The Erma A. Bantz Foundation

Erma lived in Cincinnati for 95 years. Throughout her life, she suffered from severe hearing loss. Later in life, she also lost her eyesight.

Despite later surgical improvements, she continued to suffer from diminished hearing and sight until her death in 2006. The Erma A. Bantz Foundation was established to carry out her desire to improve the lives of people who suffer hearing or visual impairments and has partnered with GCF for assistance with grantmaking. In 2022, The Bantz Foundation distributed the last of the funding that had been designated for hearing impairment. Over the years of the Foundation, this amounted to over $580,000 granted to fifteen nonprofits serving people with hearing loss.

Purpose of The Erma A. Bantz Foundation

The Foundation continues to support organizations that have as one of their stated purposes the support of and/or aid to the visually impaired in their mission statement. When the Foundation was established, sixty percent of the Foundation’s assets were designated for organizations serving people with visual impairments. The forty percent of the Foundation’s assets that were designated for organizations serving people with hearing impairments has been spent out in accordance with Erma Bantz’s wishes and thus the Foundation will no longer accept requests for funding for hearing impairments.

Policies & Restrictions

The Bantz Foundation makes grants to Greater Cincinnati organizations that have as one of their stated purposes the support of and/or aid to the visually impaired.

  • Applicants must have an IRS determination as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
  • The Foundation will not provide continuing operational support to any grantee, and discourages annual requests.
  • Grantees are advised to wait at least one year from the date of last grant payment before reapplying to the Foundation. An organization that has previously had an application declined by the Foundation may resubmit an application after six months from the date its original application was declined.
  • Grants will not be made to individuals, taxing authorities or political subdivisions.
  • In most cases, organizations must be located in the Ohio counties of Hamilton, Butler, Clermont and Warren.
  • The Foundation usually prefers to participate along with other donors in the support of a specific project.

If you believe that your organization meets these qualifications, complete and submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) through our online system. New to our system? See our Applicant Tutorial section below for more information.

Directors of the Foundation

C. Gregory Schmidt, Esq.
Nicholas Shaffer

600 Vine Street, Suite 2700
Cincinnati, OH 45202

LOI Deadline Proposal Deadline Notice of Decision
May 1 June 1 July 31
October 1 November 1 December 31
If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be the next business day.

Grant Evaluation

The Bantz Foundation requires a follow-up evaluation report to be completed in our online grant system at the end of the grant period. Applicants will receive an e-mail reminder two weeks prior to the evaluation due date.