Gifts, Grants & Give-aways … June 24

An occasional digest of funds invested in the Greater Cincinnati nonprofit community…

United Way of Greater Cincinnati

Nearly 30 projects led by Black entrepreneurs will soon receive more than $600,000 from United Way of Greater Cincinnati in Black Empowerment Works grants to launch or strengthen anti-poverty initiatives. 

Black Empowerment Works is the first program designed by United Way’s Champions of Change, a group of local leaders focused on equitable outcomes in our community. This effort invests in ideas, programs and projects that are Black-led, grassroots-generated and aimed at addressing poverty.

The group awarded $600,544 to 29 Black-led initiatives, ranging from multi-media education for youth to workforce development centered on gardening and promoting healthy lifestyles. Focus areas included education (from early childhood to post-secondary), employment, financial stability, education and empowerment, and health and community connectedness. 

Grants ranged from $8,500 to $25,000. Grantees will connect with other beneficial resources to support their ideas, including access to volunteers and mentors, trainings and opportunities to share their knowledge with others.


ArtsWave has announced the first set of recipients of a new African American arts grants program, totaling $255,000. These grants – added to $287,000 already invested since September to organizations led by or which predominantly serve African Americans – together represent $542,000 in support of African American arts initiatives in this 2019-20 fiscal year.   

ArtsWave’s board of directors approved this set of 18 grants and projects, designed to strengthen the capacity for arts presenting, producing, programming and instruction at organizations led by or predominantly serving Black Cincinnatians.

ArtsWave President & CEO Alicia Kintner

The grants were made possible by gifts from ArtsWave’s Circle of African American Leaders for the Arts in the 2020 ArtsWave Community Campaign, plus significant support from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Additional dollars for this program were allocated from ArtsWave’s Arts Vibrancy Recovery Fund which was launched in May to support the post-COVID restart of the arts sector, a $300+ million industry employing nearly 10,000 and forecasted to be one of the last locally to recover.

Besides announcing first-time grant recipients to this program, ArtsWave received news this week that its Flow: an African American Arts Series is being awarded one of two National Endowment of the Arts grants recently allocated to the region, with $40,000 being invested in the program. Though Flow is currently paused due to COVID-related restrictions on public gatherings and cultural facilities, ArtsWave continues to make plans for future guest artist appearances.

OneSource Center for Nonprofit Excellence

OneSource CEO Christie Brown

OneSource has developed a Relaunch Program to assist nonprofit agencies as they look to the future in the midst of these uncertain times. Greater Cincinnati Foundation has provided a $15,000 grant from the United Way/GCF COVID-19 Regional Response Fund to provide support to agencies with this program. 

Matthew 25 Ministries

On June 24 and 25, Matthew 25: Ministries will once again provide COVID-19 supplies to members of the Greater Cincinnati community to help promote personal and public safety during the Coronavirus outbreak.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, vehicles will be able to drive through the Matthew 25 parking lot and pick up a kit of supplies such as hand sanitizer, gloves, masks and cough drops along with food from Arby’s, courtesy of Brandicorp (one lunch will be provided for each person in the vehicle – up to 1,000 people served each day).  Because supplies are limited, there will be a maximum of two kits per vehicle.

Most Valuable Kids

In partnership with local sports teams, businesses and the Amberley Village Police Department, Most Valuable Kids is having a Socially Distanced Pep Rally to provide deserving kids and their families with items hoped to make summer more engaging and fun.  

Pre-approved kids and their families will arrive by car and have the opportunity to drive-through the “pep rally”-themed event, which is hosted in part by mascots Who Dey, Twister and Puckchop, plus police officers and firemen.     

The festive atmosphere is intended to provide a fun and rewarding experience for the kids, to let them know they are valued and important, MVK’s primary mission.

This event is not open to the public.

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