GCF Annual Fund impact bigger, bolder

A gift to Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s Annual Fund goes to work in our region a whole lot more than it used to. The Annual Fund is driven by the belief that change in our community requires leaders who can inspire and convene changemakers to collaborate and create solutions. Annual Fund giving provides GCF with the financial ability to take on a greater leadership role in the community and address the region’s most critical and persistent needs. Through a contribution to the GCF Annual Fund, a donor plays a pivotal role in realizing the goal of a more vibrant, equitable region for everyone.

“Over the last few years, a lot of energy has been put into our role as a changemaker in our community,” said Meghan Cummings, the foundation’s vice president of civic advancement. “When folks contribute to their community foundation, it’s really how they can amplify and accelerate change for the whole community.”

Cummings said the GCF Annual Fund allows the organization to invest in its community leadership, most notably around its mission of achieving racial equity.

One of those levers is helping the Greater Cincinnati community with its vocabulary around racial equity. WIth its Racial Equity Matters program, GCF has trained over 2,500 local leaders.

Another big area of focus is public policy.

“We are not going to grant our way out of poverty,” Cummings said. “We are not going to grant our way out of racism. But one of the things that can make a big difference in those two areas is policy change. How can we protect our investments by keeping a close eye on policy in the areas of housing, poverty alleviation, police-community relations, among others.”

Meghan Cummings
Meghan Cummings

Cummings was named to her current role last April, the first person at the foundation to focus exclusively on public policy.

But Cummings said what has most motivated her in her new role is the ability of the foundation to contribute to and lead on solving Greater Cincinnati region’s complex problems, whether it’s racial justice, economic mobility or housing.

“The complex problems cannot be solved by the philanthropic sector alone,” she said. “When we think about these problems, people typically turn to the nonprofit sector. But that’s leaving really important players out of the conversations. Government has the power and resources. And one of the most important sectors to be involved, the business sector, can be activated in a way that speeds progress to create community prosperity.”

GCF sees its role as a convener to bring all those sectors together since no one sector can solve our region’s problems on its own.

“When we have a robust Annual Fund, it helps us bring all these sectors together,” Cummings said.

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