Category Archives: philanthropy

Obstacles for Working Mothers

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This report explores disincentives to career advancement.

By Cara Jacob, Research Coordinator, The Women’s Fund and The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio

The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation leads our community in ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region and ignites a shared desire to improve it. One of the most influential ways we advance this mission is through our research; we have released seven groundbreaking studies in the past as part of our PULSE research series. All of The Women’s Fund research is available on our website.

We are excited to share that we have released our eighth PULSE study, in partnership with the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center, titled “PULSE REPORT: Outlining the Disincentives and Opportunity Costs for Working Mothers.” This study began in response to findings on the Cliff Effect in Ohio, from our 2014 PULSE Briefing.

The Cliff Effect refers to a sudden drop off in public assistance due to an income raise that results in an overall loss of gross resources.

  • For example, a mother making $12 an hour might get a $0.50 raise, resulting in an overall annual income bump of a couple thousand dollars. But she becomes suddenly ineligible for her childcare assistance which costs her $8,000 a year. She is now $6,000 worse off because of her $0.50 advancement and unable to make ends meet.
  • We have a lot more information about the Cliff Effect and other factors affecting women’s economic self-sufficiency on our website at Self-Sufficiency 101.

In this new report, we wanted to dig into whether or not the Cliff Effect was preventing working mothers from taking raises or otherwise presenting barriers to women’s economic advancement. What we found was not exactly what we had expected.  As it turns out, the benefits cliffs in Hamilton County have largely been smoothed out. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the picture is still pretty dismal for working mothers in our area. Our topline findings were:

  • The average annual income for a working mother in Hamilton County is $19,700, which is just 20% above the Federal Poverty Level for a family of two and roughly 50% below self-sufficiency for a mother and one preschool-age child.
  • From $8,000 annually to $42,000 annually a working mother’s gross resources (calculated as earned income plus public benefits) is essentially unchanging, leading many to feel that they are working harder and harder but they can’t get ahead. The graph below shows the tapering of benefits as earned income increases. The line across the top is the self-sufficiency level for Hamilton County.

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Working more hours does not necessarily mean you are financially better off. Consider the case below. Even at a wage as high as $20, a working mother going from part time to full time would be working an additional 1,000 hours for $900 a year.

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After digesting the complex nature of the challenge now before us, The Women’s Fund has developed a number of recommendations for change in our community. A few examples include:

  • Strongly advocate that all community recommendations and actions regarding poverty are firmly rooted in the way race, gender, and the intersectionality of the two play a critical role in the experience of individuals and in developing effective interventions.
  • Close the gender wage gap which is present at all levels of work in all occupational groups.
  • Promote full spectrum of benefits eligibility to those who qualify and collect more accurate data about usage rates.
  • Recognizing that women are disproportionately represented in low-wage work, encourage career mobility by building bridges to better paying jobs through mentorships, education, and on-the-job training.

Our findings were presented to the Greater Cincinnati community at a research release on August 30. Attendees included representatives from social service organizations, nonprofits, and the community-at-large. We are already beginning to have conversations about the implications of the research findings with the Child Poverty Collaborative and Partners for a Competitive Workforce.

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Cara Jacob

We hope you will share this with your friends and colleagues. Discuss it. Brainstorm interventions and ways you can help. We cannot eliminate the issue of poverty by ourselves- it can only be done by working together.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me, Cara Jacob, Research Coordinator, at jacobc@gcfdn.org, if you have any questions!

If you are interested in getting involved with the Women’s Fund please contact Barb Linder, Coordinator, at linderb@gcfdn.org.

Cara Jacob is the Research Coordinator for The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio, a supporting organization of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation .

A Conversation About Leadership With Dianne Rosenberg

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Dianne Rosenberg and her husband David at Smale Riverfront Park. They gifted family porch swings to the park.

By Julia Mace, Senior Communications Officer, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

Dianne Rosenberg is the Governing Board Chair of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF). She took on her role during a time of transition for the Foundation when Kathy Merchant retired as President/CEO and Ellen M. Katz took the position. In this post, she addresses her experience with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Why did you start volunteering at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation?

Rosenberg: I started volunteering as a board member. Following my professional retirement, I had been engaged in civic work in the arts and culture, social service and educational sectors. I wasn’t a GCF donor and nor did I serve on any of GCF’s committees before I was asked to join the Board. Ironically, it was at a time in my life when I thought I was going to retire from community volunteering. I was an empty nester, longing to reduce my golf handicap, and to garden, cook and satisfy my wanderlust. Frankly, I was surprised to be asked and very flattered. I knew by its reputation that GCF contributes enormously through the generosity of its donors and its collaborations with community organizations to improve the lives of our community. I realized it was an opportunity for me to learn, grow and engage with Cincinnati leadership around initiatives which I have had longstanding interest. My work on the board broadened my awareness of other opportunities for civic engagement and has been challenging yet gratifying. The complexity, the depth and breadth of GCF’s reach in the community is formidable. I still have so much more to learn!

How did you first come to know The Greater Cincinnati Foundation?

Dianne Rosenberg
Dianne Rosenberg

Rosenberg: The first time I learned of GCF was when I was in my late twenties. I was the board chair of a new venture, a parent learning center, affiliated with Jewish Family Service Cincinnati. This innovative program was the first of its kind in the region. It was a health-based model for teaching and supporting healthy, mothers, fathers, infants and toddlers. A team of highly qualified early childhood educators and healthcare professionals created rich program. But there was a lack of funding.

This is where GCF played an important role. At that time, a face-to-face interview was required as part of the GCF grantmaking process. We met with GCF Executive Director Carolyn McCoy, who was warm, engaging, and very intrigued by this innovative model for supporting and educating healthy thriving young families. Not only was our grant request funded, but GCF advised a number of their donors to invest in this new program which resulted in additional support as well.

Tell us about your time as board chair. What stands out to you?

Rosenberg: When I was asked to become board chair, it was with the knowledge that our executive leadership would be changing during the first half of my first year as chair. I have always been one who embraces change and views it as an opportunity for discovery and growth. Pete Strange, my predecessor, asked me to chair the executive search process before my term commenced. It was a great learning curve for me in becoming familiar with GCF’s strengths, needs, and growth opportunities. The proof of a successful search is the hire. Ellen Katz is the example of this credo. I have always held the belief that a balanced partnership with board and executive leadership is essential for the organization’s health. Ellen and I share a mutual respect for the importance and necessity of our collaborative efforts to advance GCF’s mission. It has been rewarding to learn from our board members that their work has been enriched because of this shared value. I had great confidence in Ellen when we hired her although at the time I had no idea the depth and breadth of her executive leadership skills. Ellen has packed a WHOLE LOT into her first 18 months, and she is just getting started. Honestly, I do not know when she sleeps. It is my honor and joy to serve as board chair.

Dianne Rosenberg is the Governing Board Chair of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Make the Most of Your Generosity with Endow Kentucky Tax Credit

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Chuck Scheper and Julie Geisen Scheper used the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit to benefit Covington Partners.

By Suzanne Rohlfs, Director of Development and Professional Advisor Relations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

In my work at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, I’m privileged to help generous people make the most of their giving. This is why I’m happy to share an upcoming opportunity in Northern Kentucky that benefits Kentucky taxpayers and makes the most of their generosity.

What is the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit?

The Endow Kentucky Tax Credit enables any Kentucky taxpayer (business or individual) to receive a state tax credit of up to 20% of a charitable gift to a permanent endowment fund at a local community foundation (up to $10,000 per taxpayer).

Unlike a tax deduction, a credit is taken off the tax bill dollar for dollar. So, if a donor has a Kentucky tax bill of $1,000, a donation of $5,000 through Endow Kentucky would eliminate that tax altogether (20% of $5,000 is $1,000). Federal and State charitable tax deductions are still available for these gifts.

In 2016, $1,000,000 in tax credits are available beginning July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017.

Limited time opportunity

Applications for fiscal year 2017, (which begins July 1, 2016) will be accepted through June 30, 2017, or until the credits run out, whichever comes first. Note that tax credits may be depleted in the first week of July, so I recommend applying on July 1, 2016.

What gifts qualify for the Endow Kentucky tax credit?

Gifts can be cash or appreciated stock, and must be made to a qualified community foundation, such as The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Donors may also create a new endowment fund. Endowed funds are permanent funds which provide annual support to the named organization. The fund must benefit a Kentucky organization.

Jumpstart your nonprofit’s endowment

Are you part of a nonprofit looking for a way to grow or start your organization’s endowment? Endow Kentucky is a great way to build your endowment.

What our donors are saying

I asked Chuck Scheper why he and his wife, Julie Geisen Scheper, used Endow Kentucky in the past.

“My wife and I found setting up an Endow Kentucky fund to support one of our favorite charities, Covington Partners, was not only a very tax efficient way to go with both a tax deduction and the state tax credit, but it’s also comforting to know that we are setting up a legacy of giving to this organization for many years to come,”
-Chuck Scheper

Why a tax credit?

The Endow Kentucky Tax Credit is a response to a study that showed a substantial intergenerational transfer of wealth would occur in the next few decades and that many of these dollars would likely leave the state (often passed by parents to adult children who move away). Kentucky offers the tax credit as an incentive to keep charitable dollars in the state and to use them for the permanent support and long-term sustainability of Kentucky nonprofits.

Need help?

Suzanne RohlfsConsult your tax advisor for further information and additional tax advantages.

Contact Suzanne Rohlfs, Michele Carey, or Laura Menge at 513-241-2880 to discuss your plans for making a gift that may qualify for the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit.

Suzanne Rohlfs is the Director of Development and Professional Advisor Relations of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

 

 

A Meaningful Career in Philanthropy

Jim Huizenga, GCF staff, and friends volunteered at Ronald McDonald House Charities Greater Cincinnati as a way to celebrate Jim's retirement.
Jim Huizenga (first row center), GCF staff, and friends volunteered at Ronald McDonald House Charities Greater Cincinnati as a way to celebrate Jim’s retirement.

Jim Huizenga, Senior Program Officer of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, retired recently after 12 years with the Foundation. Jim is a trusted and well-respected colleague throughout the service sector, particularly with those in the arts and culture community, as well as to GCF’s private foundation clients.

By Jim Huizenga, Senior Program Officer, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

Twelve years ago, a longstanding dream of mine came true – that was to work full-time for a large private foundation or the community foundation.

Every day since then, I have been grateful for the opportunities and privilege to support, encourage, and strengthen service providers in our community.

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is on an important mission, and I have been profoundly honored to be a part of it.

I am thankful for the interactions with broad range of service providers on topics that need funding and other topics that go beyond grants and funding.

Every conversation has been a privilege for me.

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Thank you taking me into your confidences and allowing me to engage with you in addressing community needs.

I am thankful for the interactions with charitably-minded folks with resources looking to make a positive difference in our community.

I understand this activity is personal, close to the heart, sometimes sacred.

Thank you, as well, for folding me into your confidences and allowing me to engage with you in supporting many, many good works being delivered in our community.

Thank you to The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, those providing services, and those supporting the service providers.

All of you and all of it are woven into my mental and emotional fabric, and that shall remain precious to me.

I don’t have a firm plan for the future. But I expect I’ll be popping up here and there to participate in the interactions and re-engage in a few good works.

Thank you all.

Grantmaking at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation thanks our nonprofit partners for helping keep our community thriving and vibrant.

GCF administers grants to address a wide range of community needs and issues. We award grants to qualified nonprofit 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

More about Jim

Prior to coming to The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Jim was with PNC Bank in Cincinnati, where he managed the Bank’s Charitable & Endowment Services Group. Including his time with PNC, Jim has been active in the philanthropic sector for over 25 years.

Jim’s commitment to the community includes personally serving United Way of Greater Cincinnati, ArtsWave, Saint Joseph Home, Cincinnati Boychoir, Ensemble Theatre, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, YMCA Greater Cincinnati, Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church, and several other organizations.

In 2015, two of these organizations honored Jim for his dedication and commitment. The Cincinnati Boychoir gave him the 2015 Community Recognition Award. Jim is an active vocalist with both the Cincinnati Boychoir Men’s Glee Club and the Mount Washington Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir.

He was also honored by St. Joseph Home at the Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council’s 2015 Voices of Giving Awards Ceremony. A former board member of Saint Joseph Home, Jim was recognized for his long-term guidance and service to the organization.

Our Donors are Leaders in Greater Cincinnati

Chuck Scheper and Julie Geisen Scheper with second graders at John G. Carlisle Elementary in Covington. Chuck and Julie are GCF donors.Chuck Scheper and Julie Geisen Scheper with second graders at John G. Carlisle Elementary in Covington.

By Ellen M. Katz, President/CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation exists to leverage your generosity into solutions to problems you care about. Together we are able to create a more prosperous community.

“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.

A community foundation is developed by and for a community of people. Because of your generosity in 2014:

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.

Let’s find out how we can work together.

Ellen M. Katz is the CEO/President of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Building Meaningful Connections

Our 2014 Annual Report cover features Union Terminal. Learn more about our work with the Cultural Facilities Task Force.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s 2014 Annual Report cover features Union Terminal.

By Ellen M. Katz, President/CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

As the new face here at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, I’ve been busy learning all about the meaningful connections GCF makes in the community.

The spirit of giving in the Tristate is legendary, and we are proud of the part we play. By partnering with many in our community, GCF granted more than $77 million to nonprofits in 2014.

You may be surprised at the many things GCF has had a hand in, thanks to our generous donors.

A few of the projects in which GCF has invested:

In taking this job, I’m excited by GCF being the region’s leading convener.

By partnering with many organizations and community leaders, GCF has helped to develop a shared vision of community change, save two local icons,  support big ideas, inspire the next generation of philanthropists, improve racial equity, and connect many interested donors to causes they care about.

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.

That’s why I love the story of the women leaders of the Fresh Air Society, who realized their mission to provide tenement families a respite in the country was obsolete. They went on to partner with the local banking community to start The Greater Cincinnati Foundation in 1963.

I look forward to partnering with you, as I begin my journey here at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Ellen M. Katz is the CEO/President of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Satisfied Giving: Tips for Personal Philanthropy

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Delhi Middle School students at Crayons to Computers.

By Amy Cheney

Giving back is supposed to feel good. But it turns out, many Americans are dissatisfied with their charitable giving. A friend of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Daniel Torbeck of UBS Financial Services, recently pointed out this fact in this excellent editorial in The Cincinnati Enquirer.

“Americans’ dissatisfaction with giving practices has a lot to do with how they do it, which, we found, is largely haphazardly.” – Daniel Torbeck

Research has shown giving releases endorphins and often makes a person feel good. If you aren’t feeling the joy of giving due to a haphazard approach, consider the following tips.

Why do we give?

Giving is a deeply person act. It will be worth taking time to consider what values you hold most dear. Be sure that your giving reflects your individual values.

Most people give for one of the following reasons:

  • Passion (your favorite nonprofit organization, health cause, or place of worship)
  • Loyalty or obligation (like to an alma mater)
  • Reaction (such as an emergency need, natural disaster or a friend asked you to support a charity walk )

Creating a good mix

To feel more satisfied about your personal giving, create a plan. Review your recent giving to see patterns in your giving. Making a plan is easier (and more fun!) than you may think.

As suggested by Jason Franklin of Bolder Giving, a good place to start with your giving plan is to break down your giving with the 50/30/20 formula:

  • 50% of giving to be for your passion
  • 30% out of loyalty/obligation
  • 20% in reaction to needs as they arise.

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 info@gcfdn.org.

Amy L. Cheney CPA, CAP® is The Greater Cincinnati Foundation‘s Vice President for Giving Strategies. Learn more about her here.