News & Event
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).
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.
CINCINNATI (August 14, 2017) —The Greenlight Fund, in partnership with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, announced today a multi-million-dollar initiative to fight family poverty in our region. Together, they are investing $2.4 million to bring the Family Independence Initiative—and its innovative model of trusting and investing in family solutions—to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. This includes a $1.8 million grant from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its donors, the single largest grant in the history of the Foundation.
“We know that thousands of families are struggling with poverty, and we need to rethink how we invest in families and their upward mobility,” said Tara Noland, Executive Director of GreenLight Cincinnati. “We are excited to have the Family Independence Initiative bring their model to our region and learn from their data on what Cincinnati families in our community need to escape poverty.”
“As our region’s community foundation, our role is to create a community where everyone can thrive,” said Ellen M. Katz, president and CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “Our region is literally bursting with new energy and progress, yet we still have many in need. GCF and its donors are seeking new and innovative programs to help families in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky who have yet to benefit from that progress. FII is one such program and we’re excited to ensure we can rapidly deploy FII in our community.”
Founded in 2001, The Family Independence Initiative brings a new approach to fighting poverty by trusting and investing directly in low-income families across the nation so they can work individually and collectively to achieve prosperity. Families that partner with FII set goals they want to achieve, such as purchasing a home or continuing their education, and work together to help each other meet those goals. FII provides them with the technology platform to track their progress and then gives them access to resources, including cash, to accelerate the solutions that they’ve discovered themselves.
With sites in seven cities across the country, FII has partnered with more than 2,000 families investing in their solutions to escaping poverty. On average, during two years of engagement with FII, families report: a 23 percent increase in monthly income, 60 percent decrease in subsidies such as TANF and SNAP, a doubling of their annual income and assets, and increased education outcomes from their children.
Over the next four years, FII will work with community based organizations and other partners to reach 500 families in multiple neighborhoods across Cincinnati. They will be convening a launch team to help identify the neighborhoods they should focus on as well as families they should recruit.
“All families across America should have access to the resources and opportunities needed to achieve their dreams and we look forward to doing just that right here in the region,” said Jesús Gerena, Chief Executive Officer of The Family Independence Initiative. “While our initial goal is to reach 500 families, we hope to find more partners to double or triple that goal. Cincinnati benefits when all its families are economically thriving.”
In addition to the multi-year investment made by the Greenlight Fund and The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, FII’s expansion to Cincinnati is also supported by contributions from The Mayerson Foundation and SC Ministry.
Learn more about GCF's investment in the Family Independence Initiative
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The GreenLight Fund transforms the lives of children, youth and families in high-poverty urban areas by creating local infrastructure and a consistent annual process to: identify critical needs; import innovative, entrepreneurial programs that have a significant, measurable impact; and galvanize local support to help programs reach and sustain impact in the new city. Working in Boston since 2003, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area since 2012, Cincinnati since 2015 and most recently Charlotte in 2017, GreenLight aims to grow a national network of GreenLight sites that learn and work collaboratively to find and spread proven nonprofit solutions that achieve meaningful and measurable impact in our communities on the issues that matter most. Founding investors in GreenLight Cincinnati include the Deaconess Associations Foundation, Bethesda Inc., the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, Interact for Health, Procter and Gamble, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s, Duke Energy Foundation, the Cincinnati Business Committee, Bank of America and a number of individual investors.
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 an accredited 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.
CINCINNATI (May 14, 2020) — Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) and Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF) are pleased to announce a partnership to address our region’s critical need for affordable housing. The goal is to raise and deploy $5 million over the next five years to support affordable housing development projects throughout GCF’s tri-state, eight-county region.
GCF has made an initial investment of $1 million, and GCF’s Affordable Housing Impact Investment Pool (AHIIP) will provide the loan capital for acquisition, predevelopment, renovation and construction of affordable housing in the Greater Cincinnati metro area.
“CDF is grateful for our long-term partnership with GCF,” said Jeanne Golliher, CDF President & CEO. “This new $1 million investment to launch our Affordable Housing Loan Fund is symbolic of GCF’s community leadership on important issues. We value their ongoing confidence in CDF to positively impact the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky community with our lending to developers.”
As a result of the partnership and its strong track record of community development financing, CDF was recently awarded a $900,000 competitive, Capital Magnet Fund grant from the U.S. Department of Treasury.
“GCF is pleased that our AHIIP investment partnership – thanks to the generosity of our donors – will enable CDF to leverage this federal grant to support the development of high-quality affordable housing,” said Ellen M. Katz, GCF President and CEO. “This will make a difference for low-income families, and we invite the community to invest with us in creating a more equitable region where everyone can thrive.”
While the need for safe, affordable housing in our community isn’t new, the coronavirus pandemic has sparked even greater urgency. COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting the physical and financial health of our African American neighbors and other people of color, bringing already critical housing disparities to a tipping point. A 2017 housing study conducted by the Community Building Institute and commissioned by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky documented the need for an additional 40,000 units just in Hamilton County for families with incomes of $15,000 or less.
One of the first AHIIP-financed projects involves the renovation of two historic buildings in the 1700 block of Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine. “8K Development values inclusion and affordability in its real estate projects and strives to preserve and promote mixed-income communities,” said Michael Chewning, Partner, 8K Development. “Because of CDF’s flexible and competitive loan structure through the AHIIP, we are able to reserve six of the 10 residential units for individuals and families who are making less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income.”
For more information about investing with AHIIP, contact Robert Killins at GCF at 513-768-6151. Developers interested in applying for financing for affordable housing projects can contact CDF Loan Officer Mo Adlon at 513-977-7294.
About Cincinnati Development Fund
Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit lending institution that fills gaps not covered by traditional lenders. CDF provides funding for real estate development in under-served markets in the Greater Cincinnati area. Established in 1988, CDF works with financial institutions, community and government leaders and borrowers to support neighborhood revitalization. With high-quality management, sound loan servicing and asset management capacity, CDF has earned investor confidence and sustained high-impact lending that is responsive to community needs.
About Greater Cincinnati Foundation
The Northern Kentucky Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation is celebrating its 20th anniversary with Impact Grants totaling $125,000 for workforce development efforts in Northern Kentucky.
“These Impact Grants reflect our continued commitment to invest significantly in Northern Kentucky,” said Ellen M. Katz, President & CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF). “These grants, which represent a key targeted investment, align with GCF’s grantmaking strategy. By concentrating our investments in supporting Economic Mobility and Housing Stability across our region, GCF is deeply committed to ensuring that everyone in our community can thrive. Workforce development is an integral part of that mission.”
The grants have been awarded to:
In partnership with the Charles H. Dater Foundation and donors, GCF also recently issued a record 39 “Learning Links” grants, totaling $35,642, to schools in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its donors have granted $40 million to Northern Kentucky organizations since the Northern Kentucky Fund’s launch in 1998.
About the Greater Cincinnati Foundation
As the region’s leading community foundation, the 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. As of 2017, GCF is the 35th largest U.S. community foundation with net assets of $649 million.
All CPS students can have free broadband internet service from Cincinnati Bell through Connect Our Students program
CINCINNATI (August 25, 2020) — The Connect Our Students program has met its goal to provide free broadband internet access through Cincinnati Bell to every Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) student for the 2020-21 school year. The volunteer-led initiative primarily is funded by Accelerate Great Schools in partnership with GE Aviation; Fifth Third Foundation; Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, N.A., Trustee; Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF); and donors across the region.
One out of four CPS families don’t have broadband internet access at home. This equates to roughly 3,500 families and 8,500 children for whom school became inaccessible when education shifted online last spring at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This digital divide disproportionally affects Black and Latinx students.
“The Fifth Third Foundation is dedicated to supporting those who are in need, especially during times of distress,” said Heidi Jark, senior vice president and managing director of the Foundation Office. “We are closing the staggering digital divide by joining other organizations in providing broadband internet access – an educational necessity – to our local students.”
CPS recently announced that the district will have distance learning for at least the first five weeks of the upcoming school year and that all Pre-K through 12th-grade students will have devices. Students in grades pre-K through 1 will receive an iPad. Older students will receive laptops. Every CPS family can sign up for the Connect Our Students program. More than 1,700 CPS students have been provided internet service through the program so far.
“The digital divide is an especially challenging obstacle for urban school districts. We are grateful to all of the wonderful organizations and donors who have contributed to the Connect Our Students program, ensuring every child in our CPS family is able to effectively learn in a distance environment,” shared Laura Mitchell, superintendent of CPS. “We encourage all CPS families who don't have internet access in their homes today, to call and sign up immediately. If you've recently moved, please ensure your contact information is updated in our system by calling your school or our customer service line at 513-363-0123.”
Tens of thousands of public school students in Greater Cincinnati do not have reliable computers and broadband internet connections. After a successful pilot program this summer, Connect Our Students will improve digital equity through its partnership with Cincinnati Bell, which is providing low-cost internet connectivity to students across the region (less than $17/month or $200/year). Thanks to the generosity of the community, CPS families will get the service for free for one year, with no installation or equipment fees.
After signing up, families can install the service themselves or request a technician to install it for them in a matter of days. Cincinnati Bell will not hold past balances against any family. The service includes measures to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act to limit access to harmful content and ensure the safety of children.
“The digital divide widens opportunity gaps between students across Cincinnati. Without internet access at home, students lose valuable learning time during this period of distance learning," explains Brian Neal, CEO of the Cincinnati-based non-profit Accelerate Great Schools. "This initiative will help ensure that all Cincinnati students have equal access to remote learning this school year.”
“When generous organizations and people come together, we are a force to be reckoned with,” said Ellen M. Katz, president/CEO of GCF. “Thank you to the Fifth Third Foundation; Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, N.A., Trustee; Accelerate Great Schools; and our donors for creating an equitable playing field for our children.”
To sign up, call Cincinnati Bell’s dedicated Connect Our Students line at 513-566-3895.
Connect Our Students also is funded by The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. U.S. Bank Foundation; Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Interact for Health; Strive Partnership; American Sound and Electronics; Difference Maker Legacy Fund; United Way of Greater Cincinnati; Cincinnati Regional Business Committee; the Giovani Bernard Family Foundation; and Jenny and Tom Williams.
If you are interested in supporting this initiative, visit connectourstudents.org to donate to support parent outreach and technology support for CPS families.
About Accelerate Great Schools
Accelerate Great Schools (AGS) is a non-profit with the mission to ensure every student in Cincinnati – regardless of zip code – has access to great schools. Since 2015, AGS has invested in district, Archdiocesan, and high-quality, non-profit charter schools to ensure all families have great school options. GE Aviation provides funding to Accelerate Great Schools to support district investments.
About The Fifth Third Foundation
Established in 1948, the Fifth Third Foundation was one of the first philanthropic foundations established by a financial institution. The Fifth Third Foundation supports worthwhile organizations in the areas of education, health and human services, community development and the arts.
About Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee
Created in 1903, the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, N.A., Trustee, supports charitable or educational purposes; for relief in sickness, suffering and distress; for the care of young children, the aged or the helpless or afflicted; for the promotion of education, and to improve living conditions.
About Greater Cincinnati Foundation
As the region’s leading community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) 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.
CINCINNATI (January 31, 2018)—The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) has provided $25,000 in funding to support The Cincinnati Project, a community-engaged research initiative at the University of Cincinnati (UC). The funding will go to support projects that offer clear and direct benefit to women of color in Cincinnati.
“As GCF goes deeper on the complex issues of equity, we are intentionally investing in projects that support women of color in our community,” said Ellen M. Katz, president/CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “By partnering with The Cincinnati Project, we can support the many innovative projects they are tackling, and we are inspired by what they are doing.”
The Cincinnati Project was launched in 2013 by faculty researchers in UC’s College of Arts and Sciences. More than 12 University of Cincinnati faculty and students from their classes will be involved in these upcoming projects.
Funding will support:
“We are thrilled to partner with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation,” said Dr. Jennifer Malat, UC College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean of Social Sciences and co-founder of The Cincinnati Project. “With their support, and the continued support and collaboration of our other community partners, The Cincinnati Project will raise the voices of women of color and collaborate to recommend policies that will improve lives.”
“The support from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation is an important validation of the work that The Cincinnati Project has been doing for the last several years” said Dr. Ken Petren, Dean of the UC College of Arts and Sciences, “I’m confident that this partnership will not only help improve the lives of women in color in Cincinnati, but also provide hope and assistance to our other partners and organizations who are working for equity in Cincinnati.”
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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