News & Event
CINCINNATI (August 12, 2015) – Meghan Cummings, CFRE, has been promoted to Executive Director of The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF).
“Meghan was the clear choice” said Wijdan Jreisat, chair of the Women’s Fund Leadership Council. “Her work and leadership over the past four years demonstrated that The Women’s Fund had cultivated a true champion for our work whose vision could lead us forward. She brings a passion for our work and a dedication to taking on complex community problems that require disparate groups to find common ground. She also has a track record of leadership in diversity and inclusion which honors our goal to speak for those whose voices are not often heard.”
The Women's Fund of GCF drives systemic change to ensure the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region. Established in 1995 as a designated fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, The Women’s Fund has led the community in assessing and identifying barriers to women’s economic self-sufficiency and catalyzing the community to achieve it through innovative projects and relevant policy. It has granted more than $1 million to support programs serving women and girls in our eight-country service area.
“Meghan has worked extensively to promote diversity and inclusion among the ranks of those working in fundraising,” said Sydney Schnurr, President of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. “She was instrumental in efforts to create an AFP diversity pipeline program called New Faces of Fundraising which is supported by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.”
Cummings most recently served as Assistant Executive Director of The Women’s Fund of GCF under the leadership of Vanessa Freytag, who recently became CEO of 4C for Children. She previously held positions with OneSight, Center for Chemical Addictions Treatments, and Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati.
“GCF is proud of the work The Women’s Fund has been doing for 20 years to improve the state of women and girls in Greater Cincinnati,” said Ellen M. Katz, President/CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “I am excited for the future of The Women’s Fund with Meghan at the helm. This energetic, bright, and knowledgeable new leader will maintain and build on the impressive momentum of The Women’s Fund.”
She is a Cincinnati Business Courier 2014 Class of Forty Under 40 honoree and the immediate past president of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Her other volunteer activities include serving on the board of the Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati, and committees of Philanthropy Ohio and the International Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Cummings holds a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University and Master of Business Administration from Xavier University. She has earned the designation Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), the global standard for the fundraising profession.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
CINCINNATI (April 3, 2018)—The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation announces the official launch of its new brand. The nimble nonprofit has grown in influence with its ground-breaking research, known as PULSE Studies, becoming the region’s expert on the status of women’s economic self-sufficiency.
The Women’s Fund fills an analytical void in the community; one which fuels success metrics of like-minded organizations such as the Childhood Poverty Collaborative, Hamilton County Job and Family Services and the newly created Hamilton County Commission on Women and Girls.
This brand refresh aims to attract and encourage community members to engage deeper with issues women disproportionately affected by poverty are experiencing.
"I am so excited to finally reveal our inspiring new look," said Meghan Cummings, Executive Director of the Women's Fund. "We are a strong voice for women in our community and our supporters rely on us to bring together community members and decision makers so we can solve big community problems faster. This new look will accelerate that."
To learn more about the Women’s Fund brand, visit www.cincinnatiwomensfund.org.
The Women's Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation leads our community in ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region. Through leadership, research, and policy advocacy, The Women’s Fund works to identify and address the barriers affecting working women and their families. Learn more and get involved at www.cincinnatiwomensfund.org.
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 $636 million.
CINCINNATI (October 17, 2017) — NASA Astronaut, American Engineer, physician and STEM advocate Dr. Mae Jemison will be the next speaker for The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s A Conversation With event on Thursday, April 5, 2018, at the Cintas Center.
General admission tickets are $50 each and will go on sale in late January 2018. Host and hostess tickets are $250 each, include a private reception with Dr. Jemison, and are on sale now at www.cincinnatiwomensfund.org. Corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available.
Following her time in NASA, Dr. Jemison founded both The Jemison Group and BioSentient Corporation. A technology consulting firm, The Jemison Group explores and develops stand-alone science and technology programs, integrating the critical impact of socio-cultural issues with revolutionary technologies. Among The Jemison Group's groundbreaking work is a project to use satellite technology for health care delivery in West Africa and another to use solar dish Stirling engines for electricity generation in developing countries.
In addition to all her work, Dr. Jemison is a highly sought-after speaker on issues of health care, social responsibility, technology and motivation. She has appeared on BBC, The McNeil Lehrer Report, ABC Nightline, NPR and CNN.
The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation leads our community in ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region. Through leadership, research, and policy advocacy, The Women’s Fund works to identify and address the barriers affecting working women and their families. Learn more and get involved at www.cincinnatiwomensfund.org.
CINCINNATI (January 22, 2018) – The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation has selected Melanie Healey as the interviewer for its 2018 signature event, A Conversation with Dr. Mae Jemison, Thursday, April 5, 2018, 5:30 p.m. at the Cintas Center.
Healey, former group president of Procter & Gamble, will interview Jemison, NASA Astronaut, American Engineer, physician and STEM advocate.
“Melanie’s rich expertise and stellar business accomplishments make her a natural complement to Dr. Jemison’s impressive body of work,” said Meghan Cummings, executive director of The Women’s Fund. “Our supporters attend this event seeking to learn from authentic community leaders who have forged their own extraordinary paths.”
Healey was listed eight consecutive years in Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business ranking. She has a long track record of accomplishments in several multi-national organizations.
General admission tickets are $50 each and will go on sale on February 1, 2018. Host and hostess tickets are $250 each and include a private reception with Dr. Jemison. They are on sale now at www.cincinnatiwomensfund.org. Corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available.
Purchase host tickets
All proceeds benefit the Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.
The Women’s Fund created “A Conversation With...” as a signature event in 2012 to highlight a female history maker to speak in an intimate setting – where she can share her journey, her triumphs, and her obstacles. Previous speakers have included Abby Wambach, Cokie Roberts, Lisa Ling, U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe, Phyllis S. Sewell and Marian Spencer.
As group president, Melanie Healey ran P&G’s overall operations in the company’s largest region/market (North America/US) and one of their large sectors (Health Care/Feminine Care & Adult Care).
She is a board director and strategic advisor. Her business and brand building expertise, multi-cultural and multi-national perspective, and passionate commitment to improving the lives of consumers, employees and the global community have led to engagement on corporate, industry, university and community boards. She is a board director of Verizon, Target, PPG, Urban Sitter, Beckon. Her previous board service includes Bacardi, Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, 3CDC (as chair), Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, University of Richmond and ArtsWave (as the 2014 campaign chair).
Healey is an inspirational leader who has increased stakeholder value by building diverse global organizations focused on a shared consumer focused vision, new product and commercial innovation, building brands, and driving operational improvements that deliver revenue, profitability and share growth.
In addition to Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business ranking, she has been named to Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women and Advertising Age’s Most Influential Women in Advertising.
The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation leads our community in ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region. Through leadership, research, and policy advocacy, the Women’s Fund works to identify and address the barriers affecting working women and their families. Learn more and get involved at www.cincinnatiwomensfund.org.
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.
Meghan Cummings, Executive Director of The Women’s Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation, is a Cincinnati native and graduate of Miami University. She lives in Maineville with her husband, Nate, and son Cameron.
Share a few details of your personal and professional background that helped to guide your path to Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF).
My background is in non-profit fundraising and that shaped my desire to continue helping people connect to the causes they care about.
I started my career at the Alzheimer’s Association, working as a development assistant and then coordinating their charity walk. I got to experience so many different facets of fundraising there which was a great training ground for future development and leadership positions.
After that I was the development director at the Center for Addiction Treatment in the West End. I was there at the start of the opiate epidemic and I saw firsthand how complex addiction is. I also saw how treatment helped restore people and families to their healthy selves. Then, I headed to the corporate charity at Luxottica Retail called OneSight. I’ve been really fortunate to work in direct delivery environments, in corporate and now at a community foundation. I love exploring how these different sectors can work together to create new solutions to complex community problems.
Another piece that has shaped my path to GCF was two study-abroad experiences I had while at Miami. As a political science and journalism major I studied European Union politics. My studies in Europe one summer taught me how policies made at the top levels ended up affecting individuals. That was really interesting from a political point of view and it translates into my work with the Women’s Fund. When we work on policy change, how will that end up affecting individuals? Will there be unintended consequences? We have to be really thoughtful and intentional.
The next summer I studied primary education in Kenya. One of the things I learned there is that wealth is relative. People may not have a lot of material things but they may possess something so much deeper. And I think that’s a really important lesson. We tend to look at poverty from the lens of what people are lacking. How can we first appreciate their unique value and assets?
What are your professional and community affiliations, and how do they inform your role at GCF?
I’m the board president for a non-profit called Beyond Civility. We bridge political difference through effective dialogue and train community leaders to communicate with civility and thoughtfulness. The premise of Beyond Civility is not for everyone to be “politically correct” or to agree politically — because we are wired to be different political beings. Its purpose is to have a toolbox of ways we can communicate effectively and value what each person brings to the table. When we get down to the human level there’s a lot we all have in common and it’s about having that process to be able to talk to people you don’t agree with.
That’s so germane to our work at the Women’s Fund — we’re a bipartisan group and we’re always trying to find common ground. On any issue we want to bring as many people to the table as possible. We meet people where they are and we hope to be a bridge builder in everything we’re doing for the Women’s Fund, so that training has been really important.
Who or what is your inspiration, and in what ways has that driven your passion for GCF’s mission?
I have a lot of people that inspire me — for different reasons. I think that what they all have in common, though, is that they are courageous and stand up for the right thing even when it’s not easy. For example, I love the Sisters of Charity. As a group they really roll up their sleeves, authentically dive in and serve the most vulnerable people in our community. Even when it’s not popular.
What are three things about you that most people don’t know?
I lived in Australia for a while after college.
I play the violin. It’s always been a big part of my life. Currently I play with a community group called the Seven Hills Sinfonietta.
I love, love, love to travel. Growing up, my mom worked for Delta and we were fortunate to travel a lot. I have an insatiable wanderlust to explore places where everything is different — the language, the food, the religion, the climate. It’s even more fun now seeing new places through the eyes of our six-year-old, Cam.
What do you like most about working at GCF?
I love being on the GCF team. I really care about equity and social justice issues, so it is a gift that I get to work on these issues everyday as a career. It feels core to who I am as a person.
I also love working with my team and developing people. Watching people grow and learn new skills as they develop into their own authentic selves is very rewarding.
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