News & Event
By definition, a community foundation cannot be effective working alone or in isolation.
Together with donors, volunteers, professional advisors, nonprofit organizations, and civic leaders, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) contributes significantly to making our region a more thriving and vibrant place.
This year’s stories bring to life the power of partnership and the joy of working together.
A donor’s passion for innovative philanthropy inspired his decision to co-invest in a loan to a nonprofit organization using GCF’s impact investment program.
A couple’s dedication to education drew them to volunteer with a nonprofit group that partners with public schools to help kids achieve better student outcomes.
In an amazing story of love for an adopted community, you’ll see how the aspirations of three transplants who joined forces with GCF are planning legacy gifts that will help the region forever.
These personal stories are echoed in other ways across GCF’s broad community canvas.
For example, the trustees of The Helen Steiner Rice Foundation tapped GCF a decade ago to partner with them in fulfilling the legacy of this prolific inspirational writer.
And to help reduce high infant mortality rates in our region, GCF has supported Cradle Cincinnati — a team of funders, researchers, service providers, hospitals, government agencies, and staff working collectively to tackle the problem.
We are pleased to welcome GCF’s new President/CEO, Ellen M. Katz, who will carry forward the Foundation’s important role as a community leader and the effective stewardship of assets entrusted to us.
Dianne M. Rosenberg
Kathryn E. Merchant
CINCINNATI (June 30, 2017) — The Greater Cincinnati Foundation previewed our new Community Investment Strategy this week to 400 individuals representing 320 organizations that are making a difference in our community. The information presented is now available. We appreciate your feedback, comments and questions anytime. You can submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Please check our website for additional updates. If you would like to be added to nonprofit email list for updates, email us at email@example.com.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s goal is to build a more prosperous region where more people can thrive. As your community foundation, we are committed to connecting and supporting, inspiring and innovating and thinking big! Our role is also to align the goals for donors, past and present, with community needs and to champion greater giving to support projects, initiatives and organizations who make our region even greater. When this happens, we all rise together.
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.
When you set a table, the different elements — cutlery, plates, glasses, and, of course, the food — collectively create a welcoming experience. The same is true when you bring people together to make lasting change in our community.
GCF has created a table where we can help lead this change.
It’s called collective impact. Because of your generosity and commitment, Cincinnati has become a national leader, along with a special group of partners who are helping transform systems that will help change people’s lives for the better all across our region.
We have made multi-year investments in seven “backbone” organizations (see the list here), who serve as catalysts for change in various areas of civic life. These groups have agreed to work alongside and learn from each other, with shared goals and measures of success. We believe bringing all the elements of their experience together will nourish our community and help it grow.
Collective impact works because no single organization, program, or institution can bring about large-scale social change on its own. Individuals and groups work better when they work together, sharing visions and goals — at the same table you might say.
This commitment is a natural evolution of our other community investments to sustain important community change, for needs right now and long into the future. It builds on past efforts in our community that didn’t always have all the right ingredients to keep positive change going.
Change and community progress take a long time. GCF is proud that, thanks to generous donors past and present, we can commit to pulling our chair up to the table and staying there as long as it takes. And we’re thrilled that other communities are sitting up and taking note.
Agenda 360’s regional action plan aims to transform Greater Cincinnati into a leading metropolitan area for talent, jobs, and economic opportunity. Diverse by Design and other projects have grown through purposeful collaboration and aligning goals with other regional organizations.
Green Umbrella works to promote a more environmentally sustainable region, facilitating collaboration among more than 200 businesses and organizations. Communitywide projects like Paddlefest and Taking Root engage thousands, and coordination on planning and policies promotes sustainability for our region.
LISC Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky strengthens neighborhoods by mobilizing funding, providing technical and management help, and bringing awareness to public policy issues that affect neighborhoods. The “Place Matters” initiative has helped raise the level of housing, financial opportunity, and economic development in key Cincinnati neighborhoods.
Partners for a Competitive Workforce focuses on meeting employer demand by growing the skills of current and future workers. More than 150 partners have worked together to better align educational opportunities, improve work readiness, and connect qualified workers to employers.
The Strive Partnership is transforming education in Greater Cincinnati’s urban core. Shared priorities, data-driven continuous improvement, and aligned leadership and funding have helped create positive trends in kindergarten readiness, reading achievement, and college retention.
Success by Six® is the driving force that all children will be prepared to succeed in kindergarten. A focus on quality early learning, parent engagement, better support at school, and kindergarten readiness are key to continuing improvement that’s already been tracked for local kids.
Vision 2015 is a vision for the future and a plan to make Northern Kentucky the place of choice for families, businesses, and visitors. Vision 2015 now has close to 25 active projects involving 40+ partners.
This story appeared in GCF's 2013 Annual Report.
From our long work in this community, we’ve gained perspective on the many initiatives created to preserve our assets and address regional challenges. As you decide how best to deploy your charitable resources, we hope to be a helpful and trusted resource for you.
Because many of you seek our assistance on effective local grantmaking, we present a new way to partner and support your philanthropy. By combining your grants with ours, together we can help meet more funding requests in the areas about which you’re most passionate.
Co-investment is an opportunity for you and GCF to make a transformational grant that fully aligns with your interests in our community. It will never be an obligation. Interested donors will be invited to join GCF staff for site visits and have the chance to explore local organizations and GCF grantmaking in depth.
Last spring, Jackie and Roy Sweeney generously co-invested to support the Clifton Cultural Arts Center and renovations of its Auditorium. Their co-investment made that grant possible, and it secured funding for the Clifton neighborhood where Roy grew up.
“GCF brings giving opportunities that we would not have known about,” explained the Sweeneys.
As GCF launches this initiative, we’d like to know your thoughts. Would you consider co-investing? Please contact your Giving Strategies team at 513-288-2880 to learn more about the ways in which we can be generous together or to inquire about current opportunities.
CINCINNATI (April 20, 2016) — When workers own their business, productivity jumps. And this is the key Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative (CUCI) is banking on as they work to grow cooperatives in our region.
A cooperative, or a co-op, is an ownership structure where workers own the business, and it is a very successful outside the United States.
CUCI was formed in 2012 after the Great Recession hit, as a way to bring that success to the United States by increasing jobs, improving training, and creating sustainable businesses that look beyond just profit margins.
CUCI has taken the Mondragon model from Spain and brought this approach here to the Tristate region. “Cincinnati is on the leading edge of the movement of co-ops in the United States,” said Kristen Barker, executive director of CUCI, at a recent donor education event in at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.
CUCI believes the answer lies in creating worker-owned businesses which are competitive enterprises, foster social and economic justice, and empower worker dignity by creating jobs in businesses accountable to both their workers and the communities where they operate.
An important tenant for CUCI-incubated businesses is reducing the barriers to employment, where everyone’s skills, experience and education levels are put to good use. “Your attitude and ability to do the work is the most important factor (in being a valuable employee),” Barker said. “Absolutely everyone impacts the bottom line.”
Our Harvest sells to individuals, restaurants and other businesses. One special partnership is with New Jerusalem Baptist Church, turning this faith-based community into a healthy food access point.
“As we increase the amount we grown in the winter, the more we can employ all year round,” said Kristin Gangwer, CEO of Our Harvest. The co-op employees between 11-17 people and was recently able to grow all year and employ more workers throughout the year.
Zeke Coleman, a worker-owner with Our Harvest, spoke about his commitment to the organization. “I never got that experience in building a business before working here.” He also enjoys being able to help the community eat better. “I learned about sowing and weeding and it opened my eyes about eating healthy. The healthy food we provide helps us and our customers get the fiber and nutrients we need.”
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its donors have invested $50,000 in CUCI since its inception to provide economic opportunity through job creation.
CUCI has incubated other co-ops, including the Apple Street Northside Market and Renting Partnerships.
Special thanks to our speakers Kristen Barker, Kristin Gangwer, and Zeke Coleman for sharing their expertise with our donors.
Start your path to giving with 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 2015, GCF had net assets of $533 million.
While Justus and his family fought for his survival, other families suffered devastating loss. From 2010 to 2014, 522 babies in Hamilton County died. This puts our infant mortality rate among the worst 10 percent in the nation.
This unacceptable number pushed our city’s leaders to form a partnership for change: Cradle Cincinnati.
Government agencies, hospitals, the philanthropic community, educators, and parents share a vision: every child in Hamilton County will live to see his or her first birthday.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is one of these partners. To date, the Foundation has granted more than $71,000 to Cradle Cincinnati. Initial investments like GCF’s have leveraged $4.1 million in government funding.
“Every year, roughly 100 babies die in Hamilton County,” said Ryan Adcock, executive director of Cradle Cincinnati. “There are about 1,500 preterm babies every year and three-fourths of infant deaths are directly related to prematurity. If we want to follow infant mortality, we have to follow preterm births.”
Cradle Cincinnati is educating the community about this incredibly complicated issue, which factors in education, poverty, health, and the unknown.
It’s promoting three ways to save babies’ lives: spacing, (no) smoking, and sleep. Preterm birth is more likely if a mom gets pregnant less than 18 months after giving birth. Smoking increases the likelihood of premature birth. Babies sleep safest when they sleep alone on their backs and in a crib. Partners have blasted this message across the city on billboards, in offices, and on the radio.
“There is no one program or initiative that can solve this by itself,” Ryan said. “We really do need tons of partners. We are a collection of folks, not a program.”
The good news is that in two short years, there has been positive change. Previously, 16 babies died each year in Hamilton County from sleep-related causes. In the last year, this number has been reduced to seven deaths.
And Justus? He’s a healthy kindergartner at Glenn O. Swing Elementary School in Covington. He’s also part of a wonderful family — parents John and Sophia, and siblings Jackson and Joy.
“He’s the most rambunctious of the three,” John said. “He’s our daredevil.”
Being grateful for Justus’ full recovery is why the Scott family serve as spokespersons for Cradle Cincinnati.
“We’re a success story and we’re advocates for research and awareness,” John said.
As the three Scott children run around on a playground, John and Sophia smile.
It’s a happy ending more families can have with our community working together.
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