Empowering Communities Annual Fund

Imagine Marsha. A single mother working two jobs to afford the basics for her family. She has done everything she knew to do to set herself up for success—graduated from high school, attended community college, always held a job. But life took a turn. She lost her husband, they had no savings and she and her children were forced to leave their home. Affordable, quality housing options were few, and the neighborhood where they landed was not one she would have chosen, if she had a choice. Unable to afford a car, Marsha finds transportation to be a challenge, and she is always – every day – just one unexpected expense away from not being able to make ends meet. She knows that missing even a single rent payment could lead to their eviction. Marsha often must choose between food on the table and the roof over their heads.

Even someone as hardworking and dedicated to her family as Marsha is not immune from a system that is stacked against her. And Marsha is not alone. For many, the very real possibility of eviction means huge disruption—children transferring schools, parents scrambling to find new transportation to jobs, and the threat of lost income as the family struggles to put the pieces back together again. For families like Marsha’s, housing instability, inadequate public transportation and low paying jobs are trapping them in poverty … and crushing their spirits.

Sadly, our region can be unforgiving for people like Marsha. However, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is working to change the future for many families like hers in our community, and this work is fueled by GCF’s Empowering Communities Annual Fund.

Marsha’s story in our community is equally as prevalent as the other story we can tell. The one in which Cincinnati is a vibrant, affordable place to live. That’s true—but only for half of us. We live with an unconscionable weight, that if lifted, will free us to rise to heights we will never reach otherwise.

You are someone who cares deeply, and you have heard stories like Marsha’s. Stories for which solutions cannot be achieved by any single organization. For Marsha and her children to live comfortably in our community, we need organizations and generous supporters to come together to create lasting change.

You give generously to many organizations, but your gift to the Empowering Communities Annual Fund will drive systemic change toward sustainable improvements for thousands of families.

Greater Cincinnati Foundation is on a mission to bring together organizations from every sector to remove the barriers restraining our individual and collective potential. We are providing the community leadership necessary to do what no single organization can do alone. The Empowering Communities Annual Fund is fueling this high-impact work, and we need your investment to sustain the momentum.

In 2019, with support from generous contributors like you, we made progress. We spearheaded and are funding a regional planning initiative that will result in a 10-year community strategy to dramatically improve housing stability and affordability in our region. City and county officials, nonprofit organizations, developers, residents and many others are at the table working together to make a long-term difference for families like Marsha’s.

Will you contribute to ensure that this work continues?

Affordable housing is but one focus of the community leadership work fueled by our Empowering Communities Annual Fund. With your support, we are also leading the community to realize the incredible growth potential stemming from equity and inclusion, advancing powerful new public-private partnerships to move individuals out of poverty, and so much more.

You can choose how to make your contribution. Mail the enclosed form with your gift, donate on our website, recommend a grant from your fund at GCF, or call us at 513-241-2880 to arrange another type of gift.

In this season of gratitude, we thank you for understanding what makes change happen—and for being part of it through your community foundation. We exist for you, because of you, and together we are building a more vibrant and equitable region for everyone who lives here.

Thank you for contributing. We wish you all the joys of the season ahead.

Gratefully yours,

Ellen M. Katz