News & Event
Herb Brown is well-versed in change and growth. Involved with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation for 35 years, he remembers when it had only three paid employees. He also recalls the changes in the community since the civil unrest of 2001 and the response of the Foundation.
“GCF played a great role,” he said. “It reached out and said, ‘no one has contacted us and we want to be involved.’” This involvement led to GCF’s support of Cincinnati CAN (Community Action Now) with operating assistance and office space. CAN, succeeded by the funding collaborative Better Together Cincinnati, led to a variety of efforts to level the playing field in education, economic opportunity, and criminal justice. one of these is the Cincinnati Police Partnering Center (CPPC).
“CPPC works closely with community and police to bridge the communications gap and develops relationships in minority communities,” explained Herb, CPPC’s President. “There has been major improvement but we’re not finished yet.”
His dedication to racial equity and the community is why the Foundation honored Herb with its Jacob E. Davis volunteer Leadership Award in 2008. Being Herb, he gives GCF a nod for its continuing work in this area.
“GCF encourages community organizations to serve diverse populations,” he said. “I love it. It’s a real jewel for Cincinnati and the region.”
Photo: Herb Brown is pictured at the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, home to the Cincinnati Police Partnering Center. He has served GCF as Governing Board Chair, interim Executive Director and as a member of numerous committees.
This story appeared in GCF's 2012 Annual Report.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation believes progress in reducing racial disparities is critical to the community's future and that philanthropy can have a unique and important role to play. Since April 2001 when Cincinnati erupted in civic unrest, GCF has played an increasing leadership role advancing racial equity with a number of partner organizations that share our values. As we reach our 50th Anniversary, it is appropriate to look back at this important work.
In 1992, GCF provided start-up operating support to the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati’s African American Leadership Development Program (AALDP). A second grant in 2008 helped AALDP expand to support a fulltime director. The Foundation also provided funding in 2006-2008 to help launch the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati's Rising Star Board Leadership Program which emphasizes racial awareness and justice.
In 2008, Partners for a Competitive Workforce, the former Greater Cincinnati Workforce Network, was convened by GCF to help fill jobs that are in demand and help adults get the training they need to do these jobs. GCF has awarded grants of more than $600,000 to help close the employment gap in our region.
Soon after the 2001 civil unrest, Cincinnati's mayor announced plans to create the Cincinnati CAN commission to work on the underlying causes of racial disparities. GCF provided financial support and office space for CAN's operations, and committed $250,000 to help launch high-priority initiatives arising from CAN's community work.
In 2003, Better Together Cincinnati (BTC) was formed to help implement CAN's recommendations. With
GCF's leadership and a commitment of $500,000, a group of local funders provided more than $7 million in grants over a period of eight years to key initiatives in police/community relations, education and jobs to achieve greater equity in our community. The collaboration and lessons learned through BTC continue through the work of the Community Police Partnering Center, Partners for a Competitive
Workforce, The Strive Partnership, Place Matters and United Way of Greater Cincinnati's Success by 6®.
The Community Police Partnering Center (CPPC) grew out of the work of Cincinnati CAN. Through Better Together Cincinnati, GCF provided start-up and multi-year operating support for CPPC, and was part of the community team that tapped the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati as the permanent home for CPPC. In total, $2.25 million was invested by the BTC funders over more than a decade to improve police and community relations.
Since 2004, the Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) has helped more than 35 businesses more than double the size of their workforce. An initiative of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, the MBA helps minority-owned businesses grow strategically and access supply chain opportunities. A start-up grant from Better Together Cincinnati got the MBA up and running for its first three years of operations. In 2012, GCF provided additional grants and a loan to help launch The L. Ross Love GrowthBridge Fund which will provide "patient" capital to grow MBA portfolio businesses and jobs.
"The leadership role played by GCF in the 2001 civil unrest helped to calm the community and to bring about positive change embracing and celebrating our differences as well as our shared dreams for this great place we all call home."
GCF's former President/CEO
Published in The Greater Cincinnati Foundation's 2012 Annual Report
CINCINNATI (April 25, 2018) — The Greater Cincinnati Foundation recently awarded $255,000 in grants to 17 local nonprofits to drive greater belonging, independence and authorship with and for people with disabilities. All grants awarded were made in partnership with GCF donors past and present.
GCF is hosting these organizations for a year-long learning journey and challenging them to seek collaborative solutions to maximize impact. In partnership with the nonprofit social innovation firm, Design Impact, organizations are participating in 1,334 hours of training and dialogue to change their approaches and learn from one another.
“The idea of a person with a disability fully belonging to their community, we have big barriers to that,” said Dan Connors, CEO, St. Joseph Home. “We need to think differently about how we’re going to solve this problem.”
The priorities for this funding cycle include strengthening partnerships, building a community of belonging and redefining the way things have always been done. The priorities were created in conjunction with the participating organizations. Each nonprofit received a $15,000 in support to test their innovative concepts as well as a series of trainings throughout the year.
“We’re always asked to show the efficacy of what we’re doing when we need funding,” said Rob Seideman, CTRH’s executive director. “So we rely on those things that we do well. But if we’re going to work with people in new ways, we need to change what we’re doing. And that’s what’s so great about this opportunity.”
More than $25,000 awarded in this grant cycle represent donor co-investments.
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“It is an honor to work side by side with these experts in their field who are so passionate about figuring out new ways to create even more meaningful lives for those they exist to serve,” said Molly Robertshaw, GCF program officer.
“This funding effort represents GCF’s interest in being a nimble and innovative partner for nonprofits,” said Ellen M. Katz, president/CEO. “We want to help our community to build a region where everyone can thrive.”
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.
View full list of nonprofits receiving grants [PDF]
CINCINNATI (October 5, 2016) - The following are links to media stories about The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its work in the community.
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 (Feb. 26, 2017)—The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, as well as many other partners, are focused on making positive, long-term systemic change for working women who are striving to become self-sufficient.
We are all committed to advocating for and convening voices to create gender equality and influence.
On Thursday, February 16, we asked the question…How can public policy positively impact families, women, and girls in Ohio?
More than 350 people gathered to answer this question. They did so by looking through a gender lens, and using their voices to ignite change with 38 legislative meetings.
The effect of Statehouse Day will continue beyond yesterday because we stepped into the advocate role and influenced the conversation.
The Women’s Fund will continue focusing on momentum locally to build thriving economic communities. We know, that women’s leadership is needed to create solutions.
Join us as we continue to ignite change with a gender lens for gender equality by:
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
CINCINNATI (August 14, 2017) —The Greenlight Fund, in partnership with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, announced today a multi-million-dollar initiative to fight family poverty in our region. Together, they are investing $2.4 million to bring the Family Independence Initiative—and its innovative model of trusting and investing in family solutions—to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. This includes a $1.8 million grant from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its donors, the single largest grant in the history of the Foundation.
“We know that thousands of families are struggling with poverty, and we need to rethink how we invest in families and their upward mobility,” said Tara Noland, Executive Director of GreenLight Cincinnati. “We are excited to have the Family Independence Initiative bring their model to our region and learn from their data on what Cincinnati families in our community need to escape poverty.”
“As our region’s community foundation, our role is to create a community where everyone can thrive,” said Ellen M. Katz, president and CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “Our region is literally bursting with new energy and progress, yet we still have many in need. GCF and its donors are seeking new and innovative programs to help families in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky who have yet to benefit from that progress. FII is one such program and we’re excited to ensure we can rapidly deploy FII in our community.”
Founded in 2001, The Family Independence Initiative brings a new approach to fighting poverty by trusting and investing directly in low-income families across the nation so they can work individually and collectively to achieve prosperity. Families that partner with FII set goals they want to achieve, such as purchasing a home or continuing their education, and work together to help each other meet those goals. FII provides them with the technology platform to track their progress and then gives them access to resources, including cash, to accelerate the solutions that they’ve discovered themselves.
With sites in seven cities across the country, FII has partnered with more than 2,000 families investing in their solutions to escaping poverty. On average, during two years of engagement with FII, families report: a 23 percent increase in monthly income, 60 percent decrease in subsidies such as TANF and SNAP, a doubling of their annual income and assets, and increased education outcomes from their children.
Over the next four years, FII will work with community based organizations and other partners to reach 500 families in multiple neighborhoods across Cincinnati. They will be convening a launch team to help identify the neighborhoods they should focus on as well as families they should recruit.
“All families across America should have access to the resources and opportunities needed to achieve their dreams and we look forward to doing just that right here in the region,” said Jesús Gerena, Chief Executive Officer of The Family Independence Initiative. “While our initial goal is to reach 500 families, we hope to find more partners to double or triple that goal. Cincinnati benefits when all its families are economically thriving.”
In addition to the multi-year investment made by the Greenlight Fund and The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, FII’s expansion to Cincinnati is also supported by contributions from The Mayerson Foundation and SC Ministry.
Learn more about GCF's investment in the Family Independence Initiative
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The GreenLight Fund transforms the lives of children, youth and families in high-poverty urban areas by creating local infrastructure and a consistent annual process to: identify critical needs; import innovative, entrepreneurial programs that have a significant, measurable impact; and galvanize local support to help programs reach and sustain impact in the new city. Working in Boston since 2003, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area since 2012, Cincinnati since 2015 and most recently Charlotte in 2017, GreenLight aims to grow a national network of GreenLight sites that learn and work collaboratively to find and spread proven nonprofit solutions that achieve meaningful and measurable impact in our communities on the issues that matter most. Founding investors in GreenLight Cincinnati include the Deaconess Associations Foundation, Bethesda Inc., the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, Interact for Health, Procter and Gamble, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s, Duke Energy Foundation, the Cincinnati Business Committee, Bank of America and a number of individual investors.
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 an accredited 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.
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