News & Event
CINCINNATI (September 16, 2015) — Learning Links, a Grants for Kids program of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) recently awarded 148 Learning Links grants for a total of $135,274.
Thanks to the generosity of donors past and present, GCF is able to support creative and interesting projects for classrooms in the Greater Cincinnati region. Learning Links grants provide up to $1,000.
Since 1992, more than 3,000 Learning Links grants have been awarded, totaling $2.4 million. The Charles H. Dater Foundation is also a major supporter of the program. GCF received $40,000 from the Dater Foundation toward Learning Links.
Examples of projects funded this year include:
Academy of World Languages (Hamilton County) uses multicultural books and iPads in its library to encourage and support reading literacy in kindergarten through the third grades. Refugees or immigrants from more than 50 countries make up 50 percent of the school’s population.
Florence Elementary School (Boone County) uses microscopes in elementary science classrooms to enhance the science experience. Students will learn the parts of a microscope and learn how scientists use them in life science.
Milford High School (Hamilton County) has an elective English class “Seniors Read with Second Graders.” High school students read with at-risk elementary students to improve their literacy.
Silver Grove Elementary School (Campbell County) engages parents with a Family Science Night. Parents will work with their students on hands-on activities. The event encourages parent participation, science, and literacy skills.
Many GCF donors serve as volunteers on the committee making Learning Links grant decisions.
Thank you to this year’s committee:
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.
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.
The David C. Herriman Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) has granted its 2019 awards to two regional arts organizations, Know Theatre of Cincinnati and Revolution Dance Theatre.
The grants, the first for the fund, will be awarded annually to arts organizations in the eight-county GCF funding region — Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties in Ohio; Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn County in Indiana.
They honor the legacy of the late Northern Kentucky philanthropist and arts patron David C. Herriman, who established the fund for the purpose of “making possible what would otherwise be impossible” for both large and small arts organizations. The awards will particularly focus on new works, the education of youth and performance enhancement through funding to bring in performance artists, directors, choreographers, authors, musicians and other creative artists.
“We are thrilled that David’s immeasurable passion for the advancement of the arts in his adopted hometown lives on in such impactful ways,” said Ellen M. Katz, GCF President/CEO. “We are honored to help ensure that his vision will be preserved for generations to come.”
Know Theatre of Cincinnati will receive $30,000 to fund its “Welcoming New Voices to the Know” guest residency program for artists of color during its 2019-2020 MainStage season. The Over-the-Rhine theater will conduct a search for up to four guest directors and/or designers of color from New York and Chicago to provide fresh perspectives to their audiences and shadowing/mentee opportunities to local artists. Know Theatre is recognized as a “theatrical playground where all are welcome,” amplifying under-represented voices and presenting inclusive productions.
Revolution Dance Theatre (RDT) will receive $10,000 to fund its Ballet on the BLOC collaboration with BLOC Ministries to bring high-quality arts experiences and classical dance access to the Lower Price Hill community. The funds will be used to cover professional fees for residencies at Oyler Elementary School and the neighborhood Q-Kidz Dance Team, as well as an extended residency with instructor KaRon Brown-Lehman, monthly events for intermediate and advance level dancers and a performance at Aronoff Center for the Arts. RDT is dedicated to “breaking barriers between the ballet art form and people of color” by bringing dance classes and resources to under-represented communities and producing works that celebrate diversity.
The anonymous committee that considered the funding requests includes a member of the arts community, a faculty member of a local university or college and a person representing a county of GCF’s funding region, a position which will rotate each year between the eight counties.
“Our committee was pleased and proud to review many excellent applications,” said a committee member. “The process underscored the depth and strength of the arts community in which we live and work. David’s goal of ‘making possible the impossible’ most clearly resonated in the grants to Know Theatre and Revolution Dance Theatre. We encourage all to attend their grant-winning performances to enjoy the impact of a most cherished friend and philanthropist, David Herriman.”
The David C. Herriman Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation will award up to three grants — one large, and one or two smaller — totaling $220,000 in 2019. GCF will publish a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the next funding cycle in April. Proposals will be due on October 1.
During this grant cycle, the Foundation invested $815,000, in programs that improve the self-sufficiency of Greater Cincinnati families. This focus is related to the Foundation’s mission of investing in a more vibrant and prosperous Greater Cincinnati where everyone can thrive.
“The grants that are providing training for quality jobs, access to quality early childhood education and stable housing will help close the gap on inequalities,” said Ellen M. Katz, president/CEO. “We’re committed to our region and believe in pooling resources to have a greater impact. We are ready to shape the future where everyone thrives.”
The AMOS Project is receiving $120,000 over two years to expand its community mobilization effort toward crafting a more equitable economy in the Greater Cincinnati region.
The Greenlight Fund is receiving a $50,000 grant to support the launch of the Family Independence Initiative, a program that trusts and invests in low-income families so they can work individually and collectively to achieve prosperity.
Catholic Charities is receiving $25,000 to build capacity to more fully serve immigrant legal needs.
Freestore Foodbank is receiving a $50,000 grant for LIFT (Logistics, Inventory Management, Facilities Management and Transportation) the TriState, a 12-week workforce development and job placement program offered at no cost to participants.
Lawn Life is receiving $45,000 to continue a transitional employment manager position which supports hard-to-hire youth in finding their first job beyond this training program.
Mercy Neighborhood Ministries is receiving $100,000 over two years to expand its health career pathway curriculum by adding the next level of home health aide training.
The Children’s Home of Cincinnati is receiving a $75,000 grant for the Promoting Resilient Children program in Price Hill, which supports early childhood mental health.
Children, Inc. is receiving $70,000 for a capital campaign to renovate a child care center in Bond Hill, a quality preschool desert in our region.
Cincinnati Early Learning Centers is receiving a $50,000 grant for its Price Hill Center to build additional classrooms and teacher training booths. Price Hill is also a quality preschool desert.
Cornerstone Renter Equity is receiving a $35,000 grant to expand its renter equity efforts to reach more working low-income families with this unique, innovative model that promotes social mobility.
Housing Opportunities Made Equal is receiving a $40,000 grant for the Housing Stability Program for At-Risk Students program at two Price Hill schools.
Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati is receiving $225,000 over three years for its Stabilizing Neighborhoods program to support housing litigation and policy change in Hamilton County.
In this grant cycle, GCF donors contributed $130,000 towards multiple projects through the Foundation’s Generous Together program, which provides donors an opportunity to partner with the Foundation in giving grants. An example is GCF partnered with donors to make a $50,000 grant to Lighthouse Youth Services’ A Place to Call Home capital campaign. This grant will go towards creating a seamless system of care to support the unique needs of youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s Community Fund supports the greatest needs in our community. Contributions to GCF’s Community Fund build more resources to invest in the good work of nonprofits in our region. Contributions can be made at www.gcfdn.org/yourcommunity.
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.
“Our grant recipients work hard every day to make changes to systems that improve women’s lives and help them provide for themselves and their families,” said Meghan Cummings, Executive Director of The Women’s Fund. “From job training to changing tires, they help women and families, making the Greater Cincinnati region a better place.”
These $500 – $2,000 grants focus on supporting systemic efforts to improve women’s incomes, job security, and their ability to provide adequately for themselves and their families.
The following organizations received funding:
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 grantmaking, 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.
Learn about The Women’s Fund report 2014 PULSE: 2020 Jobs and Gender Outlook here.
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.
CINCINNATI (September 24, 2020) — Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) has awarded $1 million to six area non-profits from its new Racial Justice Fund.
Established June 2020 with a commitment of $5 million over five years, the goal of the Racial Justice Fund is to advance matters of fairness and justice with a critical focus on the systems that affect the Black community, specifically criminal, economic and social justice. More broadly, the fund seeks to address the root causes of systemic racism in our community through policy change.
GCF supplemented its own research and data compilation by speaking directly with social justice organizations and community members about the region’s greatest needs and the work underway that could be accelerated with additional support.
“We are inspired by these passionate organizations that are on the ground, rallying against injustices and moving our community forward,” said Ellen M. Katz, President/CEO of GCF. “Through the Racial Justice Fund, we are excited to amplify their work.”
The current Racial Justice Fund grant recipients are:
Ohio Justice and Policy Center
Leading criminal justice reform entity in our state working to protect the rights and dignity of incarcerated people; the Racial Justice Fund will support operations and capacity building.
Ohio Transformation Fund
A funder’s collaborative committed to equity in Ohio and working on policy to reduce the number of Ohioans incarcerated; the Racial Justice Fund will support traditional and rapid response grants.
National Development Council (Technical Assistance)
Ensures black-owned businesses recover from COVID-19; the Racial Justice Fund and co-investment funds will support women-owned businesses & solopreneurs.
Coaches economically marginalized individuals to launch, maintain and grow enterprises; the Racial Justice Fund will support small business grants to Mortar’s network of alumni entrepreneurs facing closure and income loss due to COVID-19.
The Heights Movement
Resident-led organization serving the first predominately Black self-governing community north of the Mason-Dixon line (est. 1947); the Racial Justice Fund will support operations, advocacy efforts and help move the shooting range out of Lincoln Heights.
Queen’s Village of Cradle Cincinnati
A supportive network of Black women and an initiative of Cradle Cincinnati, this community empowers the voice of Black women around decision making and racial healing. The Racial Justice Fund will support operations and growth in the network’s social capital.
“Our initial grants signal the beginning of what is a multi-year commitment by the GCF Governing Board to address the root cause of inequity within our community,” said Delores Hargrove-Young, GCF Governing Board Chair. “We hope to inspire other funders and donors to join us in this effort.”
Through the Racial Justice Fund, GCF empowers non-profit partners to rely on their expertise to apply multi-year investments to programs or initiatives that will provide the greatest impact to our community.
In addition to making its initial investments, GCF is committed to including the voice of the community and those most impacted in this work. GCF has identified Black-led research and consulting firm Praxis Matters as its lead partner. Between now and the end of the year, Praxis Matters will host community conversations with grassroots organizations and residents to better understand the challenges surrounding racial justice work. Based on these insights, Praxis Matters will work with GCF to identify focus areas, needs and investment priorities to maximize the impact of the Racial Justice Fund moving forward.
Individuals interested in contributing to the Racial Justice Fund can go to gcfdn.org/racialjusticefund.
About Greater Cincinnati Foundation
CINCINNATI (August 22, 2019) — Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) has awarded nearly $445,000 in Supporting Educational Success grants to 19 nonprofit organizations within its eight-county region.
These grants support innovative in- and out-of-school educational programs that reduce disparities in educational attainment or that increase social emotional learning and health for students of color and/or those of low socioeconomic status. Funding can be used to maintain, expand or strengthen existing programs, enact capital improvements, launch a new program or build organizational capacity.
“Our Supporting Educational Success grant recipients have demonstrated that their innovative initiatives positively influence educational outcomes for our youth,” said Ellen M. Katz, GCF President/CEO. “On behalf of our generous donors, we are proud to invest in the work they do, as it is foundational to creating a more equitable region for all.”
Grantees and their awarded amounts are:
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butler County
$14,500 for Site Based Mentoring Program at Woodland Elementary School
Bonds of Union
$25,000 for Ascend Initiative at Bond Hill Academy
$20,000 for College Ready: Breakthrough Cincinnati 2019 Summer Scholars Program
Central Clinic Behavioral Health
$25,000 for Increasing Social-Emotional Learning and Educational Success
$25,000* for Education in the Gateway: Chatfield College Co-remediation Program
Children’s Home of Cincinnati
$25,000* for Youth Thrive: Promoting Protective Factors for Students
Cincinnati Youth Collaborative
$30,000* for Jobs For Cincinnati Graduates Middle School Program
$25,000 for Work Based Mentoring
DePaul Cristo Rey High School
$25,000* for All In @ 10
$19,000* for Urban Art Instruction to improve Student Achievement Outcomes in Under-performing Inner-city School
$25,000 for Catch Every Child (CEC)
$25,000* for SEL Equity Program
James W. Miller Memorial Fund
$25,000 for Building Resiliency in Schools
Junior Achievement of OKI Partners, Inc.
$25,000 for Inspire Career Exploration, Produced by Junior Achievement in collaboration with community partners
$25,000 for Mentoring Plus-Mentoring and Case Management
Notre Dame Urban Education Center
$25,000 for Transforming Families through Literacy
Saint Joseph Orphanage
$20,000 for Social Emotional Learning Toolkit: Suite 360
St. Aloysius Orphanage
$25,000 for Implementation of Social and Emotional Learning at St. Al’s to Increase Academic Success
$15,000* for WORDlab: A Reading Intervention Program at Chase Elementary
*Grant amplified by the support of donors’ co-investment.
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.
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Cincinnati, OH 45202
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