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They’ve known each other a long time.
“Let’s just say his mother visited my mother in the hospital,” Glenda Schorr said of her husband Roger. “Our mothers played in the same bridge club, went to the same church and our fathers both worked in the local banks.
The Hyde Park residents are natives of Batesville, Indiana and began dating in college.
The Schorrs have more than their hometown in common.
Both grew up in households where they were taught the value of contributing to the community.
“Our parents were very giving,” Glenda said. “My Dad gave out of his own pocket. He worked very hard to make sure the farmers of the community were taken care of. If they were short on cash, he’d loan them his own money.”
“We just grew up in an environment where giving was expected,” Roger agreed. “My father didn’t make a lot of money but he always gave ten percent of his income.
Even when he was retired, he visited the sick. As a child, we always had orphans stay with us in the summer.”
Despite busy careers, Roger and Glenda have always made it a priority to give of their time and resources.
Roger, retired from Convergys Corporation, has been involved with United Way and on several boards for the last 25 years. Glenda has tutored children and plans to increase her efforts after her upcoming retirement as a preschool teacher.
When sharing their resources, the Schorrs use their donor advised fund at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation for 80 percent of their giving.
“GCF makes it easier to give,” Glenda said. “At the beginning of the year, we have a list of who we want to give to and we just fill out a form and it’s done. We don’t have to worry about it.”
“We’re also impressed with how GCF provides information on opportunities for gifts,” Roger said. “I feel comfortable with the fiduciary role it plays. So often we are faced with multiple gift requests and GCF provides the administrative support to keep track of them.”
The Schorrs’ own grantmaking focuses on diabetes and early childhood development. They give to diabetes research because of a family member. Roger says he became interested in early childhood development because of Glenda’s career as a teacher.
Roger called GCF a community leader.
“I like the leverage GCF brings to the community,” he said. “Its role is more than holding money — it’s providing leadership to high priority projects and community initiatives.”
“I feel better that GCF is more likely to fund things that obtain results,” he added.
Glenda remembered that both their fathers learned about the needs of the Batesville community in the local banks.
She and Roger find out about the needs of their community through GCF.
“There is such a proliferation of nonprofits — so many choices for giving,” Roger said. “I can easily use GCF to help me decide where I should invest my money.”
The Schorrs established a GCF donor advised fund in 1996.
Originally published in the 2005 Annual Report to the Community
“I fell in love with the city the moment I arrived,” said Katie Hesse.
“It’s easy to live here,” Laura-Aurora (L-A) Stopa added. “It’s just cosmopolitan enough.”
L-A and her husband Jeff reside in Burlington, Kentucky; both work in their adopted state. Jeff is a senior scientist/research chef at WILD Flavors & Specialty Ingredients and L-A is the director of member investments and engagement for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Katie lives in the Mt. Auburn neighborhood of Cincinnati; she helps others find new homes as a realtor for Coldwell Banker West Shell in Hyde Park.
Talking to these three about their community and charitable passions is as diverse as it is interesting. Animal welfare is important to Jeff and L-A (they love beagles). All three play a musical instrument. L-A has alopecia and plans to start a mobile wig nonprofit to help others. Katie sings in the Young Professionals Choral Collective. Jeff wants to help others with arthritis. L-A volunteers at DCCH Center for Children & Families in Fort Mitchell. Katie volunteers at ArtsWave.
What they also have in common is the foresight and desire to leave their assets to the new home they’ve embraced.
They all worked with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation to fulfill their goals through a gift in their will.
Katie found leaving her assets to GCF’s Community Fund was the logical choice.
“My goal is that my gift is preserved in an endowment,” she said. “I have no idea 20 years after my death what will be important to the community or what the greatest need will be.”
“The only thing I care about is that it’s an endowed gift. It goes into a bigger pot and the principal is never touched. It will grow and that’s what gets gifted. I don’t care where it goes as long as it goes to go to the greater good.”
L-A and Jeff decided to focus their legacy through a field of interest fund supporting their specific passions.
“I felt we were talking to people who were actually listening,” L-A said of GCF. “Because we don’t have kids, we don’t have anyone that could manage the money. We feel like you are our kids!”
“When it comes down to it, when you find the relationships, the friendships, and the camaraderie in an organization that helps you fulfill your individual goals, that’s the vehicle that works,” Jeff added.
Well said by a hometown guy.
“I started my presentation by asking them, ‘Tell me about yourself and your child.’ I noticed going around the table that their faces shined more when they talked about their children,” Garrette said.
“When it got back to me, my comment was, ‘I know you want the best for your children. What better way to do that than to prepare them before they actually get to school by giving them the tools they need to understand reading and writing?’”
Garrette was at the American Red Cross to teach these mothers the shared reading technique, part of United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Success by 6® initiative. Its vision is that by age six, all children in the region are safe, healthy and prepared to succeed.
Research confirms that what happens to children before the age of three affects the way their brains develop and if they are wired for learning or not.
Success by 6® grew out of initiatives proposed by Cincinnati CAN in 2003 and adopted by Better Together Cincinnati (BTC), a group of funders managed by GCF. It was a strong national model that could recommend strategies that help children get ready for school by working with parents, early childhood professionals and policymakers who can make a difference in a child’s success.
Research shows that more than half of children entering kindergarten within Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) are not on track for school readiness in early literacy and language development.
“We know kids are going into CPS less prepared,” said Success by 6® Executive Director Stephanie Byrd. “This creates an achievement gap over time. Research shows that kids that start behind never catch up.”
But shared reading can result in substantial changes in preschool children’s language skills.
Supported by this knowledge, Success by 6®, in collaboration with The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, trained a group of librarians in shared reading.
The librarians in turn trained child care providers, parents and agency workers.
Garrette, a former children’s librarian (now a library acquisitions manager) and mother of two, also uses shared reading with her three-year-old son Garrison.
“Shared reading, in a nutshell, is taking the lead of the child and letting them tell the story,” she said.
Shared reading is a conversation that uses three simple steps: comment and wait; ask questions and wait; respond by adding a little more.
“For example, my son Garrison is really into football,” Garrette explained. “If we were looking at a book with Rudi Johnson, I might say, ‘He has a helmet just like you,’ and I’ll spark that conversation.
“Or you could say, ‘That is a big helmet – it is humongous,’” she said. “I’ve learned through shared reading that children repeat
after you. They might say, ‘Humongous?’ They’ll make the effort to say the word they’ve just been introduced to.”
“I might say, ‘That is a beautiful butterfly,’ and I’ll sit and wait and my child might say, ‘Oh, flowers,’” Garrette said. “So then you start your questioning off with what they are interested in. I might think that butterflies are great to talk about but my son might think flowers are great.”
Shared reading has made such a difference with Garrison that he may enter preschool early, Garrette said.
As for the women she met at the Red Cross, she believes she empowered them to use shared reading, whether they could read or not.
“There is a fear in parents who can’t read or write that they can’t help their child,” Garrette said. “This is the perfect thing for them.
“Just because they don’t have a good economic situation doesn’t mean parents don’t care and don’t want the best for their children.”
In a nutshell, that’s what Success by 6® is all about – wanting the best for our children.
Better preparing them for kindergarten gives them a fair shot at success as they progress through school.
Every child in our community deserves that opportunity.
Success by 6® received $500,000 from GCF in 2002. This support was a result of GCF’s Future Directions II “community listening” process held to identify priority community issues in its six grantmaking areas. More than 300 community leaders and volunteers participated. As a result of these conversations, GCF committed $2.2 million over five years to four new initiatives, including Success by 6®.
Originally published in the 2006 Annual Report to the Community
CINCINNATI (May 23, 2016) — Are you a Kentucky taxpayer?
Beginning July 1, the Commonwealth will again offer the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit to individuals and businesses that pay Kentucky taxes. This year, the available tax credits have doubled to $1,000,000.
Endow Kentucky Tax Credit is a state tax credit of up to 20 percent of charitable gifts to endowed funds at a qualified community foundation, such as The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, for the benefit of Kentucky-based nonprofit organizations. (Maximum tax credit: $10,000 per individual or $20,000 per married couple.) The tax credit can be carried over for five years.
Your gift to The Northern Kentucky Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation or to any other endowed GCF fund benefiting Kentucky nonprofits (see more below), including endowments you may establish to support your favorite organizations, may be eligible for this tax credit. Additionally, federal and state tax deductions are also available for these gifts.
GCF endowed funds are market-invested, permanent funds from which a distribution is directed every year, in perpetuity, to the selected beneficiary nonprofit. By supporting an endowment, your gift creates a permanent source of funding for that organization.
A short half-page application for these tax credits is required. Because we expect the cap will again be reached on the first day, you are encouraged to apply on July 1, 2016.
For more information on this tax credit and assistance with the application, contact Laura Menge at 513-768-6170 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get the full details of the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit [PDF]
In addition to The Northern Kentucky Fund, which supports nonprofits doing critical work in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation manages many donor-created endowments. Among them are funds that benefit:
A gift of any size to these endowments may be eligible for the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit.
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.
“The one who plants trees, knowing he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.” — Rabindranath Tagore
GCF recognizes the people who have made a legacy gift plan with membership in the Foundation Society. Members gather for an annual luncheon celebrating their commitment, receive invitations to special engagement opportunities and learn about community initiatives through ongoing communications. More than 75 Foundation Society members attended their annual event this month at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.
For more information about options for setting up a planned gift, and membership in GCF’s Foundation Society, please contact Felicia Zakem, GCF Senior Philanthropic Advisor (513-768-6158, Felicia.Zakem@gcfdn.org) or your GCF philanthropic advisor.
"We love Endow Kentucky because we can make gifts that will last and have an impact on Northern Kentucky for a long time. The state tax credit to incentivize these gifts is so helpful in building support for important organizations in our community. It's a win-win." — Jordan and Lauren Huizenga, Covington residents who support Children, Inc. through a GCF endowment
The Commonwealth of Kentucky offers a tax-smart way for Kentucky income taxpayers — both individuals and businesses — to provide sustained support to their favorite Bluegrass-based nonprofit organizations, including schools and religious institutions. The Endow Kentucky Tax Credit enables them to receive a state tax credit of up to 20 percent of a charitable gift to an endowment for any Kentucky nonprofit at a qualified community foundation such as Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF).
The window for applying for the 2020 fiscal year tax credits opens on July 1, but it’s a brief opportunity. The $1,000,000 in tax credits available statewide will again likely all be claimed in the first week, so it’s imperative to submit the application to the Kentucky Department of Revenue before July 7.
Since 2011, GCF has helped many of our Northern Kentucky donors secure the Endow Kentucky tax credit. Their gifts, totaling $4.3 million, have benefited 24 GCF endowments that permanently support Kentucky nonprofits, including:
Alliance for Catholic Urban Education
Donors also leverage the tax credit to support The Northern Kentucky Fund, GCF’s unrestricted endowment that provides ongoing grants in Kenton, Campbell and Boone counties.
The tax credit — taken off the donor’s tax bill dollar-for-dollar — is up to $10,000 per taxpayer, or $20,000 per married couple filing jointly. And state and federal tax deductions for the charitable gifts still apply. Gifts may be either cash or stock; long-term, appreciated stock gifts offer even greater tax savings. As always, consult your tax advisor for information specific to your situation.
It’s important to note that this isn’t just a tax credit for major gifts — donations of any size contribute to the lasting impact of endowed funds while simultaneously reducing your Kentucky income tax payment.
Contact your experienced staff members at GCF to further discuss the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit. Laura Menge, Philanthropic Advisor, can help you plan a qualifying gift (513-768-6170 or email@example.com).
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