News & Event
Impact investments by The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its donors include CincyTech, which has announced its largest funding to date.
CINCINNATI (April 18, 2016) — The Greater Cincinnati Foundation uses impact investing to tie the discipline of the market with the social mission of philanthropy. These investments use charitable assets to invest in projects that can generate revenue as well as direct community benefits.
Impact investments by The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its donors include CincyTech, the largest seed investor in the region.
“After the economic downturn, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its donors realized we needed not just to place people in jobs, but to create jobs here in Cincinnati,” said Robert Killins Jr., director of Vibrant Places. “We want to grow our local economy. Through CincyTech, we are investing in local businesses, and investing in local jobs.”
Find out about impact investing at 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 2015, GCF had net assets of $533 million.
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” - Jane Goodall
The symposium’s keynote speaker, Jean Case, reported a comment she heard recently from a college student: “Why would you just settle for a financial return?” Case, Chairman of National Geographic Society, founder/CEO of the Case Foundation and a former AOL executive, sees significant societal and cultural shifts around unleashing capitalism — and the power of entrepreneurial-based strategies — as a force for good. In her book, "Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose", those strategies include: make a big bet; be bold, take risks; make failure matter; reach beyond your bubble; and let urgency conquer fear.
CINCINNATI (August 3, 2020) — Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is boosting its long-standing support of the economic growth and vitality of our tri-state region with a $500,000 investment in the Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky (Catalytic Fund).
GCF is making a $350,000, 10-year investment in the Catalytic Fund’s Equity Fund to provide access to additional capital for property acquisition to fuel strategic development. Additionally, GCF is renewing a three-year, $150,000 grant to fund operating support for the Catalytic Fund’s crucial work.
“We are thrilled to expand our support of the Catalytic Fund’s dynamic vision,” said Ellen M. Katz, GCF President and CEO. “The urban renaissance that they are fueling strengthens our entire region.”
The Catalytic Fund, a private sector, not-for-profit company, provides financing assistance and technical expertise for high-impact residential and commercial real estate projects throughout Northern Kentucky’s urban cities. The fund’s innovative record of community revitalization projects has fueled economic development and job creation through such signature projects as the transformation of the Hotel Covington and the Bradford Building in Covington, and Bellevue’s Kent Lofts project.
“GCF was a founding investor in the Catalytic Fund and has provided significant support for our investment, development services and vibrancy activities which have leveraged over $200 million in new investment in Northern Kentucky,” said Jeanne Schroer, President and CEO of the Catalytic Fund. “Without GCF, we would not have developed the organizational capacity or the investment resources to do this community development work. GCF thinks regionally and understands that an economically healthy metropolitan area needs to include all of its communities.”
About Greater Cincinnati Foundation
As the region’s leading community foundation, 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.
Racial Equity Matters presented by bi3 is Changing Hearts and Minds
Many people believe that our systems are broken, that our neighbors fall behind because of flaws in our institutions. But that’s not true. The systems aren’t broken. They’re working exactly as they were meant to, and that’s the problem.
The causes of disparities in the Black community are deeply rooted in systems throughout our country – from housing to education, from healthcare to employment. We can change those systems and take our country forward. But that can only happen when we all learn and understand what got us here in the first place. Why do some of us thrive, while many of us – particularly our Black neighbors – struggle to get by?
Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s (GCF) Racial Equity Matters series, presented by bi3, is a candid, honest look at systemic racism and the history that embedded it within our institutions facilitated by Racial Equity Institute (REI). Thanks to our sponsors, bi3, Flip and Sheila Cohen, Duke Energy Foundation, E.W. Scripps Company, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Ohio National Financial Services and Tom & Nancy Shepherd and our supporters Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. The Manuel D. & Rhoda Mayerson Foundation, GCF once again offered this educational series free to the Greater Cincinnati community in 2020. By year’s end, GCF will have surpassed its attendance goal and expects to reach 1,000 participants. It is clear: our region is demanding this education and is taking the first step to ignite meaningful change.
One participant in 2020 was Cincinnati City Councilmember Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney. She shared: “Education is a way to open minds and for people to have more understanding and more empathy. It’s easier to work together and move forward when everyone is on the same page. Unless you’ve been exposed to this information, you might not really believe that these systems are in place. You can see how past racism continues, and the systems are still in place that really affect Black and Brown communities.”
“I really thought, ‘What could they tell me about racism that I don’t already know?’” she continued. “But this training really opened my eyes to a lot of things I wasn’t aware of.”
Lighthouse Youth & Family Services President and CEO Paul Haffner agrees. “There is generations’ worth of work to do to achieve racial equity,” he shared. “It starts small, but you keep building. You make good policies and government. You find good models to replicate.”
Haffner participated in Racial Equity Matters in 2019 with members of his leadership team and board of trustees. Inspired by the training, Haffner wanted to carry this work further in the community and contracted directly with REI in July 2020 to host four sessions for his employees, board members and even foster parents.
“You hear words like ‘implicit bias’ and ‘systemic racism,’ but when you go through these trainings, you get real examples,” Haffner shared. “It makes you question your own brain. It’s OK if we tap into that, own it and acknowledge that we can retrain our brain. The more of us who go through the training, the more of us who can check each other to make sure we’re doing things for the right reasons.”
Haffner wants to make sure Lighthouse is an organization that practices racial equity. “It starts with me,” he stressed. “How can we promote, find, recruit, train and develop more and more Black leaders and board members at Lighthouse?”
Such transformational conversations are critical. As non-profit organizations strive to create a more equitable region, GCF’s Senior Program Officer Michael Coffey shares: “We must propose solutions based on a shared understanding of the problem, of how racism is built into our system. Only then we can achieve real impact and change.”
GCF, like many in our region, is on our own equity journey and is committed to continue learning, sharing and addressing what history books in school failed to teach us. Indeed, our learnings from Racial Equity Matters have informed each part of our organization: from communications to grantmaking, from human resources to vendor relationships and beyond.
We are excited to offer Racial Equity Matters again in 2021 and invite you, your colleagues and your neighbors to join us. Together, we can make a difference.
Sign up for our mailing list to learn when our Q1 2021 schedule is available here.
Tom Shepherd, Chief Executive Officer of Shepherd Material Science, takes a minute to explain the importance of Racial Equity Matters. View his video here.
"The racial divide is arguably the greatest thing holding America back," Shepherd said. "Racial Equity Matters is one of the most profound, world view, mind growing experiences I've ever had."