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The first time she enrolled in college, she was 19 years old and excited to major in pre-med. But as the oldest of five children, she had to become the family breadwinner when her father lost his job. She quit school and went to work full-time.
“I cried when I told the professor I’d have to leave,” the mother of two said. “I pretty much knew what life was like without an education.”
Peg enrolled in school again in the early 90s but because of her second child’s severe health problems, she had to drop out again.
“There was always this desire to go back to school,” Peg said. “But my daughter would be in the emergency room all night and I’d have to go to class the next day.”
When Peg returned to work in 2002, she decided to take a class through the Urban Learning Center (ULC) in Northern Kentucky.
The ULC helps low-income individuals start taking college classes. A student can take up to 10 different courses at the ULC for only $10 a course. There are no book costs, free child care is offered and a small and supportive staff is available to help students manage their postsecondary experience.
Peg enjoyed the class so much she decided to give her dream – a degree – one last chance. Funding was still an issue and ULC staff encouraged her to apply to The Cincinnati Business and Professional Women’s Scholarship Fund (CBPW) of GCF.
Peg was reluctant. “I just didn’t think I’d be worthy – when you don’t believe in yourself, it’s hard to believe others will,” she said. “I just did it more or less to say, ‘See, I told you I wouldn’t get it!’”
The CBPW Scholarship Fund was created to support women just like Peg, fund advisor Amy McPike said. The fund history has its roots in women helping women.
As far back as the early 1900s, the CBPW organization existed to “give women a leg up” by training them in work force ethics and business etiquette.
By the late 1990s, CBPW’s membership was dwindling. Amy and others decided to use the organization’s endowment as a way to continue to honor its history of benefiting women.
“Our point in creating the scholarship was to really help women who needed to be educated to get a job and support their families,” Amy said. “We wanted it to be CBPW’s legacy. We wanted to educate women for the work force.”
“Many adults returning to school take it slow and go part-time while maintaining work and household responsibilities,” said Mallis Schneider Graves, ULC Outreach Specialist. “So, most of the time financial aid only covers a portion of their expenses.
The CBPW’s Scholarship Fund has helped many ULC adult students supplement their education expenses, so that they can continue striving to better their lives for themselves and their families.”
Peg did get the CBPW scholarship, not once, but twice. She said it not only gave her finances a boost, but her confidence as well.
“To me it was amazing,” she said. “I can remember meeting the ladies and thinking it’s so kind of you to look at me and see an investment. Because that’s what they are doing – they are investing in you. You don’t invest in a stock that’s worthless.”
Obviously, Peg is far from worthless. She not only received her diploma 27 years after she first started college, she became an employee at Procter & Gamble Co. and is working on her master’s degree at Xavier University. She also tutors female students at the ULC. “
I tell the women, I believe in you because someone believed in me,” she said. Peg shares that when she walked up to get her diploma at Northern Kentucky University, she heard someone yell, “Way to go Peg!”
“I looked and it was one of my professors from the second time I was at college, all those years ago.” she said. “He remembered me.”
Way to go Peg!
The Cincinnati Business and Professional Women’s Scholarship Fund of GCF was established in 1999. It is a part of The Women’s Fund Family of Funds.
Originally published in the 2006 Annual Report to the Community
CINCINNATI (June 2, 2016) —The Greater Cincinnati Foundation was one of eight organizations examined to get an understanding of how impact donor advised funds, an emerging social finance instrument in the philanthropic sector, work in North America in a joint paper released by Social Venture ConneXion (SVX) and Tides Canada.
“It is a well-documented fact amongst those in the social change and philanthropic sectors that, in order to tackle our most pressing social and environmental challenges, we must mobilize capital in both its investment and philanthropic forms," the authors write in the report, "Impact DAFs" A Scan" [PDF]. "This has lead to an explosion of foundations re-aligning their investment portfolios to meet their mission aims. Investment portfolios in this context largely consist of endowment funds, as many private foundations across Canada and the US have actively transformed their investments into mission-supporting vehicles.”
Learn more about Impact Investing at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.
This report was written by Marie Ang, Adam Spence, and Todd Jaques and published April 2016. The case study on The Greater Cincinnati Foundation begins on page 10.
Read the full report, “Impact Donor Advised Funds: A Scan” [PDF]
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.
Brooke Ungerbuehler’s boss made her cry. Brooke is an employee of ASAP Event Advertising, a company that provides temporary signage and advertising displays for retail chain stores.
Meeting owner Mark Phillips, one would be surprised by this – he’s a nice man who allows his employees to bring their dogs to work. He’s also the same person who decided to show his six employees his gratitude as the 2011 Thanksgiving holiday approached.
The last few years have been difficult for many small businesses, including ours,” Mark said. “As we were winding down 2011 and approaching Thanksgiving, I felt very humbled and experienced this indescribable prompting to demonstrate to our employees how thankful I was for them.”
Mark and his wife Betsy gave each employee the opportunity to gift $1,000 to a charity of their choice through the Phillipses’ donor advised fund at GCF. The only stipulation was that each person had to research the gift and talk about their choice at ASAP’s Thanksgiving luncheon.
“I don’t have the means to give that much and the opportunity was just awesome,” Brooke said, explaining her tears. “We were all able to donate to a place close to our hearts. I gave my money to the American SIDS Institute. I had a friend who had experienced personal tragedy around the time we were given this opportunity so I wanted to feel like I had played my part in helping families also going through this.”
For Betsy Findlay, it was a way to give back to Springer School and Center for making a difference in her life.
“They did so much for me, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t gone there,” she said. “I wanted the money to go towards a scholarship.”
While Mark’s title at ASAP is Chief Attention Getter, he doesn’t necessarily feel this way about his personal life, especially his charitable giving. Both he and Betsy believe they are simply “stewards of the resources” they’ve been given.
“The motivation isn’t for attention,” he said. “The greater good that can come of things like this is that it is an opportunity for people to think about their blessings and to consider helping others in need.”
“You don’t give out of guilt,” Betsy Phillips added. “You give out of a desire to give. The Bible says, ‘God loves a cheerful giver.’ If you’re not going to be cheerful, don’t give it.’”
This sentiment inspired the Phillipses to establish a GCF fund in 2005. And GCF’s support made their Thanksgiving plan easy to orchestrate.
The Phillipses and the ASAP staff said the experience made them a closer team. Besides talking about their charitable gift, each person shared what they were thankful for in 2011.
“The investments you make in organizations and people never lose their value,” Betsy Phillips said.
Sounds like valuable and cheerful investment advice.
Printed in the 2011 Annual Report
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” - Jane Goodall
The symposium’s keynote speaker, Jean Case, reported a comment she heard recently from a college student: “Why would you just settle for a financial return?” Case, Chairman of National Geographic Society, founder/CEO of the Case Foundation and a former AOL executive, sees significant societal and cultural shifts around unleashing capitalism — and the power of entrepreneurial-based strategies — as a force for good. In her book, "Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose", those strategies include: make a big bet; be bold, take risks; make failure matter; reach beyond your bubble; and let urgency conquer fear.
Mike shares GCF’s interest in a revitalized urban core, where entrepreneurs with bright ideas bring jobs to the region.
“There is a real synergy of what’s going on downtown and the entrepreneurship there,” Mike said. “They feed off each other.”
CincyTech is one of the organizations that is making this synergy happen. A seed-stage fund that invests in and provides management assistance to software and life science companies, CincyTech’s portfolio companies have created 833 jobs with a $79,000 average salary. The majority of these jobs are in our region.
GCF supports job creation and the work of CincyTech through Impact Investing and grants. Using charitable dollars, GCF and its donors invest in projects that can generate both social and financial returns. When principal and earnings are returned to donor advised funds, the resources can be reinvested in other Impact Investments or grants.
For Mike, Impact Investing was an opportunity to assist CincyTech through his donor advised fund.
“Donate once, give twice,” he said. “That’s the way I look at it. Not only do I get a return on my investment, I get to make an impact on the community.” GCF and its donors invested $500,000 in CincyTech’s Funds II, III, and IV. Fund IV is projected to create at least 600 jobs in Southwest Ohio, each earning about $80,000 a year.
“After the economic downturn, we needed not just to place people in jobs but to help create jobs here in Cincinnati,” said Robert Killins, Jr., program director of Vibrant Places. “We want to grow our local economy. Through CincyTech, we are investing in local businesses, investing in local jobs.
"The secondary return is the mindset change that young individuals view Cincinnati as a place for entrepreneurs,” he added. “They can get capital and mentorship through CincyTech to grow their businesses locally.”
“The work that we do and the redevelopment of the neighborhoods, it attracts people not only to the new companies, but the established ones like P&G,” said Bob Coy, president/CEO of CincyTech. “Everyone benefits.”
That’s an impressive return on an investment.
To date, $11.8 million has been invested in community projects and funds through Impact Investing by The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its donors. Mike Collette’s CincyTech investment was part of Generous Together.
Published in the 2015 Annual Report to the Community.
This personal relationship with clients is indicative of HOC’s work; it supports neighborhoods in 20 counties in Ohio and Indiana by promoting and maintaining homeownership.
Services include education about saving to buy a home, the purchasing process, and home maintenance. HOC works with clients to prevent foreclosure, so when a secondary lender closed during the financial crisis, there was concern about homeowners like Doris.
“We provide intervention instead of foreclosure and this was the beginning of the foreclosure crisis,” HOC’s Executive Director Rick Williams said. “We were extremely concerned about these homeowners being in the hands of this large lender because we knew this one was very foreclosure-happy.”
Enter The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) and impact investing, a tool that recycles charitable dollars.
Impact investing uses charitable assets to invest in projects that can generate financial and social returns. The Foundation and its donors have invested $10.5 million to date on projects that create jobs, build homeless shelters, provide energy-efficient homes, build affordable housing, and prevent foreclosure.
As a leader in the field, Cincinnati’s impact investing expertise is being recognized around the country.
An impact investment in HOC allowed the nonprofit organization to buy 90 percent of the above-mentioned loans, enabling homeowners like Doris to keep paying their mortgages but having access to help if needed.
Roger Schorr, a long-time friend of GCF, was the first donor to make an investment using his donor advised fund.
“It just seemed a very effective way to leverage our assets,” he explained. “It was a way of making something happen without a lot required. Our fund can be paid back and do it again.”
“It’s not every day that there is access to this kind of funding, this fast, for this purpose,” Rick said. “We probably could have gone to a bank partner but the terms would not be what we enjoyed with GCF. The bank would have seen it as a way to make money, not as a way for us to help these homeowners and sustain our organization.”
Thanks to HOC, donors, and GCF working together, the values of homes like Doris’ are protected, positively affecting homeowners and neighborhoods.
That’s called making an impact.
Continuing his father’s legacy of “corporate good citizenship” was important to William Olin Mashburn Jr. (1906 – 1971), when he took over Coca-Cola Bottling Works with his brother John Cromer Mashburn in 1930, following their father’s sudden death.
Under the brothers’ leadership, the business became famous for its civic activities in Cincinnati. W.O. had a life-long passion for sports, and his company sponsored youth trips to training camps of the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, where he often accompanied the children. He also sponsored golf tournaments, knothole baseball teams and amateur swimming, baseball, softball, basketball teams.
The family moved to Norwood from Georgia in 1915 when they purchased the local Coca-Cola franchise. By 1930, it had grown to three plants in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Springfield, Ohio.
W.O. married Ruth Allonier (1911-1985) and had two sons. The couple gave generously to many local nonprofits including Beech Acres Parenting Center and the former Bob Hope House. The Mashburns were members of the Seventh Presbyterian Church in Walnut Hills. Mr. Mashburn was a member of Cincinnati Country Club, the Camargo Club, the Commonwealth Club, a former owner of Cincinnati’s Coney Island, and a past president of the Dan Beard Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
In 2011, the family of Ruth and W.O. wished to honor the legacy of the couple by providing a gift to build a conference facility for nonprofits at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. The W.O. and Ruth A. Mashburn Impact Center at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation opened in 2012.
The Mashburn Impact Center is available for use at no charge by IRS-designated nonprofit organizations in GCF’s eight-county service area of Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties in Ohio; Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn County, Indiana.
The facility can seat up to 40 people, and its amenities include a projector with screens in front and back of room, video conferencing capabilities, and wireless internet. GCF thanks the Ruth A. & W.O. Mashburn Jr. Foundation for ensuring local nonprofit organizations will benefit from this space for years to come.
Below is a line from Ruth’s favorite poem, “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley, which was displayed in the couple’s home.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
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