Gifts & Grants: Aug. 19, 2020

A periodic update as to who’s earning support across the Greater Cincinnati nonprofit community.


Green Umbrella awarded funding to advance climate planning with local governments

Green Umbrella Executive Director Ryan Mooney-Bullock

Climate policy is often most effective at the local level, but most local governments in the Greater Cincinnati region lack capacity to build climate resiliency. Now those governments will receive assistance through Green Umbrella’s Climate Policy Lead, who will serve as a point person to support and increase collaboration on responses to the effects of climate change.

Green Umbrella, the regional sustainability alliance, has created and is hiring the Climate Policy Lead position. This is happening with the support of The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation and the Murray and Agnes Seasongood Good Government Foundation. Though the Cincinnati region is home to over 185 local governments, only one of those, the City of Cincinnati, currently has a “Green Plan.”

The Climate Policy Lead will help local governments prepare their communities for transformations in transportation, energy and climate, while protecting their most vulnerable populations from the harmful effects of pollution, flooding and heat.

Green Umbrella is seeking candidates for Climate Policy Lead position through September 14 and is committed to recruiting a diverse candidate pool. Climate Policy Lead job description.


Duke Energy provides $200,000 to organizations focused on social justice, racial equity

MORTAR Development Director Derrick Braziel

Duke Energy Foundation announced recipients of $200,000 in employee-directed grants to nonprofit organizations in Ohio/Kentucky, committed to social justice and racial equity, part of an overall $1 million companywide commitment.

Grants will be distributed to 11 organizations in Ohio/Kentucky where Duke Energy has customers.

MORTAR received the largest grant of $100,000. MORTAR focuses on support of nontraditional entrepreneurs in underserved and redeveloping communities to provide opportunity to use their inherent talents to positively participate in the rise of Cincinnati.

“MORTAR is proud to partner with Duke Energy to enable entrepreneurs to start and grow the businesses that add to the economic vitality of our region,” said Derrick Braziel, MORTAR development director. “We believe Duke Energy’s partnership will ensure businesses that face barriers – such as race, neighborhood, socioeconomic status and more – will be connected to the tools and resources needed to succeed and thrive. We are excited about Duke Energy’s investment and the future we will create; one where people of all backgrounds can live, work and play in Southwest Ohio for generations to come.”

Grant recipients:

  • Bowles Center for Diversity Outreach: $10,000
  • Center for Closing the Health Gap: $10,000
  • Greater Cincinnati Foundation: $10,000
  • Intercommunity Justice & Peace Center: $10,000
  • MORTAR: $100,000
  • Ohio Justice Policy Center: $10,000
  • Queen City Foundation: $10,000
  • Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses: $10,000
  • SuperSeeds Foundation: $10,000
  • Twenty Cultured Pearls Foundation: $10,000
  • Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio: $10,000

ArtsWave accepting Catalyst Impact Grant applications

ArtsWave is now accepting applications for its annual impact grants.

The purpose of the Catalyzing Impact Grant Program is to encourage a breadth of programming through arts and cultural heritage projects. ArtsWave will have two rounds of Catalyzing Impact funding this year. Grant awards will be made up to $10,000 or 50% of the total expenses for the proposed project. Organizations may only submit one application per deadline, and organizations may only receive one Catalyzing Impact Grant within a fiscal year.

Grant recipients and funding amounts will be determined based on demonstrated community impact that further the goals of ArtsWave’s Blueprint for Collective Action. The Blueprint is a 10-year strategy to create a more vibrant economy and connected community through the arts sector.

The Round 1 Catalyzing Impact grant application is now available. All application materials must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sept. 17.


Matinée Musicale awards music education grants

4-Way String Quartet

Matinée Musicale Cincinnati, using funds derived from a generous bequest from the Louise Dieterle Nippert Estate, recently announced a round of annual grants totaling $51,000.

The organization’s mission is to serve and enrich the community through recitals and master classes, through scholarships, and by awarding grants to qualifying nonprofits focused on music education and music outreach programs.

  • Activities Beyond the Classroom for the Benjamin Carlson-Berne Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships for private lessons to middle and high school youth 
  • Cincinnati Choral Society for its concert project, The Stories We Tell: Women in Music
  • Cincinnati Song Initiative for development of Music and Song Webinars
  • Corryville Suzuki Project for Saturday Music Theory Classes and Summer Camp
  • Rafael and Kimberly de Acha Foundation for the Music for All Seasons 2020-2021 concert season
  • Kennedy Heights Arts Center for the 4-Way String Quartet to provide private lessons and ensemble experience for Kennedy Heights elementary school students
  • Melodic Connections for its project, The Percussion Effect: Drums for Resilience
  • Music Resource Center for individual and group lessons in theory and music performance
  • Peaslee Neighborhood Center for its Music Enrichment Program, providing piano lessons for students with financial need
  • Queen City Opera for performances of Beethoven’s “Fidelio” and Tchaikovsky’s “Undina”
  • Winton Woods Educational Foundation for its Fostering Achievement in Music Education (FAME) program to assist financial need students with private lessons and obtaining instruments

People Working Cooperatively garners $80K to support critical home repairs

PWC VP of Development Chris Owens

People Working Cooperatively has received more than $80,000 in grant funding from local organizations to support critical home repairs and modifications, service programs and more.

  • $30,000 has been awarded by the Charles H. Dater Foundation to support PWC’s student summer service program;
  • $25,000 from the U.S. Bank Foundation to support critical home repairs and modifications;
  • $20,000 from the Wohlgemuth Herschede Foundation to support critical home repairs and modifications;
  • $5,000 from the Integra Foundation to support PWC’s volunteer program;
  • $1,000 from Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s Summertime Kids fund to support summer youth volunteer services;
  • $1,000 from Mount St. Joseph University’s Student Philanthropy Program for personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • SC Ministry Foundation has awarded grant funds to support Price Hill community revitalization.

“We are incredibly grateful for organizations that believe in our mission, many of whom have been long-term partners to PWC,” said Chris Owens, vice president of development for People Working Cooperatively. “Every dollar is used to support our mission of keeping our neighbors in need safe and healthy in their homes.”


Horizon Community Funds further bolsters pandemic response

Nancy Grayson, president of Horizon Community Funds

Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky has distributed more than $550,000 to Northern Kentucky nonprofits, as organizations across the region experience ongoing hardships caused by the pandemic. 

The most recent grants include: 

  • $8,000 to Covington Partners to support educational materials for the students enrolled in their programs 
  • $4,350 to Holy Cross High School, to cover special directional signage, thermal imagery and infrared thermometers, and disinfectant 
  • $3,000 to UpSpring for tablets to support their summer campers’ learning 
  • $1,680 to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Northern Kentucky, to purchase a Zoom subscription used for telehealth conferences, training sessions, and more, as well as sneeze guards for tables used in support/education group meetings 
  • $1,117 to St. Elizabeth Healthcare Foundation, to support the cost of a hotel room for two weeks for an individual recovering from the virus and engaging in services with Welcome House to secure long-term housing following the hotel stay 
  • $527 to Faith Community Pharmacy for purchase of small bottles to hold hand sanitizer  

    “We are grateful to be able to meet our nonprofits’ needs as they arise,” said Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson. “Our Relief Fund’s flexibility allows us to respond individually to requests that best serve our community, as we continue to navigate and recover from this pandemic in Northern Kentucky.” 

    The most recent round of grants brings the total amount distributed from the Horizon NKY Coronavirus Relief Fund to more than $550,000, including past recipients: 
  • Meals on Wheels of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky, $200,000
  • Be Concerned, $160,000 
  • Life Learning Center, $50,000
  • Faith Community Pharmacy, $35,000
  • NKY Digital Equity Initiative for Students (through United Way of Greater Cincinnati – NKY), $34,500 
  • Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank, $30,000 
  • Esperanza Center, $15,000
  • Learning Grove, $6,000
  • St. Vincent de Paul – Northern Kentucky, $4,500
  • St. Elizabeth Healthcare Foundation, $1,200

    Additionally, the Digital Equity Initiative for Students, facilitated by United Way of Greater Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky and supported by the Relief Fund, was recently approved to expand services to the Diocese of Covington’s Alliance for Catholic Urban Education (ACUE) grade schools, and to its high schools in the area.  

Gift to UC Law targets injustice

Bill Morelli

A University of Cincinnati alumnus has donated $200,000 to support a center at the law school focused on race, gender and social justice.

Bill Morelli, A&S ’74, JD ’78, has created the Bill Morelli Endowment Fund for the Nathaniel R. Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice at the UC College of Law. Renamed in 2019 after Judge Nathaniel Jones, a champion for justice, the Jones Center trains and cultivates scholars, leaders and activists committed to social change. After his retirement as a federal judge, Judge Jones joined the law firm Blank Rome LLP, serving as its first chief officer of Diversity and Inclusion.

Morelli says the timing of his gift was intentional.

“At a time when national discussion—often divisive—is taking place on issues of race, gender and justice, it’s important for the legal profession to take the lead in framing issues and developing solutions,” he said. “The Jones Center is at the center of thought leadership in this area and I hope this gift can bring together scholars and practitioners in the field to inspire the next generation of lawyers to shape public policy and help build bridges of understanding in the broader community.”

The new fund will be used to establish a practitioner-in-residence program, allowing the College of Law to host a social justice advocate or innovator to teach courses on race, gender and social justice. It will also allow the college to host conferences at which scholars in law and other fields such as philosophy, sociology, political science, or public health, will come together to address, and explore solutions for, issues of race, gender and social justice. 


General Electric Credit Union tabs Redwood

John Francis, Redwood CEO/executive director, Carolyn Davis, GECU marketing manager and Angie Martin, GECU

To celebrate the grand opening of their Florence location earlier this year, General Electric Credit Union pledged support for two Northern Kentucky nonprofits. Redwood was selected as one of the beneficiaries, receiving $2,500.


Greater Cincinnati Foundation expands support of Northern Kentucky’s Catalyst Fund

GCF CEO and President Ellen Katz (photo by Tina Gutierrez)

Greater Cincinnati Foundation is boosting its long-standing support of the economic growth and vitality of the region with a $500,000 investment in the Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky (Catalytic Fund). 

GCF is making a $350,000, 10-year investment in the Catalytic Fund’s Equity Fund to provide access to additional capital for property acquisition to fuel strategic development. Additionally, GCF is renewing a three-year, $150,000 grant to fund operating support for the Catalytic Fund’s crucial work.

“We are thrilled to expand our support of the Catalytic Fund’s dynamic vision,” said Ellen M. Katz, GCF president and CEO. “The urban renaissance that they are fueling strengthens our entire region.”

The Catalytic Fund, a private sector, not-for-profit company, provides financing assistance and technical expertise for high-impact residential and commercial real estate projects throughout Northern Kentucky’s urban cities. The fund’s innovative record of community revitalization projects has fueled economic development and job creation through such signature projects as the transformation of the Hotel Covington and the Bradford Building in Covington, and Bellevue’s Kent Lofts project.


United Way expands NKY digital commitment

United Way of Greater Cincinnati will expand its NKY Digital Equity Initiative for Students into Pendleton County, supplying an estimated 125 additional households with six months of internet service so K-12 students can fully participate in virtual learning. 

The expansion partnership involves Cincinnati Bell and The R.C. Durr Foundation, which pitched in $5,000 to serve about 200 Pendleton County students. This partnership expands a pilot project serving school districts in Boone County, Kenton County, Campbell County, Grant County, Covington Independent Public Schools, Erlanger-Elsmere Independent, Newport Independent, Dayton Independent, Ludlow Independent, Southgate Independent and Bellevue Independent.


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