News & Event
In 2017, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) adopted a new grantmaking schedule that aligns with our strategic We Rise Together focus on racial and gender equity. Our Request for Proposal (RFP) process targets diverse community needs on a quarterly basis throughout each year. We look forward to connecting donors with the purpose that drives their passions while supporting Greater Cincinnati nonprofit organizations that are moving the needle forward, creating a more vibrant community for all of us.
For 2020, GCF is expanding the window for applying for targeted grants, beginning with the Safety Net RFP. The submission deadline will be in January, but it will be launched in early December.
For 2020, GCF’s targeted RFPs will include:
GCF will again, in partnership with our generous donors and the continuing support of the Charles H. Dater Foundation, fund Summertime Kids and Learning Links grant programs in 2020:
Additionally, GCF will host Giving Circles in 2020.
Please watch our website for news on all of our 2020 RFPs and Giving Circles. For more information about GCF’s grant cycle, contact GCF Grants Associate Rosie Polter at 513-241-2880 or email@example.com. For more information about co-investing alongside GCF, contact your GCF philanthropic advisor.
We need to hear from you. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our region, country and world in so many ways. As your community foundation, we exist to guide you during these challenging times.
Greater Cincinnati Foundation has convened a group of regional funders (list below) and we want to hear directly from local nonprofit organizations about the anticipated needs in the upcoming months. By providing feedback in our survey below, we will be able to better prepare our resources to support and enhance the important work you do each day.
Thanks for all you do to make this community. We are stronger - together.
Regional Funders Collaborative
Greater Cincinnati Foundation • United Way of Greater Cincinnati • Butler County United Way • bi3 • Charles H. Dater Foundation • Deaconess Associations Foundation • Fifth Third Foundation • The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation • Hamilton Community Foundation • The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation • The Mayerson Foundation • The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. • Procter & Gamble • Scripps Howard Foundation • TQL • The Warren County Foundation • United Way of Warren County
How do you plan for a year like 2020?
Imagine a typical family. Linda and Alan raised a glass to toast the New Year, excited for a new decade. Linda was secure in her job as a Home Health Aide and Alan had an exciting new job as Head Cook at a local restaurant. Their children were soon to begin the second half of first and third grades. They had a small savings account and felt secure in their future. As a family of color from humble beginnings, they were proud of the hurdles they had overcome.
No amount of planning could have prepared any of us for what was to come.
Fast forward to April. Both Linda and Alan lose their jobs due to the impact of COVID-19. Alan finds a new job opportunity, however, the wage is significantly less than other people he knows in similar roles. But Alan stays in the position because his family’s situation is more urgent than seeking fair pay - perpetuating a vicious cycle. Racially inequitable systems disproportionally affect them every step of the way.
Then Linda tests positive for COVID-19, a disease that is ravaging communities of color at a disproportionate rate. Their small nest egg quickly disappears, and the needs of their children, the household and Linda’s medical bills leave them unable to make ends meet. They make their first of many visits to the food pantry and worry constantly about coming up with rent each month. It’s a reality they never imagined.
They had been making progress as a family and now have to face the reality that their race would hold them back from recovering. Systems – housing, health, employment – present the same hurdles they felt they had overcome.
Linda and Alan represent tens of thousands in our region who have found themselves in a precarious situation despite “doing everything right.” These families are why Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) has made building a more equitable community the driving focus of its work. This is our mission, especially during unprecedented times.
Support of GCF’s Empowering Communities Annual Fund ensured we were prepared to take swift action for our neighbors, while also remaining committed to long-term change. Our community leadership positions us to bring our community together, when leadership is needed most. The Empowering Communities Annual Fund has been essential to our building partnerships and convening others to understand and address the immediate and systemic challenges our Greater Cincinnati region faces – so many compounded by the pandemic.
In the first three quarters of 2020 alone, we made the following happen:
Community foundations, like GCF, exist to support the community they serve as needs of the region change over time. GCF is able to take that commitment to the next level because of the support from donors – like you. Your gift to the Empowering Communities Annual Fund will ensure we can continue to step forward as leaders for our community. The challenges in our community are not going to be solved by our grants alone – investing in leadership that empowers the community itself is vital to the alignment needed to create lasting change.
This year has made it clear: now is the time to create a more equitable community where everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential. We must all put our shoulder to the wheel, together. But this work is not possible without our generous supporters. Will you join hundreds of others in our region by contributing to ensure this work continues?
Your generosity matters to our community. See the enclosed form for ways to make your gift.
Thank you for fueling the work that will drive change in our community. Your gift makes a difference.
Ellen M. Katz
P.S. As we embark upon 2021, the Empowering Communities Annual Fund will continue to ensure our community is moving toward one that works for us all – especially people like Linda and Alan. Please give generously today.
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.
“In our efforts toward a more equitable community for all, we know that where people work and where they live are fundamental. Through our investments, leadership, convenings, advocacy, education and awareness building, GCF is committed to advancing equity in housing as a critical step to insuring that everyone has an opportunity to thrive in our community.” — Harold Brown, GCF Vice President, Community Strategies
As we enter our 56th year as a trusted and connected community partner, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) continues to make strides along the pathways of racial and economic equity. The most recent result of that purposeful and strategic focus is a series of community leadership grants to five organizations engaged in impactful equity work.
GCF launched a redesigned community impact strategy in 2017 to spotlight equity issues. In response to a preponderance of challenging data — provided, in part, by extensive research by GCF’s Women’s Fund — we know that in our region, three out of four children living in poverty are being raised in single, female-headed and disproportionately women of color households. Cincinnati has the third highest child poverty rate in the nation, with 180,000 children growing up in families living below the self-sufficiency line. As a region, 72 percent of jobs pay less than self-sufficient wages, which lands us in the lowest bracket of upward mobility. Furthermore, there is a 40,000-unit gap in affordable housing, the result of which is that 60 percent of low-income households spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing (much more than the recommended 30 percent or less).
That is why GCF is committed to prioritizing a deep, concentrated focus on housing stability and economic mobility for people of color, and particularly low-income women. We revised our organizational community investment strategy, adopting explicit equity approaches that are also reflected in our grantmaking and directed funding opportunities.
Aligned with that mission, GCF made the single largest investment in our history — $1.8 million, together with our generous donors — to partner with the Greenlight Fund in 2017 to the Family Independence Initiative (FII) to Greater Cincinnati. The innovative, data-driven program empowers families to determine their own goals to move out of poverty. To date, more than 200 families have enrolled in the program.
GCF’s recent, concentrated community leadership grants also exemplify that vital equity strategy. They include:
Through these and future grants, GCF is determined to move the needle on housing stability and economic mobility in life-changing ways that benefit all of us with a more vibrant, inclusive community.
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.
CINCINNATI (May 25, 2017)—Affordable housing is an important topic for the Greater Cincinnati region. The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) holds the unique privilege to be at the forefront of working on solutions to pressing issues such as this and partnering with community organizations that are on the ground making an impact in their community. GCF hosted a lunch and learn event where our donors and community partners could hear about new research focusing on the impact of affordable housing and learn what initiatives are being taken to solve the issue.
The expert panel included Liz Blume, Executive Director of Xavier University’s Community Building Institute, Mary Burke Rivers, Executive Director of Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, Kathy Schwab, Executive Director of Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), and Noam Gross-Prinz, Assistant Program Officer at LISC. Each shared key insights and findings that support an overwhelming need to create a more balanced housing situation for Cincinnati and the surrounding region.
View the Facebook video of the panel discussion above.
Download the Affordable Housing presentation [PDF]
Thank you to all of the community experts who spent their time and energy sharing this critical information. Thank you to all those who attended the event and gave their thoughts and insights. GCF is proud to be a part of such a bold community, filled with passion to make where we live a place everyone can thrive.
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.
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