Organizing, Advocacy Advance Regional Equity

August 25, 2019

Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) knows that bringing more voices of residents to local planning tables increases the strength of each of our neighborhoods. Because community organizing is a crucial component of achieving inclusive, equitable growth in our region, GCF and its donors are vitalizing that approach through our Strengthening Communities Through Organizing and Advocacy grants to be awarded in September.

Community organizing and advocacy combines the best of leadership development, coalition building, communications, policy support and collective action. We learn from each other when we listen and interact, drawing on collective wisdom and creativity and forming common bonds.

“The majority of dollars that flow through foundations support direct services and programs,” explained Michael A. Coffey, GCF Program Officer. “Investments in organizing and advocacy complement and magnify these dollars with an emphasis on systems. Change at the systems level is the key leverage point that will get us to our goal of an inclusive and equitable regional economy.”

In 2018, GCF and our generous donors combined resources to grant nearly $160,000 to seven nonprofits who are driving collaborative change in our region. One such grant, to the Ohio Justice & Policy Center (OJPC), supported work on the Bail Reform Project. OJPC helped guide passage of Council’s April 17 motion for city prosecutors to adopt a new standard of recommending no monetary bail, or “own recognizance release,” for nonviolent misdemeanor suspects awaiting trial.

“Thanks to GCF’s funding, OJPC was able to participate in much-needed bail-reform work in Cincinnati,” said OJPC Executive Director David A. Singleton. “Unjust bail practices are locking away far too many people — even though they have not been convicted of any crime and do not pose a flight risk. People of color and indigent people disproportionately lose their freedom before trial. Just two or three days in jail has major negative impact on a person’s future — likely destabilizing factors such as employment, housing, family-connections, health and education.”

GCF invites you to join with us and other donors in supporting nonprofit organizing and advocacy projects and initiatives that help to create a more vibrant, equitable Greater Cincinnati for all of us. For further information, please contact your GCF philanthropic advisor.