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Click thumbnails above to read our stories of resiliency, reinvention and results from Saint Luke's Foundation grantees.
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Denise San Antonio Zeman President & CEO
Denise San Antonio Zeman
President & CEO


Thomas Rathbone
Chair, Board of Trustees

Dear Friends:

2009. The headlines were sobering. The economy was reeling. Foreclosures and unemployment were at all-time highs, while financial markets hit all-time lows. Community needs rose to unprecedented levels, and the impacts on the philanthropic sector were unparalleled.

The impact felt by the philanthropic sector was validated through a survey released by the Foundation Center, which noted:

  • Leading grantmakers across the U.S. saw steeper than anticipated reductions in their 2009 giving.
  • Indicators pointed to a continued reduction in foundation giving in 2010.
  • More than two-thirds of respondents reduced their operating expenses to shore up giving and for other purposes.
  • Grantmakers predicted that the field of philanthropy would become more strategic as a result of the economic crisis.
  • Many funders expected the nonprofit community to emerge stronger from the economic crisis.


As we reflect on 2009, we note that in spite of the challenges, many nonprofits in Northeast Ohio found ways to fully reflect the Saint Luke’s Foundation’s core values of respect, leadership, partnership, courage, results, and transparency.  Those nonprofits that did found remarkable ways to reinvent themselves and work smarter. 

In this year’s annual report, we share survival stories of several organizations that received Community Grants from the Foundation. These organizations took on the challenge of greater demand and diminishing resources, and met those challenges by taking good programs and making them stronger and more resilient. They took a time of crisis, and turned it into a time of triumph. They redefined who they are, and how they do their work – not only doing more with less, but doing better with less. While these organizations approach their work in very different ways, they all did one thing that is critical to being successful – they kept their focus on achieving successful outcomes on behalf of those they serve.

Through hard work, collaboration, creative thinking, dedicated staff, outstanding leadership, incredible volunteers, and more, the nonprofits highlighted in this report made a positive difference. They used the grant support they received from Saint Luke’s Foundation to go from good to greater.

In this report, you’ll read personal stories about individuals for whom 2009 was particularly difficult. With assistance from some of the most outstanding organizations in Greater Cleveland, these people were able to get their lives back on track. We thank the individuals who had the courage to share their personal challenges with our readers. Your willingness to tell your stories will undoubtedly help the organizations who helped you promote their services to others in need.

We also thank the incredible staff members of the organizations featured in this report. You are the heart and soul of our community, people who on a daily basis go above and beyond, doing more with less, and focusing on the greater good.

We are also grateful to our colleagues in philanthropy, many of whom help us to identify the most effective programs and services to support.

And last but far from least, we offer a special thank you to Sandra Kiely Kolb, for her outstanding leadership as our Board Chair from 2005 through 2009. Her efforts made us better than we were before, leaving us with a stronger foundation on which to embrace the future. Sandra, for that, and so much more, our board and staff are forever grateful.



Signature of Denise San Antonio Zeman Signature of Thomas Rathbone
Denise San Antonio Zeman
President & CEO
Thomas Rathbone
Chair, Board of Trustees




Disclaimer: In compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, all stories about specific individuals are told with their express written informed consent.