Greater Cincinnati Foundation aims to be more than a funder, but a partner with our grantees.

As a community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation invests in a more vibrant and equitable region, in part by grantmaking to our community partners doing the work. We make grants in a variety of ways including concentrated investments in our Community Leadership focus areas, Request for Proposals and Donor Advised Funds. We are actively building equity into our own philanthropic practices by shifting to a trust-based philanthropy approach. This approach is showcased through our grantmaking principles and we are continuously improving our processes to be aligned with these values.

Our Grantmaking Principles

We are stronger together.
As your community foundation, we are of the community and belong to the community. We stand with and behind our community partners, understanding that our futures are intertwined. Through these shared values and beliefs, we will bring forth collective success.

We start with humility. We place trust at the forefront.
We start all conversations with humility, understanding that we need to listen and respond, not prescribe solutions. We put our community partners and those most affected at the center and trust that they have the expertise to drive change.

We value asset-based approaches and innovative, disruptive solutions.
We value approaches that acknowledge opportunities over deficits, co-create with those with lived experience, and celebrate the strengths of our community. We understand that our current systems are unjust and we invest in innovative solutions that disrupt these systems.

Change takes time.
Building a more equitable region can’t be done overnight and there will be successes and challenges along the way. We want to know what’s worked and what hasn’t so that we can embrace failures and celebrate successes.


Adison Nelson
Senior Director, Community Investments

How We Work

We are transparent, accessible and responsive.
Transparent and open communication helps minimize power imbalances.  We move the work forward when we seek solutions together. We are open to partnering with all nonprofits, not just the ones with the highest visibility or biggest budgets. Grassroots organizations are often the closest to people.

We offer support beyond the funding.
What we bring to our community partners beyond the grant dollars is just as important as the investment itself. We value authentic two-way partnership. By being available to our partners and sharing one another’s expertise, we help build the capacity and strength of organizations over time.

We cut the red tape.
We need to be nimble, not bureaucratic. A low barrier process allows us to move more swiftly to get funds to where they are needed to make a difference. We are continuously improving our processes to simplify and streamline the process.

We are constantly learning.
We are always seeking the best sources of information to shape and strengthen our work. Our learnings are driven by our community partners as well as local and national research. Our Resources for Nonprofits is a collection of some these learnings.

Not sure which funding opportunity is right for you?

To better understand which funding opportunity your organization is best aligned to, complete our alignment guide.

Alignment Guide



Our Grantmaking Affiliates