Brief History of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

Fresh Are Farm

In 1963, a group of Greater Cincinnati area business people was intrigued by the success enjoyed by community foundations in other cities. They wanted to see a community foundation established in Cincinnati.

At the same time, the board of the Fresh Air and Convalescent Aid Society, an organization which brought women and children out of the crowded tenement areas during the hottest months of the summer for two weeks of good food, comfortable living, and planned recreation in the country, realized that its mission had become outdated.

The Fresh Air and Convalescent Aid Society decided to disband and needed an alternative charitable use for its $600,000 endowment. The business leaders and the Fresh Air Board came together and The Greater Cincinnati Foundation was born. The Fresh Air and Convalescent Aid Society’s endowment became GCF’s first unrestricted fund.

Excerpts from Forty Years of Inspiring Philanthropy: A History of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, 1963-2003

The Leader and Guiding Spirit
An early GCF report called William E. Anderson the "leader and guiding spirit" of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. This transplanted Cincinnatian indeed played a major role in gathering support for a community foundation and getting the right people together to make it happen. "Andy," as he was known to his friends, brought the community foundation idea with him from Cleveland, where he had been an attorney and bank trust officer before joining Cincinnati’s Central Trust Company in 1935. By the late 1950’s, he was senior vice president and trust officer there, and spreading the word about the benefits a community foundation could bring to Greater Cincinnati.
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