News & Event
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.
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.
Challenges of day-to-day living, at times, can feel like performing a high-wire act without a net. Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s (GCF) annual Providing a Safety Net grants provide a cushion to our neighbors experiencing difficult circumstances, helping them to regain their balance and move forward.
Because the need is constant, GCF awards Safety Net grants annually. The 2019 Providing a Safety Net Request for Proposals has been sent to nonprofits; their deadline to apply is Feb. 1. Due to a recent shift in the level of support available across the community, GCF is increasing the grant amounts up to $50,000 this year. With your impactful support, we can help our neighbors regain their footing — which provides a positive impact on our entire community.
In 2018, thanks to the power of the partnership with our generous donors, GCF awarded $1.1 million in grants to 36 regional nonprofit organizations to support their missions of providing food, shelter and behavioral health services to Greater Cincinnati’s most vulnerable residents. Those organizations span both sides of the Ohio River, with 27 in the Cincinnati area and nine in Northern Kentucky.
Among the results of those grants:
With your support we can amplify the strength of the Safety Net grants to uphold those in need. For further information about giving to Providing a Safety Net this year, please contact your GCF philanthropic advisor.
Continuing his father’s legacy of “corporate good citizenship” was important to William Olin Mashburn Jr. (1906 – 1971), when he took over Coca-Cola Bottling Works with his brother John Cromer Mashburn in 1930, following their father’s sudden death.
Under the brothers’ leadership, the business became famous for its civic activities in Cincinnati. W.O. had a life-long passion for sports, and his company sponsored youth trips to training camps of the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, where he often accompanied the children. He also sponsored golf tournaments, knothole baseball teams and amateur swimming, baseball, softball, basketball teams.
The family moved to Norwood from Georgia in 1915 when they purchased the local Coca-Cola franchise. By 1930, it had grown to three plants in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Springfield, Ohio.
W.O. married Ruth Allonier (1911-1985) and had two sons. The couple gave generously to many local nonprofits including Beech Acres Parenting Center and the former Bob Hope House. The Mashburns were members of the Seventh Presbyterian Church in Walnut Hills. Mr. Mashburn was a member of Cincinnati Country Club, the Camargo Club, the Commonwealth Club, a former owner of Cincinnati’s Coney Island, and a past president of the Dan Beard Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
In 2011, the family of Ruth and W.O. wished to honor the legacy of the couple by providing a gift to build a conference facility for nonprofits at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. The W.O. and Ruth A. Mashburn Impact Center at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation opened in 2012.
The Mashburn Impact Center is available for use at no charge by IRS-designated nonprofit organizations in GCF’s eight-county service area of Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties in Ohio; Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn County, Indiana.
The facility can seat up to 40 people, and its amenities include a projector with screens in front and back of room, video conferencing capabilities, and wireless internet. GCF thanks the Ruth A. & W.O. Mashburn Jr. Foundation for ensuring local nonprofit organizations will benefit from this space for years to come.
Below is a line from Ruth’s favorite poem, “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley, which was displayed in the couple’s home.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
CINCINNATI (June 7, 2017)— The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) organized a group of committed donors and experts from the animal welfare field to review grants and award $160,000 to support the well-being of our region’s pets. The committee was chaired by Anne DeLyons and included Maureen Heekin, Ann Hill, Karen Meyer, Linda Pavey, Marjorie H. Rauh, and Martha Wolf. GCF is proud to announce that 14 organizations across our eight-county region received from $5,000 to $15,000 in funding.
The focus of investments for this grant cycle included reducing avoidable euthanasia and supporting the optimal health and well-being of sheltered animals as well as those living with low-income families. The source of funding for these grants came from the Animal Protection Fund, Burt Family Fund, Jean Siemer No-Kill Animal Shelter Fund, and the William Hunter Young Fund, all held at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. GCF disperses these funds every two years in line with the wishes of our generous donors.
“I have observed much, much cruelty inflicted on animals by the human race, so my primary desire is to be helpful in alleviating this tragic suffering, and to support any efforts in bringing animals to a higher plane in the estimation of, and a greater respect by, the human race,” William Hunter Young said.
The organizations who received a portion of the $160K in grants include:
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.
He became a single parent when his son Dominque was 17 months old. Sam decided he wanted something different for him and looked to the Catholic school system.
“I wanted something special for Dominque,” he shared. “I understood the point of education, even though I didn’t have it myself.”
Sam gushes when he talks about Dominque’s school.
The eighth grader attends St. Francis Seraph, part of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, located on Liberty Street in Over-the-Rhine.
“Once I got to meet Principal Wanda Hill, I fell in love with her,” he said. “She’s truly concerned with inner-city kids and her staff reflects that.”
Despite working two jobs, Sam has little “wiggle room” for school tuition. He receives tuition assistance from the Catholic Inner-City Schools Education Fund (CISE).
Founded in 1980, CISE exists to raise funds to supplement the dollars which the Archdiocese of Cincinnati contributes annually to urban schools.
Funds raised provide tuition aid to parents and school operating expenses. There are seven CISE K-8 schools under the umbrella of the Archdiocese.
A staggering 82 percent of the students in CISE schools live at or below poverty level.
There were about 1,350 students in CISE schools this year and most of these children receive tuition assistance.
“CISE is what makes this school possible,” Principal Wanda Hill said. “The tuition assistance makes it possible for the neediest people to come here. I tell the people at CISE, you are giving people a choice to come here. When you give them a choice, you give them dignity.”
And it works.
The CISE schools, which welcome children of all faiths, have a high success rate – 96 percent attending Catholic high schools successfully graduate and many go on to college. The class of 2006 has an 88 percent college enrollment rate.
Volunteer Harry Santen said part of the success is the commitment of parents to contribute towards tuition; it demonstrates their own commitment to the value of education.
Harry isn’t your average volunteer – he’s been with CISE for 20 years and was chair for 15. He also teaches pottery classes to the students and supports CISE financially through a fund at GCF.
“We don’t have a lot of bells and whistles,” Harry said, “But it’s a terrific education.”
It’s this lack of bells and whistles that led Harry to work with the CISE principals and create a program that will allow top students to live up to their potential.
Together with Tracy Moore II, Harry is launching the Leadership Scholars Program. Students at local Catholic high schools will serve as mentors to the top CISE students, with a focus on leadership.
“I think mentorship/role modeling is very important for the African-American community as well as education,” said Tracy, himself a product of Catholic schools. “I think that it will also give the students something to look forward to, to aspire to, help them dream bigger, and know that they can overcome the obstacles in their lives.”
As a father, Sam dreams big for his son and works hard to overcome obstacles. For instance, Sam had reservations about Dominque walking to school, beginning in the sixth grade, but talked to him about being alert and paying attention.
“Where we live on Walnut there is a lot of drama, even though the police have recently cleaned it up around there,” he said. “I’d make pretend I was going back inside the house and watch him, keep my eye on him.”
The father/son team is a dynamic pair. They are just one example of why people like Harry Santen, Wanda Hill and Tracy Moore are dedicated to CISE students and parents.
Dominque’s education at St. Francis will culminate in success – he earned a scholarship to attend Roger Bacon High School this fall.
The soft-spoken, well-mannered 13-year-old hopes to play football next year but said, “I’m going to concentrate on my classes first.”
Spoken like someone who keeps his eye on the obstacles.
His father should be very proud.
Harry Santen established The Leadership Scholars Fund, a designated fund exclusively benefiting CISE, in 2003. Many other GCF donors show support for CISE by suggesting grants totaling more than $2.5 million since 1996 from donor advised funds and two other designated funds.
Originally published in the 2006 Annual Report
While Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s current key equity strategies are focused on housing stability and economic mobility (particularly among women of color), support for affordable housing has long been a crucial pillar of GCF funding.
GCF made a three-year, $225,000 grant to the Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati in 2017, thanks to the generosity of our donors. The grant, in conjunction with funding from other organizations, has helped to preserve 200 units of affordable housing in Walnut Hill’s Alms Hill apartment building. Alms Hill’s residents are primarily African American, and many are elderly or disabled and living at less than 200 percent of the poverty level. Their building made news headlines in 2015 when the city of Cincinnati sued its out-of-state owner over substandard living conditions. A receiver was named to oversee repairs, which progressed amidst flooding and building fire setbacks. Despite the improvements, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced in 2017 that it would end Section 8 housing subsidies to Alms Hill’s tenants.
With a shortage of more than 40,000 affordable housing units in Greater Cincinnati, the building’s 140 families would have faced a strong possibility of homelessness if evicted.
Legal Aid, representing four residents and the Alms Resident Association, successfully sued HUD to stop the subsidy abatement, and support of the legal work involved was one element made possible by the GCF funding. Alms Hill was recently sold to one of the nation’s largest affordable housing developers. “We’ve had discussions with them,” Nick DiNardo of Legal Aid told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We think they are preservation partners with plans to rehab the property.” In addition to the rewarding outcome of 140 families who will be able to stay in their homes, Legal Aid says that the resident association has become empowered and will have a voice with the new owner.
“We at GCF, along with our donors, are focusing our investments on efforts that lead to real, tangible outcomes that address disparities and benefit the entire community at large,” said Harold Brown, GCF Vice President, Community Strategies. “This is a tremendous example of community partners coming together to resolve an equity challenge. We are thrilled that the residents of Alms Place not only will remain in their homes, but now have experienced the power of advocacy and organizing and feel empowered to determine their own destinies.”
As we wrap up 2019, we look back at our very impactful year of moving forward on many fronts! As your community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is grateful for the support of and partnerships with our donors, nonprofit partners and community stakeholders to bring about a more equitable future for everyone in our region.