“You don’t just want to write a check and feel good about it. You want to see improvement.”
– Chuck Scheper. Read more of Chuck’s story.
We want to support you in determining how best to use your charitable resources.
“We decided to partner with GCF to support Withrow Dental Center because it is an innovative healthcare solution that has been proven successful.”
– Jeff and Heather Spanbauer. Read more of this partnership.
As you can see, helping you most effectively invest your charitable resources in the areas you are most passionate is the engine of our work.
“It was difficult for me, so I’d like to pass on the opportunity to someone from a similar background who is really eager to go to school and does not have the means to do it.”
– Laura Harrison. Read more of Laura’s story.
By Julia Mace, Senior Communications Officer, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
A recent work day began with me donning a hard hat and getting painting instructions from college student Karalyn Henry. Not my typical work day at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF)!
My colleague, Lori Beiler, and I were fortunate to spend a morning working on murals with ArtWorks apprentices as part of an event to allow donors and funders to take part of mural creation.
As I climbed two flights of scaffolding to work on the Sycamore Street mural, Kara calmly gave me directions, asked me questions, and told me about herself.
Working on the mural was fun, but what really stuck with Lori and me was how impressed we were with these young future leaders.
Since 1996, ArtWorks has been providing life-changing summer employment experiences for Cincinnati’s youth through the creation of community-based art. By painting murals, youth not only hone their artistic skills, but gain valuable work experience and life skills.
It was obvious the group we worked with was top-notch. They were well-spoken and confident with adults as they became our “bosses” for the day.
Lori was as impressed with Ahustin Crawford, a college student, as I was with Kara.
“[Ahustin] told me he wanted to be an art teacher and his experience at ArtWorks had influenced him,” Lori said. “It was his second year in the program. The best part of the day was talking to the kids.”
The apprentice group we worked with was diverse in age, schools, neighborhoods, and interests. The group ranged from 15 to 21. There were high school students from DePaul Cristo Rey and Mother of Mercy High School, and college students from Northern Kentucky and Xavier universities.
One apprentice told me how surprised she was that the group not only worked well together but became friends, despite their age differences.
Our generous GCF donors love ArtWorks. They granted more than $200,000 to the organization in the last year and a half, and GCF was able to grant an additional $100,000 recently to ArtWorks.
The mural Lori and I worked on represents this summer’s CincyInk project, supported by a $50,000 GCF grant. ArtWorks’ CincyInk is an interactive, citywide celebration of love for Cincinnati, manifesting itself in the form of a community-created poem, tattoos, and urban art installations.
We thank these apprentices—our future leaders—for contributing to the beauty of our city.
The next time you drive past the Horseshoe Casino, check out “The Queen Shares Her Crown” mural that Lori, Kara, Ahustin, and I got to work on.
GCF is often there, providing support behind-the-scenes.
Another important role for us is building the nonprofit capacity in our region. We do this in many ways – through grantmaking, impact investing, and support to nonprofits. Our nonprofits are top-notch in Greater Cincinnati, providing for the good of our community in countless ways.
I personally subscribe to the values of servant leadership, where the needs of others are put first.
We promise many things to our children – to love them always, to do our best to protect them, to make their lives better. But many of our community’s children are missing the chance to get the early start they need for success throughout their lives.
What promise do they hold to be successful in their lives and in our community?
Here’s how the path works, according to the data: Kindergarten readiness is improved by preschool experience. Third grade reading proficiency is driven by Kindergarten readiness. Eighth grade math achievement is linked to third grade reading success.
You probably see where this is going: 80-90% of students who excel in eighth grade math will graduate from high school, ready for college and career.
But many of our children are not getting the right start on that path.
According to the Cincinnati Preschool Promise, “Cincinnati only has enough federal Head Start funding to cover about half the children who are eligible. The state provides additional funding for childcare subsidies, but there are still gaps in the system. Thousands of children – more than half of the city’s 3 and 4 year olds – are completely unserved.”
The Preschool Promise believes that every child deserves a solid start and a chance at a better life. Attending preschool is the best foundation for achieving success and all of our children deserve that opportunity. I’m proud to be a steering committee member of the Preschool Promise.
The Promise is simple. Every child, regardless of family income, can use tuition credits – more people at more income levels will be able to afford it. Parents choose the preschool. It is “last dollar” support – other available funding will be used first. It will help create a sustainable market for quality preschool because parents will ask for it, and have the means to pay for it. The Promise will also help preschools improve their quality.
To make it happen, the Preschool Promise will need funding from a school district levy, city or county sales tax initiative, or by leveraging existing city, state, or school resources. Voters and elected officials alike will have to help fulfill this promise to our kids.
It’s worth it. According to the First Five Years Fund, “Every dollar invested in quality early childhood education for disadvantaged children delivers economic gains of 7-10 percent per year through increased school achievement, healthy behavior, and adult productivity.”
Investing in quality preschool is also an investment in grownups: our current workforce. It provides quality education – not just babysitting – for the children of those working in many sectors, and it creates a more highly qualified workforce in the preschools themselves.
How does this connect to the work of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation? Since our 1992 Early Childhood Initiative, GCF has invested in the early years of our region’s kids. As best practices have evolved, the Foundation has invested and provided leadership to collaborative efforts like Success by Six ®, Partners for a Competitive Workforce, and StrivePartnership.
Adjust the formula to determine the mix is right for you and your family, and create a plan for your 2015 giving based on what you decide. With these plans, it also is smart to leave a percentage of your giving as unspecified, so you have the freedom to react or respond throughout the year.
Planning for impact
Planning your giving will leave you feeling more satisfied with how you give and will ultimately make a greater impact in the areas you care about most. A giving plan also prevents you from saying yes to charitable obligations to which you’re not committed.
Consider reviewing your giving plan each year. You’ll not only feel less frazzled, but you can have some great conversations about where you want your money to go.
We are proud to offer our donor families various resources to make their giving more focused. Please contact The Greater Cincinnati Foundation‘s Giving Strategies Group if you have any questions about creating a plan for your giving at 513-241-2880 or email@example.com.