO, Ronn Richard, in conversation with Tony Richardson, President of The George Gund Foundation.

Over his two-decade tenure, Richard doubled the foundation’s endowment and grew its annual grantmaking to record levels while overseeing transformative investments in public education, neighborhood development, arts and culture, advanced energy, leadership development, research and innovation, and more.

During this time, the Cleveland Foundation deepened its partnership with the City Club, working together to launch important community conversations around climate, elections, civic engagement, journalism, and democracy.

“The Cleveland Foundation has been a strong programming partner for several years, and now, they’re stepping up to help ensure that our new home is an accessible space—a City Club for all people,” said Dan Moulthrop, the City Club’s CEO. “The Cleveland Foundation has always inspired us to connect more deeply with the entire community, and this contribution truly enables us to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation. With this contribution, the Cleveland Foundation joins a growing number of Guardians of Free Speech who understand the importance of investing in a place devoted to tough conversations and big challenging ideas that can move us forward.”

Beyond grants, the Cleveland Foundation believes in generating positive social change through a variety of tools. Through their Social Impact Investment fund, a portion of their $1 million contribution will be a Program Related Investment (PRI) for a below market-rate loan which positions the City Club to effectively manage costs while renovating its street-level space in the heart of Cleveland's arts & culture district of Playhouse Square which will attract hundreds of professionals and students to the core city for programs every week.

“The Cleveland Foundation is proud to continue our longtime partnership with The City Club of Cleveland with funding support for the Guardians of Free Speech Campaign,” said Cleveland Foundation President & CEO Ronn Richard. “Our support will help The City Club build on its 113-year legacy of civil discourse, which is a cornerstone of our democracy.” The Cleveland Foundation’s contribution will be recognized in the City Club’s new home.


The City Club of Cleveland creates conversations of consequence that help democracy thrive. For more than 100 years, our speakers – more than 7,000 in total, from sitting heads of state to local community activists – have answered unfiltered, unrehearsed questions directly from the audience. We are the place where speakers and ideas are challenged and tested, where citizen voice is prized, and where our community grows stronger. In the midst of declining civic engagement, we remain committed to being a “citadel of free speech” and to ensuring there will always be a home for civil, civic dialogue. More info:

About the Cleveland Foundation: Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world's first community foundation – and one of the largest today – with assets of more than $3 billion and 2022 grants paid of more than $138 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of residents of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation’s program areas include arts and culture, economic and workforce development, education, environment, leadership development, neighborhoods, and youth, health and human services. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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