Red Feather Spotlight: Jane and Jon Outcalt

The very meaning of the word philanthropy is “love of humanity” – a reminder that all giving stems from an innate desire to care for others.  Jane and Jon Outcalt are philanthropists to their very core.  Whether in service to Cleveland’s hospitals, schools, arts or social services organizations, Jane and Jon’s lives have been defined by a desire to give back to the community they love so all of its citizens can live a better life. “We realize that we’ve been very fortunate in our lives and have always felt that we should share what we have with those who may not have as much,” Jane said.

 

The Outcalt family has been anchored in Cleveland philanthropy for decades. Jane and Jon both grew up in Cleveland and have raised their family here. As a result, they feel a deep connection to the area and a responsibility to ensure that their time, talent and treasure not only help their chosen community now, but also lay the groundwork for a stronger and healthier community for future generations. 

“We love Cleveland,” Jon remarked. “We’ve been encouraged by the progress that has been made over the past 10 years and are committed to helping Cleveland continue to succeed.”

United Way of Greater Cleveland holds a special place in the hearts of the Outcalts. Jon’s first contact with United Way was in the early 1970s while in his role as board chair for Big Brothers of Greater Cleveland.  At the time, the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organizations were separate and competed for funding in Cleveland. United Way suggested that Jon and his board work to combine the Big Brothers and Big Sisters missions to the greater benefit of the community at large. Jon was impressed by the recommendation. “The process took a few years, but it was the smart thing to do, he said. “I appreciated the help from United Way, and we’ve supported them ever since.”

The Outcalts are involved with numerous organizations, including University Hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, Breakthrough Schools and the Playhouse Square Foundation.  Because of their broad philanthropic involvement in Greater Cleveland, they know that there are many other important organizations deserving of donations. This is one of the reasons they remain so closely involved in United Way’s work.

“We give to United Way of Greater Cleveland because we trust them to do the research for us to ensure that our dollars go to the organizations that will make the greatest impact for those living in poverty in Cleveland.” Jon continued. “We love the work that United Way is doing now. Their focus enables them to face today’s problems in the most effective and responsive way possible.”

Jon Outcalt