Gifts & Grants

An occasional update as to which organizations are receiving funding to maintain or improve services

Local YMCA receives largest ever gift of $10M

The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati is grateful for a transformational gift, made possible by national philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. This $10 million gift will help address emergent needs in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility and is one of several substantial investments made by Ms. Scott to 384 nonprofits around the country/globe. 

MacKenzie Scott

“We are humbled by this level of investment in our local community.” said YMCA of Greater Cincinnati President and CEO Jorge Perez.  “The support of our local donors and members, along with the work our staff and volunteers do every day, put us in the right place at the right time to be able to accept this amazing gift.”

Preliminary plans for this gift include increased services in academic support for vulnerable students through Cradle to Career Cincinnati. This gift will also help the Y continue its work in COVID recovery through child care, virtual learning, food distribution and senior wellness. The community will see investments in the Y’s 10 area health center spaces and virtually as they prepare for wellness in a post-COVID world. Diversity and Inclusion work will ramp up supporting young people and their families. 

As a leading nonprofit, the Y depends on donors, membership dues and program fees to operate. After the upheaval of 2020, this gift will help stabilize the infrastructure of the organization while broadening the scope of its outreach programs. The Y will continue to lean on its annual donors to help the community access critical Y services.

Learn more about this transformational gift.

JUST IN: Meals on Wheels receives $4M from MacKenzie Scott

MacKenzie Scott (formerly Bezos) also announced a $4 million donation to Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY.  The gift is part of her philanthropy through The Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back.

“We could never fully express our gratitude for MacKenzie Scott’s generosity. Her thoughtful and trust-based approach to philanthropy will enable our team to magnify this gift in so many ways,” said Jennifer Steele, CEO of Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY. “It will catalyze innovative, creative and collaborative initiatives to meet the needs of seniors in our local community and create change on a larger scale. Together with our sustaining donors and funders, whose support and partnership have been so critical to our efforts to serve seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic, this gift will have a deep and lasting impact on our organization and community. It is truly transformational.”

Bethesda’s bi3 grants $1.59M to area agencies

bi3, Bethesda Inc.’s grants initiative to transform health, has awarded $1.59 million to 37 area nonprofit organizations for investments in technology, tools and training that will help them adapt to a virtual environment and increase community access to health and social services.

In response to bi3’s proposal request, “Transforming Health Through Capacity Building,” 99 community organizations across the region requested funding.

Bethesda Inc. President Jill Miller

 “The response is a true indicator of the great need these invaluable organizations continue to face as they work with pandemic restrictions,” said Jill Miller, President of Bethesda Inc. “bi3 is focused on addressing health disparities. To best do that during this unprecedented time, we pivoted our approach to quickly get nonprofits the resources they need, ensuring all citizens have access to the supports they require, today.”

Grant awards, which averaged about $40,000, provide one-time investments. The funding will help organizations acquire tools, education, and technology to strengthen operations. For example:

Redwood in Northern Kentucky was awarded $50,000 to help increase its capacity to provide teletherapy services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Santa Maria Community Services, Inc. received $50,000 to buy devices and assist with internet access for clients, as well as for training clients and staff on use of communication platforms. 

First Step Home was granted $50,000 to transform its telehealth services and communication capabilities through an enhanced technological and IT program.

The 37 awardees: 

  • Addiction Services Council
  • Beech Acres Parenting Center
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati
  • Butler Behavioral Health Services
  • Cancer Family Care
  • Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio
  • Central Clinic
  • Child Focus
  • Children’s Home of NKY
  • Christ Baptist Temple Church
  • Cincinnati Community Action Agency
  • Cornerstone Renter Equity
  • Council on Aging
  • Easter Seals Greater Cincinnati
  • Evanston Community Council
  • Every Child Succeeds
  • First Step Home
  • Found Village
  • Good Samaritan Faculty Medical Center – Internal Medicine
  • Good Samaritan Free Health Center
  • Health Care Access Now (HCAN)
  • The Center for Closing the Health Gap
  • Holly Hill
  • NorthKey
  • Redwood NKY
  • Refugee Connect
  • Rosemary’s Babies
  • Santa Maria Community Services
  • Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses
  • Solutions Community Counseling and Recovery Centers
  • St Aloysius
  • St. Francis Seraph Ministries
  • The Healthcare Connection (formerly Lincoln Heights Health Center)
  • The New Prospect Baptist Church
  • Tristate Trauma Network
  • Women Helping Women
  • YWCA

Also, $50K to The HealthCare Connection

Also, bi3 has awarded $50,000 to The HealthCare Connection to better support its patients during the COVID pandemic by making changes in its information technology (IT) infrastructure.

“We are incredibly thankful for the bi3 Capacity Building award,” said Jolene Joseph, new CEO of The HealthCare Connection. “The monies will allow us to build our IT infrastructure to allow for more staff training, improve our ability to conduct virtual visits with patients, and support the IT changes forced upon our health centers from the COVID pandemic.”

This grant is part of a larger bi3 effort to invest in local nonprofits as they continue to adapt to provide services virtually amid the pandemic. Since 2010, bi3 has awarded nearly $50 million in grants to TriHealth and community-based organizations to fund innovative ideas to transform health and healthcare.

Deaconess awards more than $1M to healthcare agencies

Deaconess Associations Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Deaconess Associations, Inc., has awarded $1,069,800 in grants to 12 organizations across Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and southwest Ohio. The grants, which focus on primary care and oral health services, will provide services to the underserved neighborhoods and at-risk individuals across the region. 

“The need in our region is great. Out of the 2.2 million people in Deaconess’ nine-county focus area, approximately 39% fall within the federal poverty threshold,” said Tony Woods, executive chairman of the foundation. “Over half are not served by health centers. Approximately 7,000 individuals in this area are homeless – and these are figures which are on the rise. These grants will help support a diverse group of individuals who would otherwise go without much-needed healthcare,” said Woods.  

Eight area organizations awarded grants for oral health initiatives:

  • The HealthCare Connection – Mt. Healthy Family Practice, $200,000
  • Good Samaritan Free Clinic, $111,000
  • Centerpoint Health, $100,000
  • Cincinnati Health Network, $100,000
  • CincySmiles Foundation, $85,000
  • Northern Kentucky Health Department, $80,000
  • Primary Health Solutions, $50,000
  • Meals on Wheels of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky, $20,000

In addition, Deaconess awarded four grants to support primary care service initiatives:

  • St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy, $125,000
  • Talbert House, $100,000
  • Cincinnati Union Bethel, $62,000
  • The Care Center of Loveland, $36,800

Agencies receive $151K from First Financial

First Financial Bank and its Foundation have distributed $151,500 to organizations in Greater Cincinnati to support programs that enhance and develop communities, particularly low-income ones, in neighborhood development, workforce development and education, and culture and the arts. 

Archie Brown, president/CEO of First Financial

“The support we are providing through grants from the First Financial Foundation is part of our commitment to be woven into the communities we serve,” said Archie Brown, president and CEO of First Financial Bank. “We thank these organizations for working with us to make a positive difference in the lives of the people who live and work here.”

Organizations receiving funding:

  • Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati
  • Axis Teen Centers
  • BLOC Ministries, Inc.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton, Ohio
  • Brighton Center
  • Center for Respite Care
  • Cincinnati Community ToolBank
  • Cincinnati Union Bethel
  • Circle Tail
  • Cornerstone Renter Equity
  • Easterseals TriState
  • Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky
  • Invest in Neighborhoods
  • Learning Grove
  • Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati
  • Mercy Neighborhood Ministries
  • Preservation of Affordable Housing
  • Rosemary’s Babies Co.
  • Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses
  • Shelterhouse
  • ULI Cincinnati
  • Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio
  • Whole Again International
  • Working in Neighborhoods

First Financial also secured additional funds for local organizations through two outside sources: CREA, a low-income housing tax credit organization; and the Ohio Capital Impact Corporation.

Gift will boost mental health services for UC medical students

A gift from a former University of Cincinnati faculty member will support and name a current program providing mental health services to UC College of Medicine students.

Stephan D. Weiss has pledged $100,000 to endow The Stephan D. Weiss, PhD Student Mental Health Wellness Program at the college. His gift will provide the program with funding in perpetuity, as conversations around mental health take a more prominent role in medical training.

“We are committed to a holistic education at the College of Medicine, ensuring our students are supported in each aspect of their training, including the vital area of mental health,” said Andrew T. Filak Jr., M.D., senior vice president for health affairs. “I am deeply grateful for Dr. Weiss’ gift and his partnership, given his long history of leadership and research in this area.”

Weiss is a pioneer in student mental health since creating the UC Student Mental Health Program in 1972, where he also served as coordinator until his retirement. Since then, he has continued to support college mental health by serving on the Foundation Board of the American College Health Association.

“These students are under tremendous pressure,” said Weiss. “They often feel very isolated from each other, particularly in times when they are stressed.

“What we’re seeing now, especially with the pandemic, is a major demand for services alongside the need to find ways to make services possible for the fewest dollars, due to budgetary constraints. I faced that from the beginning of my work with student mental health at UC, so returning to this area is very natural for me. It’s serendipity.”  

Weiss also will serve as consultant and liaison to the wellness program, which is run by college faculty.

ArtsWave awards grants for programs to attract YPs to arts

During ArtsWave’s December board meeting, $48,000 in grant awards were approved from the 2020 ArtsWave Campaign to support programming from seven arts organizations that will attract and engage Young Professionals (YPs) to the arts.  

Organizations and projects selected: 

  • Action Tank, for Creative Candidate Nights
  • Cincinnati Memorial Hall Society, for LAS Underground
  • Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, for Off the Grid
  • Contemporary Arts Center, for  Co-LAB (Community Laboratory)
  • Revolution Dance Theatre, for InRoads to the aRts
  • Young Professionals Choral Collective, for YPCC Concert Cycles

Twenty eligible organizations applied, with $269,000 in total requested. 

Funding for the YP grant program is made possible by donations from the 2020 ArtsWave Campaign, given by ArtsWave Young Professionals. Projects were chosen through a cross-section of YPs throughout the region who evaluated the submissions and made recommendations.

Santa Maria receives $30,000 grant to support family financial stability

The John A Schroth Family Charitable Trust has awarded $30,000 to Santa Maria Community Services, Inc. for financial stability of families. 

Santa Maria offers free financial education, financial coaching, and financial tools to help individuals reach their financial goals. Services are available to assist participants to make educated decisions regarding finances so they can increase net income, credit and net worth.

The grant “will help Santa Maria continue to provide one-on-one coaching for individuals to help them better understand credit reports, identify strategies for improving their financial future, and learn about basic banking,” said H.A. Musser, Jr., Santa Maria president and CEO.

Also, the L&L Nippert Charitable Foundation has awarded $30,000 to Santa Maria for High School Equivalency (HSE) Services. Funds will cover the cost of examinations, practice tests and transportation for students to ensure that they are able to attend HSE classes. Funds will also be used for supportive services, when needed, such as obtaining birth certificates or ID’S for students who do not have identification documents.

High School Equivalency preparation classes prepare students to take the Ohio HSE examinations and/or increase their basic skills to a functioning level. The fundamental premise behind these free services is to use education to break generational cycles of poverty.

Learning Grove wins grant from Horizon’s The 410 giving circle

The 2020 cohort of The 410, a Northern Kentucky giving circle hosted by Horizon Community Funds, has selected Learning Grove to receive its 2020 grant of $16,000 for the organization’s Young Families Program. 

The funds from this grant award will be used to support the home visitation program at Learning Grove, which serves 100 parents in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties who are expecting a child or who have recently had a child. Parents receive monthly visits from Learning Grove’s home visitors from the time they enroll until the child’s third birthday. During these visits, parents receive information on having a healthy pregnancy and delivery, educational opportunities to foster brain development for their child, and home visitors empower parents to be their child’s first teacher.  

Over the course of the last nine months, home visitors have had to severely modify how they deliver high quality services addressing family health and well-being while also supporting children’s development. The team’s creative approach includes gathering materials and dropping kits off to families that are then reviewed and discussed over the phone, via Zoom or FaceTime. 

“Unfortunately, we are currently not able to be reimbursed for these drop-off visits due to COVID-19 restrictions, but because we know it is the right thing to do, we continued at our own cost,” said Learning Grove CEO Shannon Starkey-Taylor. “The 410 giving circle dollars mean we may continue creating, nurturing, and promoting connections, and meeting on-going developmental needs of our families.” 

The 2020 cohort of The 410 includes 40 emerging philanthropists from across Northern Kentucky who are passionate about exploring their potential for giving back with maximum impact in the community. Grant funds from The 410 are dedicated to nonprofit programs and resources that serve Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties. To generate the grant, each member of The 410 commits a gift of $410. The giving circle operates once per year, in the fall. 

Additional information about The 410.
Details regarding the 2021 grant cycle will be announced next summer. 

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