Reflecting back on where I started

Dear Friend of GCF,

As I approach the end of my tenure at GCF, this year-end letter invites an opportunity to reflect back on where I started.

When I came to GCF seven and a half years ago, I saw the opportunity for GCF to be a platform — one that focuses our community on critical needs, rallies resources, engages hearts and minds, creates a forum for learning and ideas, and gives us all a clearer vision of who we can be as a community.

GCF exists to improve the lives of all people in our region. We are dedicated to identifying and solving critical community issues by supporting effective nonprofits that work in the fields of the arts and education, health and human services, the environment, disaster relief and more. We have been determined and inspired to create real impact together as we center and demonstrate racial equity as the superior growth strategy for our region. We’re fueling a more diverse and inclusive arts sector. We’re educating our region around race. We’re maintaining a laser focus on developing affordable housing, accelerating economic mobility, and ensuring our systems are just, especially for people of color.

And none of this happens alone. We’re meaningfully partnering with donors, other funders, community partners and systems leaders to do more collectively than we could ever do on our own. Our focused, collaborative and purpose-driven approach is working.

2022 has been both a challenging and rewarding year. Despite a volatile market and uncertainty everywhere, it seems our grantmaking remains in record high territory, with new opportunities developed. For example, GCF formed a new partnership with the City of Cincinnati called Boots on the Ground to strengthen the capacity of community-based organizations to drive equitable change in our community. Thanks to the growth in our Affordable Housing Impact Investment Pool, 760 affordable housing units are under development across eight neighborhoods.

The platform is here, the resources are growing, the mission and purpose — I believe — have never been clearer. This is the heart of what a community foundation can and should be — a place where engaged people have the opportunity to make a difference, to be part of something bigger than ourselves, and to sign up for a purpose and mission that I believe can summon the best in all of us.

Thank you for your confidence in us and thank you for joining us in creating a more equitable and vibrant region for all. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead our region’s community foundation. GCF has never been better positioned to attract the most talented leadership and make Greater Cincinnati greater for all with your continuous partnership. 

Cheers to you and your families this holiday season.  We have much to celebrate!