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“My dream is to find individuals who take financial resources and convert them into changing the world in the most positive ways.” — Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of Acumen
We all want to make constructive differences in our world, harnessing our passions to create significant opportunities for everyone to thrive and succeed. Impact investing is a purposeful way of leveraging the assets in your donor advised fund (DAF) to generate both meaningful social impact and monetary returns. Impact investing differs from your grantmaking tool in that it “recycles” your charitable capital forward for additional projects.
Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is committed to utilizing that power of impact investing to address the compelling lack of affordable housing in our region through our Affordable Housing Impact Investment Pool (AHIIP). Safe, affordable housing can be the linchpin for low-income families to move out of poverty, affecting their employment, education opportunities and health. High-quality, diverse housing options are the building blocks for stable neighborhoods, which provide region-wide benefits for all of us. According to LISC Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky’s 2017 Housing Affordability in Hamilton County report, in Greater Cincinnati, there is a critical need for 40,000 additional housing units that are affordable to extremely low-income households, defined as those making $14,678 or less. Of those households, 60 percent are paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing; the recommended housing cost burden is 30 percent.
Because we see AHIIP as an integral component of the equity call to action of the All-In Cincinnati report, we are committing $1 million of its targeted $5 million fund size. AHIIP will support a wide range of impact investments, from home ownership and rental options for low-income families to increasing the supply of high-quality rental units throughout our region. Together, we can strategically work to close the gap on affordable housing.
By partnering with GCF through your DAF, you can help to stimulate non-charitable financial support from other institutions and investors to substantially increase the collective power needed to fund these vital community projects.
GCF invites you to join us in this life-changing, community-building work. To find out more about AHIIP, please contact Robert Killins Jr., Director, Special Initiatives, at 513-768-6151 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This personal relationship with clients is indicative of HOC’s work; it supports neighborhoods in 20 counties in Ohio and Indiana by promoting and maintaining homeownership.
Services include education about saving to buy a home, the purchasing process, and home maintenance. HOC works with clients to prevent foreclosure, so when a secondary lender closed during the financial crisis, there was concern about homeowners like Doris.
“We provide intervention instead of foreclosure and this was the beginning of the foreclosure crisis,” HOC’s Executive Director Rick Williams said. “We were extremely concerned about these homeowners being in the hands of this large lender because we knew this one was very foreclosure-happy.”
Enter The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) and impact investing, a tool that recycles charitable dollars.
Impact investing uses charitable assets to invest in projects that can generate financial and social returns. The Foundation and its donors have invested $10.5 million to date on projects that create jobs, build homeless shelters, provide energy-efficient homes, build affordable housing, and prevent foreclosure.
As a leader in the field, Cincinnati’s impact investing expertise is being recognized around the country.
An impact investment in HOC allowed the nonprofit organization to buy 90 percent of the above-mentioned loans, enabling homeowners like Doris to keep paying their mortgages but having access to help if needed.
Roger Schorr, a long-time friend of GCF, was the first donor to make an investment using his donor advised fund.
“It just seemed a very effective way to leverage our assets,” he explained. “It was a way of making something happen without a lot required. Our fund can be paid back and do it again.”
“It’s not every day that there is access to this kind of funding, this fast, for this purpose,” Rick said. “We probably could have gone to a bank partner but the terms would not be what we enjoyed with GCF. The bank would have seen it as a way to make money, not as a way for us to help these homeowners and sustain our organization.”
Thanks to HOC, donors, and GCF working together, the values of homes like Doris’ are protected, positively affecting homeowners and neighborhoods.
That’s called making an impact.
As the holidays approach, more than 100 families in three inner-city Cincinnati neighborhoods have a stronger sense of housing stability in their lives, thanks in part to the 2017 expansion of a tenant advocacy program by Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) in three Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) elementary schools. Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF), in partnership with our donors, granted $40,000 to HOME’s Housing Stability Program for At Risk Students this past year and has been supporting it since 2014.
In those schools — Carson Elementary School, Oyler Community Learning Center and Roberts Paideia Academy — 125 families have received counseling on tenant rights and 76 were given financial assistance with housing bills to enable them to remain in their homes. We know that housing instability affects the health, work and education opportunities of families, and that half of the children in CPS schools change schools each year because of housing challenges.
Various studies have found that student mobility, especially multiple moves, can contribute to reduced engagement in school, poorer grades and a lower likelihood of graduating, and it is particularly hard on children in early grades. University of Chicago researcher David Kerbow found, in a study of 13,000 Chicago students, that those who had changed schools four or more times by sixth grade were nearly a year behind their classmates. As we reported in last month’s Amplify issue, higher eviction activity in our region over the past five years has increased the population of homeless families, which puts an even higher strain on their educational opportunities.
Parents who have participated in HOME’s school-based tenant advocacy program reported that they feel more empowered with the increased knowledge of their rights as tenants, and that they can now focus more of their energy on their children’s education. Since 2014, Carson Elementary School — the first school to participate in the program — has seen a 10 percent reduction in the student mobility rate, which helps to further educational success.
HOME, along with Legal Aid of Southwest Ohio, worked with The Cincinnati Project to identify and quantify patterns in our community to understand the components of eviction: who, how, by whom and the communities from which they are evicted. Eviction disproportionately impacts women of color and areas of high poverty in our region, which was mapped by The Cincinnati Project and received coverage in a WCPO-TV news story.
To support these types of equitable projects, please contact your GCF philanthropic advisor, who will reach out to you with specific funding opportunities when they are determined.
Mike shares GCF’s interest in a revitalized urban core, where entrepreneurs with bright ideas bring jobs to the region.
“There is a real synergy of what’s going on downtown and the entrepreneurship there,” Mike said. “They feed off each other.”
CincyTech is one of the organizations that is making this synergy happen. A seed-stage fund that invests in and provides management assistance to software and life science companies, CincyTech’s portfolio companies have created 833 jobs with a $79,000 average salary. The majority of these jobs are in our region.
GCF supports job creation and the work of CincyTech through Impact Investing and grants. Using charitable dollars, GCF and its donors invest in projects that can generate both social and financial returns. When principal and earnings are returned to donor advised funds, the resources can be reinvested in other Impact Investments or grants.
For Mike, Impact Investing was an opportunity to assist CincyTech through his donor advised fund.
“Donate once, give twice,” he said. “That’s the way I look at it. Not only do I get a return on my investment, I get to make an impact on the community.” GCF and its donors invested $500,000 in CincyTech’s Funds II, III, and IV. Fund IV is projected to create at least 600 jobs in Southwest Ohio, each earning about $80,000 a year.
“After the economic downturn, we needed not just to place people in jobs but to help create jobs here in Cincinnati,” said Robert Killins, Jr., program director of Vibrant Places. “We want to grow our local economy. Through CincyTech, we are investing in local businesses, investing in local jobs.
"The secondary return is the mindset change that young individuals view Cincinnati as a place for entrepreneurs,” he added. “They can get capital and mentorship through CincyTech to grow their businesses locally.”
“The work that we do and the redevelopment of the neighborhoods, it attracts people not only to the new companies, but the established ones like P&G,” said Bob Coy, president/CEO of CincyTech. “Everyone benefits.”
That’s an impressive return on an investment.
To date, $11.8 million has been invested in community projects and funds through Impact Investing by The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its donors. Mike Collette’s CincyTech investment was part of Generous Together.
Published in the 2015 Annual Report to the Community.
“Rather than have a big tombstone and all, I thought it would be better to have a scholarship fund” said Colonel Cecil Himes of Rocky Ridge, Alabama. It was a good fit for him to know his insurance benefits would be paid out to The Greater Cincinnati Foundation to establish to Fred C. and Jennie Himes Memorial Scholarship Fund.
“Batavia High School was very good to me and allowed me to go on to college and establish a career,' Col. Himes said.
He was so grateful for the opportunities he had through his education that he felt compelled to return the favor. He truly felt honored that he was able to help provide opportunities to Batavia graduates through a 4-year, $1,500 scholarship. As class president for three years and member of the Drama Club his scholarship awarded assistance to students who not only excelled academically but were active in various school activities.
Col. Himes was not only grateful to give back to the school that meant so much to him, he was also proud to give back to a community he never forgot although he moved away and travelled a great deal with the military. “After graduating from West Point and starting his military travel he still considered Batavia his home. He called it Cincinnati’s largest suburb,” commented Mrs. Himes
Not only has his fund provided opportunities to graduating students, it has also allowed him to honor the memory of his parents, Fred C. and Jennie Himes. “After the death of his mother (his father had died earlier) he wanted to do something in their honor and what better way than to establish a scholarship in their honor.”
Through Col. Himes’ generosity, the number of lives he has changed is profound. The students who have received scholarships always kept in touch through receptions and letters. Cincinnati is such a close community Mary Pitcairn, GCF’s Giving Strategies Officer, ran into a recipient on her bus route. A recent college graduate and employee at Fifth Third Bank, this recipient recalled how life-changing the grant was. Without his scholarship, a college degree would not have been a reality. Mrs. Himes explains, “Col. Himes has been so proud of every one of the recipients.”
He enjoyed a prestigious military career of 30 years. After his retirement he returned to school to continue his education, receiving his MBA from Samford University in Birmingham. During his retirement he enjoyed dancing, traveling, fishing and golfing. He also enjoyed gardening and his neighbors enjoyed his tomatoes.
Sadly Col. Himes passed away in 2009. His humble, generous spirit will be missed but his legacy and affect on young Batavia High School graduates will continue forever.
Find out more about giving through GCF.
I want to take a moment to thank you for being such an important part of The Women’s Fund family. I’m tremendously honored to lead this organization comprising so many passionate donors and volunteers.
I have been with The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation for more than four years and, quite simply, I live and breathe this work. Investing in women and their families is the strongest, most effective way to make our community more prosperous.
My vision is to make women’s self-sufficiency a community imperative—an issue that is discussed in back yards and board rooms and carried out through a dynamic plan of action.
Thanks to your support, the trajectory of The Women’s Fund has been exceptional. We are changing the conversation about women and girls in Greater Cincinnati.
I am grateful that you understand and appreciate the importance of the systemic work that we do. It makes all the difference.
Although I know many of you already, I look forward to reconnecting over the next few months and discussing your hopes for The Women’s Fund in the years to come.
We have so much more to accomplish together and I’m eager to hear your ideas. You can reach me anytime at email@example.com or 513-768-6144.
Thank you for your generosity and your confidence in our work.
The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation leads our community in ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region. cincinnatiwomensfund.org
Northern Kentucky philanthropist David C. Herriman, who passed away last year, was an ardent, highly visible supporter of the arts in Greater Cincinnati. His fund, established in 1986, continues to honor the legacy of his wish “to make possible what would otherwise be impossible” for both large and small arts organizations in Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s eight-county funding region. Herriman’s vision, to support unique and extraordinary arts performances, has a particular focus on new works, the education of youth and performance enhancement through funding to bring in performance artists, directors, choreographers, authors, musicians and more.
The David C. Herriman Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation is seeking requests for proposals. One large grant and up to two smaller grants will be awarded through a competitive process; applicants must be 501(c)(3) organizations in Ohio (Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Clermont counties), Kentucky (Campbell, Kenton, Boone counties) or Indiana (Dearborn County).
The deadline for proposal submission is 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. For information on how to apply, please refer to the Request for Proposals.
For further information, contact Lisa Davis Roberts, Senior Program Officer, at 513-768-6113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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