News & Event
What began in 2009 as an urgent response to a national economic meltdown grew into a three-year initiative to help the Greater Cincinnati region weather the worst of what was ultimately a cataclysmic economic storm. The Weathering the Economic Storm (WTES) initiative brought together
As we bring WTES to a close we are proud to report that this initiative has touched the lives of nearly 95,000 children, adults and seniors. $4.5 million in grants was awarded to 127 nonprofit organizations in the areas of safety net services, housing stability, early childhood education, organization stabilization. In addition, an investment of $99,000 has already leveraged more than $5.5 million from federal and state sources.
GCF’s overall investment of $1.7 million leveraged an additional $2.75 million from other local funders and individual contributors.
CINCINNATI (February 2, 2016) — The Women's Fund's talks to Soapbox Cincinnati about how gender affects a variety of issues in the community, and that gendered lens often helps reveal solutions to those issues.
The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation leads our community in ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region. We thank Soapbox Cincinnati for featuring our work!
Cincinnati, OH - August 8, 2011 - The Weathering the Economic Storm (WTES) funding partners recently granted $98,500 to assist nonprofits with unforeseen needs. Over the past three years, the partnership has been dedicated to helping nonprofit agencies and clients struggling with the impact of the economic recession.
Grants were awarded to Center for Great Neighborhoods, Clermont Senior Services, Little Sisters of the Poor and People Working Cooperatively. Each of these nonprofit organizations is addressing the needs of individuals and families by providing emergency assistance and/or opportunities for economic and/or housing stability.
The WTES funding partnership, convened by The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF), has served more than 65,000 individuals and awarded more than $4.3 million to 116 organizations.
Strategic collaboration strengthens results, as proven by a recent federal grant awarded to the Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneurship Council (NKYEC).
Last month, NKYEC, in partnership with the Northern Kentucky University’s Institute of Health Innovation and St. Elizabeth Healthcare, was awarded a $731,250 grant to build the Northern Kentucky Health Innovation Initiative (NKY-HII). This grant through the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s 2018 i6 Challenge is the first time i6 Challenge funds have been awarded in Kentucky.
The grant application required the commitment of a 100 percent match from other funders. Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) was among those supporters who expressed their belief in this program by committing matching funds, bringing the total benefit to more than $1.4 million.
A bit of history: In 2017, Northern Kentucky’s UpTech business accelerator, with support from GCF, applied for a federal i6 grant but was unsuccessful in receiving it. The takeaway, however, was a learning process that resulted in a coalition of existing and new regional entrepreneurship assets through the newly established NKYEC.
By taking inventory of the region’s assets, focusing on intense collaboration, seeking consolidation and efficiency opportunities, capitalizing on regional strengths and adopting a “30-year view” of the work, NKYEC was able to leverage its collective impact to successfully attain this grant in 2018 – and also a $750,000 grant from the KY Innovation’s RISE program through Kentucky’s Office of Entrepreneurship at the Cabinet for Economic Development.
These achievements speak to the power of community partnerships – an essential GCF priority – and affirms that by making sure everyone is at the table and no organization is working alone, a much greater impact can be accomplished.
“The power of the Initiative’s partnership will allow the region to build a world-class health innovation initiative and is the primary reason we were awarded these funds,” Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Tri-ED) Senior Vice President Casey Barach said in a news release. By aligning Northern Kentucky’s top economic development, healthcare, university and startup accelerator assets, NKY-HII will stimulate and commercialize health innovation, creating jobs and attracting companies and talent to the region.
CINCINNATI (January 13, 2017) - The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation has received $150,000 from the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee. These funds will support numerous projects furthering the fund’s mission to ensure the economic self-sufficiency of women.
Funding will support research into domestic violence triggered by employment advancement. The Women’s Fund and its community partners have been collecting data on this phenomenon for the past six months. This grant has attracted the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to do a local qualitative study to better understand the situation and provide solutions.
Funding will also support a series of workshops for local foundations on gender lens grantmaking that will help drive more effective investments with non-profit partners.
“The Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund was created to honor Jacob Schmidlapp’s daughter, Charlotte and support women’s educational and economic advancement,” said Meghan Cummings, executive director. “We are honored to celebrate her legacy by putting these funds to work on projects that support women and encourage their advancement. This grant is a transformational investment in our work.”
Together, The Women’s Fund and the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund are making a powerful difference by driving top-level change and leadership on these important issues.
Doris Leonard claims she’s ordinary.
A native of Bethel, Ohio, she was an only child raised by Depression-era parents who courted by mail.
“My mother and dad were very ordinary people, just as I am,”she said. “Nobody special, but it’s enjoyable to help someone. It really is.”
Ordinary or not, Doris has an extraordinary heart.
As a young woman, she left Washington University to return home and care for her parents until their deaths.
“I grew up with the attitude that what you have, you give back,” she said. “My parents had grownup in an era where to survive you had to share and it didn't matter if you had a lot. They never had a lot of money.”
Doris said she was also influenced by Bill Friedlander; she was his assistant for 25 years at Bartlett & Co.
She learned a lot by observing Bill and his wife Sue—she noticed that they didn't just write checks to charities, they gave of their time and influence as well.
It was also through Bill that Doris first became acquainted with GCF.
When Bill was appointed GCF’s Volunteer Director in 1990 he brought Doris with him. She got to know the Foundation and the community through her work with grants.
More than 20 years later, she’s still interested in the work of the community foundation.
“I know a lot has changed but the bottom line is the same,”she said. “You (GCF) don’t just hand out money because someone says they have a good cause. You do due diligence, you do your homework. But you also err on the side of compassion and I like that too. I like the fact that GCF is broad-based and has its fingers in so many different pies.”
When Doris found herself with extra assets, she turned to GCF for help.
“I decided, ‘let’s make this money work for somebody else,’”she said. “I know if I go through GCF, they are going to do the paperwork. They make it easier.”
By opening a donor advised fund, Doris knew she could give to the areas she’s passionate about—education, children and senior citizens. She also felt strongly about supporting the Weathering the Economic Storm Fund, established last year during the economic downturn.
Not only did this collaboration remind her of how people helped each other during the Depression, she was impressed that a group of foundations and corporations were pooling resources and making decisions together.
“I felt it was something that needed to be done,” she said. “My ten cents doesn't go very far but if you put it with somebody’s 50 cents you get 60 cents to work with and can do more with it. You leverage it.”
What would her parents think about her ability to give away money?
“They would be proud and I think they would be shocked that I have enough money to do something with,” she said. “In fact, I’m shocked.”
Doris shared that at her death, her donor advised fund will turn into an unrestricted fund and increased through a bequest.
“After I’m gone, I want the assets that I have to continue to give something back,” she explained.“God has been very good to me, much more so than I really deserve. He has blessed me in so many ways and I just want to give some of it back. I’m not a Pollyanna, I’m not a do-gooder, I’m not any of those things, I just got to thinking it would be nice.”
Not just nice. Extraordinary.
Originally published in the 2009 Annual Report to the Community
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