First Financial Bank and the First Financial Foundation have announced $155,000 in grants for 23 Greater Cincinnati organizations helping to enhance and develop the communities in which it does business. First Financial’s 2021 Annual Grant Campaign is benefitting more than 60 organizations throughout its four-state footprint of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.
“This campaign is an outstanding example of our intent to be a positive influence, and to help our clients and communities thrive,” said Archie Brown, president and CEO of First Financial Bank. “Our support for these organizations will lift our cities and towns and help our neighbors grow and prosper.”
The 2021 Annual Grant Campaign places a particular focus on low-income communities, with funding priorities in neighborhood development, workforce development and education, and culture and the arts.
Grants for neighborhood development:
- Cincinnati Community Toolbank
- Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati
- Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative
- Center for Independent Living Options
- Legal Aid of Greater Cincinnati
- Over-the-Rhine Community Housing
- People Working Cooperatively
- Working in Neighborhoods
- Whole Again International
- Center for Community Revitalization
“We are so appreciative of the support from First Financial for our Greater Cincinnati Equity Index,” said Duane Gordon, CEO of Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati. “This project will develop a dashboard of local metrics on social and economic justice factors to provide better data on the current status in each neighborhood and how local efforts are moving the needle to create a more just and equitable region for everyone.”
Grants for workforce development and education:
- Brighton Center
- Learning Grove
- Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati
- Cornerstone Renter Equity
- Easterseals serving Greater Cincinnati
- Junior Achievement of OKI Partners
- Per Scholas
- Santa Maria Community Services
- St. Aloysius Orphanage
- Bail Project
- Inspiration Studios
- Hope House Rescue Mission
“Easterseals is incredibly grateful to First Financial for its continued support of our Military & Veteran Services program, and to their ongoing commitment to ensuring that no veteran is left behind in our community,” said Pam Green, president and CEO, Easterseals serving Greater Cincinnati. “Together, we are working hard to ensure that everyone who has raised their right hand for this country has the skills, support and opportunity to succeed.”
Grants for culture and arts initiatives:
- Price Hill Will
First Financial has again collaborated with external funders to increase support for communities beyond the direct support being provided by the First Financial Foundation. Outside funding for this campaign was provided by CREA, a low-income housing tax credit organization, and the Ohio Capital Impact Corporation, which funds programs specifically targeted to benefit residents and neighborhoods with affordable housing.
The 2021 Annual Grant Campaign is just one of many initiatives from the bank to act on its strategic intent to be woven into the communities it serves. Earlier this year, First Financial Bank earned the highest overall rating of Outstanding from the Federal Reserve Board for its performance under the Community Reinvestment Act to meet the credit needs of the people and businesses in its communities. The top rating comes after a broad evaluation of First Financial’s lending, investment and service levels from 2017-2020, specifically benefitting customers that meet income guidelines or reside in low- and moderate-income census tracts.