$250,000 Grant to Family Independence Initiative Strengthens 300 Families

Funded by Greater Cincinnati Foundation & United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.

The Family Independence Initiative (FII) is an innovative, nationally-recognized model for investing directly in the initiative and strength of low-income families working toward economic mobility. In 2017, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF), together with its generous donors and in partnership with the Greenlight Fund, made a $1.8 million investment to bring FII to Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to support families in our region.

FII entrusts families to utilize cash funding to accomplish goals they set to move out of poverty, supported by cohort family groups to produce data-driven results. Because the cohort groups had begun to evolve from the resource-intensive in-person model to online groups even before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, FII was able to pivot quickly and effectively in response to the current crisis.

Through the GiveTogetherNow fund FII is providing cash relief to families across the country facing COVID-19-related financial hardships such as job losses.

Thanks to a $250,000 COVID-19 Regional Response Fund grant, FII will be able to support 300 such families in need throughout our region. Local nonprofits will help to identify and connect families to FII to receive $750 each to help fill the financial gaps brought on by the pandemic.

“FII empowers and trusts families to make their own decisions as to how to address their most urgent needs during this challenging time,” said Dora Anim, GCF Chief Operating Officer. “The COVID-19 Regional Response Fund’s funding partners recognized the power of the FII model when they decided to make this grant.”

The rapid-response fund, activated by GCF and United Way of Greater Cincinnati, distributed $7.2 million in emergency relief to 200 nonprofit organizations that serve the region’s most vulnerable individuals and families, exceeding its $5 million goal within seven weeks.