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Robert and Ruth Westheimer believed in the idea of a community foundation, and their family made a significant gift towards The Greater Cincinnati Foundation's first permanent home, a 6-story building at the corner of 4th and Elm, in 1999.
Known as the S.P. Nelson & Sons Building, it was built in 1919 and housed a mercantile warehouse, and later an interior design firm and the Northlich Stolley LaWarre advertising agency.
Turning a vacant building into an anchor of the historic Fourth Street neighborhood allowed The Greater Cincinnati Foundation to expand services to a growing number of donors, provide better services and resources to nonprofit organizations, host community gatherings, and provide space for a number of community initiatives.
The late Bob Westheimer provided dedicated leadership to GCF as an Associate Director and Governing Board member for more than 15 years. Bob also provided leadership to a host of other important community organizations, including United Way of Greater Cincinnati. He passed away in 1997.
Ruth Westheimer was an outstanding volunteer who received many honors and awards as testament to her importance to this community. She cared deeply about the causes nonprofit organizations represented, but she also cared deeply about the people who staffed them and valued her fellow volunteers. She passed away in 2009.
Ruth and Bob were life partners in their commitment to this community. The Westheimer family believed that helping GCF secure a permanent home was a fitting testament to Bob’s commitment to the community and to the Foundation.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is honored to recognize the Westheimer family’s philanthropic and civic leadership.
CINCINNATI (June 6, 2016) —The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s (GCF) Governing Board recently approved $3.3 million in Community Fund grants in its second quarter. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, GCF is able to offer help to local needs.
A number of Community Fund grants this quarter included requests for help with mental health services with a focus on trauma-informed care:
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s increased funding for trauma parallels a national movement towards preventing childhood abuse, neglect and household challenges such as domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness or parental separation.
The Centers for Disease Control-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and later-life health and well-being. The study found as the number of ACEs increase so does the risk for alcoholism and alcohol abuse, depression, suicide attempts, fetal death, illicit drug use, poor work performance, financial stress, poor academic achievement, adolescent pregnancy and more.
“Unaddressed trauma can be an underlying cause for many problems later in life,” said Molly Robertshaw, MSW, Program Officer. “If GCF invests in increasing access to trauma-informed services now, those affected by trauma in our community are more likely to have the opportunity to live healthy lives.”
Through its Generous Together program, GCF partnered with its donors to provide a grant to Little Sisters of the Poor for $65,000. Generous Together provides donors an opportunity to partner with GCF in providing support to grant seekers. The grant to Little Sisters of the Poor will assist in the purchase of an emergency power generator.
“We are grateful for the opportunity offered by GCF to further assist the Little Sisters of the Poor, whose work we have admired and supported for many years,” said Peter Schmid, a GCF donor.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s Community Fund supports the current and greatest needs in our community. Contributions to GCF’s Community Fund build more resources to invest in the good work of nonprofit organizations in our region. Contributions can be made at www.gcfdn.org/yourcommunity.
See the complete list of spring 2016 grants [PDF]
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2015, GCF had net assets of $533 million.
CINCINNATI (June 21, 2017)—Lisa Davis Roberts joins The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) as program officer for philanthropic services.
Davis Roberts is responsible for carrying out the Foundation’s grantmaking services for private foundations and GCF donor advised funds. She works closely with trustees and donors to help them accomplish their charitable giving goals through effective grantmaking.
“Lisa has strong connections within the nonprofit community from her previous professional experience and volunteer engagement,” Phillip Lanham, Vice President of Donor Relations said. “I am confident that she will strengthen our services to private foundations by fostering meaningful relationships to support our clients’ mission.”
She was previously the manager of research development at Northern Kentucky University and serves on the grantmaking committee at Artswave. Davis Roberts is a member of WE Lead, Class 5 and has held numerous volunteer positions in the community.
Davis Roberts is currently obtaining her Master of Science in executive leadership and organizational change and has a Master of Arts from University of Illinois. She is a resident of Fort Thomas, Kentucky.
About The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.
CINCINNATI (June 5, 2018) ― The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is pleased to announce Harold Brown as its Vice President of Community Strategies. In this role, Harold will be responsible for providing executive leadership and vision for GCF’s comprehensive array of grantmaking programs, including developing an in-depth strategy to advance its community leadership work.
“Harold’s deep experience, in particular creating and managing initiatives that create and facilitate educational opportunities for youth in our community, is perfectly aligned with our work to build a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati now and for generations to come,” said Ellen M. Katz, president/CEO.
Prior to joining GCF, Harold served as a senior officer at KnowledgeWorks, where he developed investment and partnership initiatives designed to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged youth.
In addition, Harold served as founding president of EDWorks, the fee-for-service subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, that offered innovative school designs focused on empowering first-generation college-goers and helping traditionally underserved students to graduate from high school.
He also managed KnowledgeWorks Foundation’s $100 million investment in the Ohio High School Transformation Initiative (OHSTI), the Early College High School (ECHS) initiative, Project GRAD, College Access, the Ohio 8 Coalition and a wide range of other education reform initiatives.
Harold earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard University. He serves or has recently served on the boards of the National College Access Network, Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, Leadership Cincinnati Steering Committee, GreenLight Cincinnati Advisory Board, AchievePoint Career Academies and the Cincinnati Police Chief’s Community Advisory Board.
As the region’s leading community foundation, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone – now, and for generations to come. As of 2017, GCF is the 35th largest U.S. community foundation with net assets of $649 million.
CINCINNATI (January 3, 2017) — The Andrew Jergens Foundation, a private foundation client of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, has reached a generous milestone - $20 million granted to the Greater Cincinnati community since its inception in 1962 and nearly $8 million since 2004. The Andrew Jergens Foundation has been an effective and meaningful way for the trustees – some local and some not, some family and some not - to play a role in improving the lives of children in our region.
The Jergens Foundation’s prime interests are the health, education, cultural experiences, and social welfare of children in our region. It supports programs that benefit children, with an emphasis on those of limited means. Considering the childhood poverty rate in Cincinnati, there continues to be a pivotal role for foundations like Jergens to play. More than 400 local nonprofits aligning with these focus areas have benefited from the foundation’s generosity over the past 54 years.
"Our founder, very early on, realized the critical importance of bettering the health and education of the youth of the city of Cincinnati, said Michael Hays, chairman of the Andrew Jergens Foundation. “We are immensely grateful to be able to continue his work."
Highlights of the Foundation’s work includes:
CINCINNATI (April 25, 2018) — The Greater Cincinnati Foundation recently awarded $255,000 in grants to 17 local nonprofits to drive greater belonging, independence and authorship with and for people with disabilities. All grants awarded were made in partnership with GCF donors past and present.
GCF is hosting these organizations for a year-long learning journey and challenging them to seek collaborative solutions to maximize impact. In partnership with the nonprofit social innovation firm, Design Impact, organizations are participating in 1,334 hours of training and dialogue to change their approaches and learn from one another.
“The idea of a person with a disability fully belonging to their community, we have big barriers to that,” said Dan Connors, CEO, St. Joseph Home. “We need to think differently about how we’re going to solve this problem.”
The priorities for this funding cycle include strengthening partnerships, building a community of belonging and redefining the way things have always been done. The priorities were created in conjunction with the participating organizations. Each nonprofit received a $15,000 in support to test their innovative concepts as well as a series of trainings throughout the year.
“We’re always asked to show the efficacy of what we’re doing when we need funding,” said Rob Seideman, CTRH’s executive director. “So we rely on those things that we do well. But if we’re going to work with people in new ways, we need to change what we’re doing. And that’s what’s so great about this opportunity.”
More than $25,000 awarded in this grant cycle represent donor co-investments.
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“It is an honor to work side by side with these experts in their field who are so passionate about figuring out new ways to create even more meaningful lives for those they exist to serve,” said Molly Robertshaw, GCF program officer.
“This funding effort represents GCF’s interest in being a nimble and innovative partner for nonprofits,” said Ellen M. Katz, president/CEO. “We want to help our community to build a region where everyone can thrive.”
As the region’s leading community foundation, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone – now, and for generations to come. As of 2017, GCF is the 35th largest U.S. community foundation with net assets of $636 million.
View full list of nonprofits receiving grants [PDF]
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation invests in a more vibrant and prosperous Greater Cincinnati where everyone can thrive. While GCF hasn’t traditionally been part of the election process, we felt it was necessary to show our support for both Issue 44 for the Cincinnati Public Schools and Preschool Promise and Issue 53 renewal of the Hamilton County Children’s Services Levy, as this election will affect the future of the children in our community.
Whether it is universal, quality preschool for the city or safety nets for children in the county, both these issues strengthen the systems that surround our community’s next generation to ensure their futures are strong.
Our community has revitalized neighborhoods, sparkling modern buildings, new storefronts, amazing restaurants, and a streetcar that moves from our now park-filled riverfront to our ultra-hip urban core.
But we have to embrace our other reality that everyone is not thriving in this wonderful renaissance our community is experiencing.
Our region has the second highest childhood poverty rate in the nation. Unacceptable disparities continue to exist between blacks and whites
(Urban League). An August 2016 research report cites Cincinnati as “one of the least economically mobile cities in the nation,” meaning children born into poverty will likely stay in poverty (Human Impact Partners full report pdf).
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation believes a successful educational career for each child, beginning with quality preschool, can help level the playing field in the long term. We are proud to support collaborative efforts like Success by Six®, Partners for a Competitive Workforce, StrivePartnership and The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation which address these issues.
As the community’s philanthropic partner and the nation’s 35th largest community foundation, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation has been investing in quality educational and social services, but we cannot do it alone.
PolicyLink, a highly regarded national research and advocacy institute, shared the economic benefit to our region would be up to $6.3 billion a year if we could close the gap on income disparity.
Both Issue 44 and Issue 53 will create a strong future for our community’s children. With these levies, our community will blossom a true renaissance that benefits all in our community. We encourage you to vote on November 8 and to vote “yes” for both Issue 44 and Issue 53.
Find out more about why The Greater Cincinnati Foundation supports these issues:
Read The Women's Fund's PULSE Briefing on why teachers' wages are critical to quality preschool, as it outlines the many reasons why increased wages for childcare workers improves educational qualifications, improves staff stability and ultimately increases program quality.
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