NKY Funders’ Grants returns with more partners, more funding

NKY Funders’ Grants is back with more funding and additional partners for its second year to bring over $110,000 in total funds to nonprofits that serve Northern Kentucky.

“We are thrilled to bring this growing collaboration back to Northern Kentucky,” said Nancy Grayson, President of Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky. “By working together, we truly maximize our impact in the region for the common wealth, and the common good. For this year’s competition, Horizon Community Funds is proud to support organizations who work to improve the health and wellness of our community.”

The 2019 program brings together several regional foundations, listed below with their 2019 focus areas:

  • Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky (Health and Wellness)

  • The Butler Foundation (Reducing Barriers to Employment)

  • The Charles H. Dater Foundation (K-12 Programming)

  • The R.C. Durr Foundation (Popular Vote)

  • Greater Cincinnati Foundation (Addiction Services)

  • Scripps Howard Foundation (Early Childhood Literacy)

  • The Elsa Heisel Sule Foundation (Arts, Culture, and Humanities)

  • United Way of Greater Cincinnati (Early Childhood)

“By collaborating, funders can focus attention on some of our community’s opportunity areas — and the non-profits making strides to address them,” said Barbara Schaefer, Executive Director of The Butler Foundation. “The Butler Foundation invests in long-term poverty solutions, and this year our Funders’ Grant awards will go to programs that connect ready people with living-wage jobs.”

“Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is pleased to join the NKY Funders’ Grants as it continues to invest in Northern Kentucky and in a whole region where everyone can thrive. We will focus these grants on addiction services, recognizing the challenges that substance and alcohol abuse present to individuals and families and how it impacts our community,” said Rickell Smith, Director of Community Strategies at GCF. “GCF is committed to investing in solutions that improve the lives of those directly impacted.”

The funders have updated the program to include increased first- and second-place prizes in each focus area and for the popular vote, and a prize for semifinalists that do not proceed to final round. Additionally, they have expanded the timeline to allow more time for the process.

“United Way of Greater Cincinnati unites communities to change lives,” said Amanda Greenwell, Director, United Way of Greater Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky. “We all share common needs that must be met in order to thrive as individuals and families: Basic Needs, Financial Stability, Quality Educational Experiences and Physical and Mental Health. Our intention is to break the cycle of poverty for families in Greater Cincinnati.”

“Our lives, our families, and our communities are enhanced, improved, and inspired by arts, culture, and humanities,” said Ruth V. Klette, Trustee at The Elsa Heisel Sule Foundation. “Art is the conscious creation of something of beauty, meaning, and usefulness. By using knowledge, skill and imagination, art expresses feeling and evokes emotional responses and revitalizes our soul.”

NKY Funders’ Grants is an ongoing program that convenes foundations and funders around mini-grant competitions for nonprofits that serve Northern Kentucky. The timeline for the 2019 NKY Funders’ Grants is below, and more information can be found at www.horizonfunds.org/nky-funders-grants.

Important dates for the 2019 NKY Funders’ Grants:

  • June 25, 9:30-11:30 a.m.: Informational meeting for potential applicants at the Covington branch of the Kenton County Public Library

  • July 1: Applications open online

  • July 31: Deadline for applications

  • Early September: Semifinalists announced

  • September 10, 5:00-8:00 p.m.: Semifinalist training at Life Learning Center in Covington

  • September 24, 5:00-9:00 p.m.: Semifinalist pitches at the RiverCenter Media Center in Covington

  • Early October: Finalists announced

  • October 29, 5:00-7:30 p.m.: Final pitch competition at the St. Elizabeth Training & Education Center in Erlanger


“The Northern Kentucky Funders’ grants enable the Scripps Howard Foundation to further of our mission to create a better-informed world through journalism education and childhood literacy,” said Liz Carter, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. “Access to books from an early age is proven to be an important predictor of a child’s success through their school years and beyond. Literacy is a powerful antidote to poverty.”

The community is welcome to attend the final mini-pitch competition, to be held October 29 from 5:00-7:30 p.m. at the St. Elizabeth Technology and Education Center in Erlanger. Tickets will be available in late July.

Each partner will select two finalists in each focus area to pitch their project or program to the audience at the October 29 event. Based on pitches made at the event, partners will select a first-place winner to receive $7,500, and a second-place winner to receive $5,000 in each focus area. A popular vote at the event will determine an additional $7,500 first-place award and $5,000 second-place award for two of the ten finalists.

“The NKY Funder’s Grants Mini Grant Competition was a blast last year, and this year there is even more money up for grabs,” said Jean Mize, Assistant to the President at the R.C. Durr Foundation. “I can’t wait to hear the new pitches as each nonprofit vies for grant money! This time around, the R.C. Durr Foundation is sponsoring the Popular Vote, and it is always intriguing to see if the audience agrees with the judges’ choices as to who told the best story. Please mark your calendars and join us in voting for your favorite on Tuesday, October 29!”

More information about the 2019 partners can be found below.

About The Butler Foundation

The Butler Foundation helps Northern Kentuckians in need, as directly as possible. Established by Corporex CEO Bill Butler and his wife, Sue, it is a private foundation that supports direct service charities, provides “Helping Hands” hardship grants, and awards “Butler Scholar” funds to select high schools and colleges in Northern Kentucky.

About The Charles H. Dater Foundation

The Charles H. Dater Foundation makes grants to non-profit organizations in the Greater Cincinnati area to carry out programs and projects that benefit young people and focus in the areas of arts/culture, education, healthcare, social services and other community needs. Since its founding in 1985, the Foundation has made over 2,900 grants totaling more than $45 million.

About The R.C. Durr Foundation

R.C. Durr (1919-2007) was a successful entrepreneur, a life-long resident of Northern Kentucky, and a generous, though quiet philanthropist who had an abiding compassion for the less fortunate. In keeping with his legacy of commitment and caring, the R.C. Durr Foundation is dedicated to celebrating the life and legacy of its benefactor by providing philanthropic support to improve the quality of life of the larger Northern Kentucky region and its people, with a particular emphasis on education, social services and community development.

About the Greater Cincinnati Foundation

The region’s community foundation since 1963, Greater Cincinnati Foundation connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone – now, and for generations to come.

About Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky

Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky is a qualified public charitable 501(c)(3) organization established as a community foundation in 2017 by Northern Kentucky leaders. Its mission is to unite resources to raise the quality of life for all people in the Northern Kentucky community.

About The Scripps Howard Foundation

The Scripps Howard Foundation supports philanthropic causes important to The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) and the communities it serves, with a special emphasis on excellence in journalism. At the crossroads of the classroom and the newsroom, the Foundation is a leader in supporting journalism education, scholarships, internships, minority recruitment and development, literacy and First Amendment causes. The Scripps Howard Awards stand as one of the industry’s top honors for outstanding journalism. The Foundation improves lives and helps build thriving communities. It partners with Scripps brands to create awareness of local issues and supports impactful organizations to drive solutions.

About The Elsa Heisel Sule Foundation

The Elsa Heisel Sule Foundation is an independent Private Foundation established by Elsa Sule in 2004. The Foundation advances the philanthropic aspirations of Elsa by investing funds to “provide opportunities in education, community and the arts” to 501c3 organizations which provide programs in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The Sule Foundation board and staff practice engaged philanthropy.

About United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Success By 6®

Success By 6® is a regional movement that ensures every child can succeed in school and life by providing knowledge, resources and connections for decision makers and influencers in a child’s early life. We envision a community where all children are prepared for kindergarten and their parents/caregivers embrace their role in the success of their child and family.