News & Event
As a high school student, Morgan Judd would give up valuable sleeping time – Saturday mornings – to go teach young girls at her dance studio in Blue Ash. This was simply typical Morgan. She was the girl who was always prepared, never late and was always there for people.
When her younger brother was diagnosed with Crohns Disease, she was his biggest supporter. The teenager would run from school to the hospital to dance practice, never missing a beat.
As a freshman at Wake Forest University, Morgan quickly got involved, built strong friendships, made the University dance team and volunteered at a local food pantry during the holidays.
Morgan passed away on December 6, 2011 at age 19 from a blood clot to the brain.
Amid this tragedy, her parents, twin brother and two younger brothers and loved ones found comfort in the knowledge that she would continue to help others after her death. The teenager had made her own decision to become an organ donor and her generosity saved five lives.
“It is amazing the lives that she saved,” said her father Jerry Judd. “That story will be one that unfolds over time, we’re just starting to learn more about the recipients and hope to meet them and hear their stories.”
The lives saved by Morgan include a 37-year-old mother of twin boys needing a heart; a nineteen-year-old teenager who can now go to college thanks to Morgan’s lungs, and a 58-year-old father received her liver.
Morgan’s death also inspired an outpouring of love and support from those who knew and loved the happy and kind young woman. Her friends, unbeknownst to her family, set up a Facebook fundraising site and over 200 people donated more than $10,000. These gifts and others created the Morgan Judd Memorial Fund at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation which to date has received more than $100,000. With these gifts, the Judds were able to endow a scholarship at Ursuline Academy and will continue to support other causes Morgan cared about.
To show support, Morgan’s friends also created a virtual phenomenon through social media. Friends posted photos of her initials written on their hands. Thousands participated and a beautiful video captures the effort.
“I think the thing that is so striking is that she went to school on August 26 and she died on December 6, so she wasn’t even there that long but you can see the impact she had on so many people in a short time,” her mother Leigh said.
Morgan and her three brothers also left their parents with another gift – no regrets. The four teenagers deeply loved each other and were very close.
“I don’t think anyone left anything unsaid; they always told each other they loved each other every time they talked,” Leigh said. ”I have no regrets, if I had to rewind and do it again; there is nothing I would do differently. That gives me a lot of peace.”
Read more about a remarkable young woman at morgansmiracles.com.
“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.
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.
As we wrap up 2019, we look back at our very impactful year of moving forward on many fronts! As your community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is grateful for the support of and partnerships with our donors, nonprofit partners and community stakeholders to bring about a more equitable future for everyone in our region.