2015 Finalists and Semi-Finalists


It has been a pleasure – and that goes far beyond the visibility or the potential funding. This was nothing short of a world-class experience for us.

Vanessa Freytag, Executive Director, 4C for Children


The following programs were selected as finalists, or semi-finalists, for the Transform Cincinnati program. Prospective funders interested in further information on any program may contact Susan Ingmire at singmire@ignitephilanthropy.com. Members of the news media may contact Krystan Krailler at krystan@rickmillercomunications.com.

Transform Cincinnati Finalists

  • A Down Payment on the Preschool Promise: This initiative creates the strategic foundation for the educational future of children through Cincinnati Preschool Promise (CPP). While still in development, CPP hopes to ensure every three and four year old child in the region has access to two years of high-quality, affordable preschool regardless of income – something no other city has done. This project seeks to lay the groundwork, including credentialing of quality ratings for more preschool providers, so CPP can ramp-up its implementation immediately if voters approve a ballot initiative in November 2016. This is a potential game-changer for Cincinnati, a city in which more than 50 percent of children are born into families below the poverty level. Applicant: 4C for Children
    Contact: Vanessa Freytag, 513.758.1202
  • Activate Ziegler Park!: The plan re-imagines Ziegler Park on Sycamore Street in Over-the-Rhine (OTR) as a true community recreational resource. By leveraging government and private funding, the existing park will be expanded and renovated into five acres of community civic space, including neighborhood green space, a new deep-water swimming pool, multi-use recreational field, children’s playground, public parking and more. The project is expected to spark improved housing, crime reduction, and retail/business development in the neighborhood.
    Applicant: Cincinnati Center City Development Corp (3CDC)
    Contact:
    Anastasia Mileham, 513.977.8003
  • Cincinnati Neighborhood Equity Fund: Creates a Cincinnati Neighborhood Equity Fund of “patient capital” to accelerate jobs and redevelopment of urban communities outside of Over-the-Rhine, starting in Walnut Hills, then spreading to other neighborhoods. Walnut Hills has already seen initial redevelopment and it is believed new equity can jump-start high-risk neighborhood development and revitalization, much like it has in OTR. CDF will support the fund by advising on financing, investing its own capital and leveraging other funding sources to complement this investment. This project could involve philanthropy and loans or a combination of both.
    Applicant: Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF)
    Contact: Dale Shafer, 513.977.7284
  • Venture Building Studio and OPA! Labs: Establishes a consumer health care venture studio (OPA! Labs) – a model already tried in other cities – dedicated to attracting the best health innovators and talent to the region to incubate, nurture and then commercialize ideas. The program builds on the region’s existing health care strength to further establish it as a national magnet for health care innovation and job creation.
    Applicant: Cintrifuse, in collaboration with The Health Collaborative
    Contact: Wendy Lea (Cintrifuse), 650.906.3904 | Craig Brammer (The Health Collaborative), 513.388.7060
  • End Youth Homelessness in Cincinnati by 2020: Homelessness among youth frequently ends in suicide, substance abuse and other negative consequences. This project envisions no homeless youth in Cincinnati. The plan develops a multipurpose center near Lighthouse headquarters in Mt. Auburn offering housing and services appropriate to youths’ needs while they work through skill building and a support plan to transition to independent adulthood. It includes an emergency homeless youth shelter, new units of permanent supportive housing, and a range of services that focus on getting youth into housing and off the streets.
    Applicant: Lighthouse Youth Services
    Contact: Bob Mecum, 513.487.7101
  • Precision Cancer Care: Revolutionizing Cancer Outcomes in Cincinnati: The project leverages breakthrough discoveries in genomics, drug discovery, informatics and biological model systems and brings them directly to patient care – which will help rank Cincinnati among national leaders in new and personalized advances in cancer care. It could catapult designation as a Center of Excellence by the National Cancer Institute, which brings jobs, prestige and patient care benefits. Breakthrough scientific discoveries made through the project are expected to be shared globally. Applicant: UC Health/UC Cancer Institute
    Contact:
    William Barrett, MD, 513.584.8216

Transform Cincinnati Semi-Finalists

  • Putting Cincy on the Map: ArtsCity USA: This initiative leverages big data among the city’s leading arts organizations to gain market share, distinguish brands, and influence customer behavior with the goal of creating a national reputation for Cincinnati as “ArtsCity USA.” Research suggests that data can be leveraged to increase awareness and consumption, driving loyalty for Cincinnati’s arts experiences by knowing and treating patrons better than any other community. The project proposes creating a centralized arts “marketing superstructure” to be shared by arts organizations across the region.
    Applicant: ArtsWave
    Contact: Alecia Kintner, 513.632.0146
  • Parenting Matters: This entrepreneurial approach to transform effective parenting into a regional priority uses evidence-based frameworks, all of which have been tested elsewhere — but never before deployed together under one umbrella — to create a cultural shift in the well-being of families. The project aims to equip all parents (whether biological, adoptive, foster or raising relatives’ children) to be the best parents they can be by using the Positive Parenting Program (PPP), Values in Action (VIA) and National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) programs in concert. Applicant: Beech Acres Parenting Center
    Contact: James Mason, 513.233.4680
  • Cincinnati Brewing Heritage Trail: Cincinnati has one of the largest collections of pre-Prohibition brewery structures and lagering cellars anywhere, in the middle of one of the largest mixed-use historic districts in the country. The Brewing Heritage trail celebrates this legacy while driving economic development through heritage tourism. Designed to be a world-class attraction, the Trail is approximately two miles through Cincinnati’s Central Business District and the neighborhoods of Pendleton and Over-the-Rhine. The district’s history will be told through the use of permanent visual markers, wayfinding, guided tours, digital technology, new media and interactive learning on the Trail.
    Applicant: Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (BDCURC)
    Contact: Steven Hampton, 513.246.4346
  • Rising Together: Getting it Right for Every Child: Four leading partners (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, United Way, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and The Strive Partnership) have joined to transform outcomes for Cincinnati’s children through a large-scale, city-wide continuous improvement initiative. The initiative will bring together partners in education, social services, health care and the community to identify “hot spots” of neighborhoods that are not serving children well and working to get it right for every child. The program tackles poverty in a city where poverty is more than twice the national average. Strategies are based on changing and aligning the current operating system for children services – a cultural shift that will have a ripple effect and give all children the opportunity to thrive.
    Applicant: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
    Contact: Jim Saporito, 513.636.2509
  • Next Generation Exhibits at Union Terminal: Reimagining the Visitor Experience: Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC)’s public funding through its new tax levy is dedicated only to building and infrastructure improvements. This initiative to redesign and create new exhibits based on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) content throughout CMC’s three museums will be a phased rollout over the next 3-5 years, concurrent with the timeline to restore and renovate Union Terminal. Each reimagined attraction will bring new audiences, partners and sponsors – driving renewed interest and repeat visitation to the CMC by linking restoration of Union Terminal with redesigned and new exhibits for visitors to explore and enjoy.
    Applicant: Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC)
    Contact: Elizabeth Pierce, 513.287.7006
  • Cincinnati Youth Leaders Council (CYLC): This project will develop and implement a district-wide student leadership framework focusing on three primary areas: Service Learning/Philanthropy, College Preparedness and Career Readiness. CYLC will create three student-led teams for each of the primary areas at each high school and work to implement school-wide campaigns to engage the student body. This after-school program is a curriculum-based and hands-on leadership development program to identify students’ strengths and support exploration in leadership capabilities.
    Applicant: Cincinnati Public School District
    Contact: Kara Shibiya, 513.363.0338
  • Changing Affordable Housing and Including Renter Equity in OTR: Cornerstone’s Renting Equity program provides affordable housing and a path to economic security for the working poor by acquiring and redeveloping vacant units in Over-the-Rhine and requiring residents to take part in a participatory management model, which builds equity for home ownership. This project aims to expand the program by creating 68 new housing units between 2015 and 2019.
    Applicant: Cornerstone Corporation for Shared Equity
    Contact: Rob Sheil, 513.369.0114
  • Cincinnati Co-operates! Creating an Economy that Works: Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative (CUCI) and Interfaith Business Builders (IBB) are partnering to reduce poverty and stabilize neighborhoods by creating jobs and cooperative (employee-owned) businesses. With an investment of capital to build capacity, the organizations will become fully staffed, meet growing demand and accelerate development of more co-op businesses by launching a joint co-op training institute and incubator, along with a $1 million low-interest capitalization fund for future co-op businesses.
    Applicant: Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative and Interfaith Business Builders
    Contact:
    Kristen Barker, 513.403.9963
  • Every Family Succeeds: For every child to succeed, every family must also succeed. This program increases the number of families served through home visitations with children ages 0-3 including prenatal care; provides coordinators who connect families to child care, preschool and heath services; provides gap funding for child care and preschool while parents work or attend school; supports leadership and collaboration to improve transitions among service providers; and collects data for reporting of key indicators and accountability. The project is a high priority for United Way’s Bold Goals, and its long-term impact is to break the cycle of poverty for high-risk Cincinnati families.
    Applicant: Every Child Succeeds (ECS)
    Contact:
    Judith Van Ginkel, Ph.D., 513.636.2830
  • Food 3.0: Food Innovation Districts (FIDs) are geographic concentrations of food-oriented businesses, services and community activities. They often include markets, food business incubators and facilities for common storage, packing and distribution needs. Findlay Market Food Innovation District (FMFID) is an initiative focused on realizing the local commercial, public health and placemaking power of food grown nearby. FMFID will accelerate the market’s resurgence and establish it as the center of regional food and food-related economic activity in the region through development of a processing and food aggregation space that serves emerging small and mid-sized farms and food businesses.
    Applicant: Corporation for Findlay Market (CFM)
    Contact: Karen Kahle, 613.665.4839
  • La Soupe: This pioneering and entrepreneurial model addresses food waste and hunger by using rescued food, local chefs and retail sales to subsidize donations to food-insecure families by leveraging existing networks and building on a successful pilot year. A group of local chefs produce soup while La Soupe manages food rescue and distribution. Funding also will systematize a scalable model to replicate in cities nationwide.
    Applicant: La Soupe
    Contact: Suzy DeYoung, 513.382.6779
  • Magnified Giving Student Philanthropy Project: The Student Philanthropy Program is Magnified Giving’s cornerstone program, now in its seventh year. The program engages high school students in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky in philanthropy education and grantmaking processes, culminating in the awarding of student-selected grants to local nonprofit organizations. This one-of-a-kind educational program could expand into every regional high school and have a permanent home with a funding opportunity to expand the Philanthropy Learning Center in Cincinnati.
    Applicant: Magnified Giving
    Contact: Roger Grein, 513.316.7060
  • Creating a Citywide Network of El Sistema-Inspired Music Programs: Research has shown the positive correlation between high arts engagement as a child and academic achievement, civic engagement and professional aspirations. El Sistema is Venezuela’s youth orchestra program that uses music as a vehicle for social change and promotes opportunity and development for impoverished children. MYCincinnati, modeled on El Sistema, is a free, daily youth orchestra for children in Price Hill. With additional funding, the project will create a citywide network of free MYCincinnati Orchestra programs.
    Applicant: MYCincinnati, Price Hill Will
    Contact: Laura Jekel, 513.251.3800 ext. 106
  • Ready Youth Tristate: Ready Youth Tristate (RYT) is a multi-sector collaboration focused on preparing disconnected youth for in-demand jobs. No cohesive system is in place locally to help youth get on track with the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century workforce. Six strategies would be utilized to realize the goal of engaging and preparing youth for life after school.
    Applicant: Partners for a Competitive Workforce and United Way
    Contact: Janice Urbanik, 513.762.7160
  • Building Community Wealth: Renting Partnerships’ project is a housing option unlike typical owning or renting that transforms low-income communities and addresses racial inequities. Funding to help redevelop vacant and blighted units in Avondale will build community wealth by providing affordable housing to long-term renters who earn financial credits by participating in management and upkeep.
    Applicant: Renting Partnerships
    Contact: Margery Spinney, 513.368.5913
  • LiveWell NKY: LiveWell NKY creates a culture of good health in Northern Kentucky, currently ranked 47/50 states in overall health. Supported by regional health providers and driven by the myNKY regional plan, this movement will support, inspire and unite communities, businesses, schools and faith-based organizations to implement evidence-based strategies to improve population health. Based on the successful model used in other communities, it provides targeted technical assistance, a community-wide campaign and sector “LiveWell” recognition.
    Applicant: Skyward
    Contact: Nancy Costello, 859.292.3292
  • Homeless to Homes: The Homeless to Homes plan marks the first time leaders from local government, service providers, community funders, businesses and faith-based organizations reached consensus on the best ways to end homelessness. Strategies to End Homelessness, in partnership with 3CDC and others, has raised $40 million of the $42 million needed for the revolutionary and comprehensive approach to end homelessness among single adults. The opportunity is to close the gap in funding for a project that is now nationally recognized as best practice.
    Applicant: Strategies to End Homelessness (STEH)
    Contact: Kevin Finn, 513.263.2788
  • Taking Root in the Urban Core: This initiative to launch an unprecedented large-scale urban reforestation focuses on economically distressed neighborhoods bordering the Mill Creek that have the lowest percentage of tree canopy in Cincinnati. Funding for this project will allow Taking Root and its partner organizations to identify and prepare planting sites, create a workforce program to hire people who live in impoverished neighborhoods, and plant and maintain trees until they reach a level of maturity that maximizes the environmental benefits.
    Applicant: Taking Root
    Contact: Matt Stenger, 513.619.7666
  • The Tristate Trauma Network: Based on toxic stress and trauma research, this project unifies many behavioral, health, child welfare, juvenile justice and social service agencies and systems to focus collectively on the prevention of toxic stress and trauma and improve the overall well-being of the community, while targeting at-risk individuals of all ages and economic levels who have experienced trauma or have been victims of toxic stress. The project is unique in that the “clients” of the TTN will be agencies and local communities in which they operate.
    Applicant: Tristate Trauma Network (TTN)
    Contact: Melissa Adamchik, 859.866.4238
  • Wasson Way Bike/Hike Trail: Wasson Way is a mixed-use, 8.9-mile hike/bike trail, running from Victory Parkway to the Little Miami Bike Trail, crossing 12 distinct and diverse neighborhoods on the east side of Cincinnati. The City’s commitment of $12 million to purchase the right-of-way has catapulted the project ahead in recent weeks, and additional funding is needed to ramp-up, expand and sustain the project. Wasson Way is the last link in an interconnected network of hike/bike trails regionally that also connects statewide.
    Applicant: Wasson Way
    Contact: Elizabeth Edwards, 513.502.9756
  • Curing Poverty with a Market-Driven, Profitable and Sustainable Solution: Waterfields, LLC is a market-driven antipoverty program that creates businesses that intentionally re-inhabit the urban core in underdeveloped and degraded neighborhoods. Waterfields currently supplies businesses in the Greater Cincinnati area; it has plans to expand into Ohio and across the Midwest within an eight-hour drive time) to deliver living greens to ensure freshness. A recent contract with a major distributor is accelerating expansion plans. Funding would scale current operations and provide loan support for product line growth and actualization of opportunities as they arise.
    Applicant: Waterfields, LLC
    Contact: Daniel Klemens, 513.729.7539
  • Transforming South Cumminsville: Greater Cincinnati has a serious problem with combined sewer overflow, yet raw sewage is an environmental and public health problem that is preventable. A new venture – WIN Blue Zone 23 – is a major initiative to promote green infrastructure for storm water management and produce green jobs in Cumminsville by hiring residents to retrofit houses and vacant lots in Zone 23 with innovative, low-cost, green infrastructure practices. The initiative also includes the building and rehabbing of 50 homes to net-zero or near net-zero environmental standards.
    Applicant: Working in Neighborhoods (WIN)
    Contact: S. Barbara Busch, 513.541.4109, ext. 130

Note: Programs are listed in alphabetical order by applicant organization.