Green Umbrella in the News

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  • December 30, 2016 4:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review

    In 2012, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) made a big bet on the ability of collective impact to accelerate systems change. It committed $3.5 million over five years to a number of local “backbone” organizations, with the hope of achieving Community-level social impact on a range of complex problems in the region.

    Backbone organizations—typically composed of independent, funded staff dedicated to an initiative—are an important part of the cross-sector, collective impact approach to social change (other elements include a common agenda, mutually reinforcing activities, shared measurement, and continuous communication). Backbone staff help guide the vision and strategy of an initiative, support aligned activities, establish shared measurement practices, build public will, advance policy, and mobilize resources. These activities can all sit within a single organization, or they can have different roles housed in multiple organizations.

    GCF’s funding aimed to provide long-term operating support to six different backbones, adding a seventh in 2014, so that they could scale up their programmatic efforts and partnerships, and ultimately improve their ability to drive change in areas like education, workforce development, and environmental sustainability. The foundation also funded a community of practice to support knowledge exchange among the backbones. This year, GCF asked our organization, FSG, to determine if their bet was paying off.  FSG has developed a guide to evaluating collective impact. Here, we share an example of putting this evaluation approach into action. 

    Backbone organizations supported by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation included:

    Evaluating Community Transformation

    Evaluating any aspect of collective impact effort is challenging—change is happening at multiple levels, in non-linear ways, throughout the life of an initiative—and evaluating backbone organizations is no exception. But tracking progress across multiple success factors—such as social, political, and financial capital—can be helpful, and for this project, we ultimately developed a framework to capture community transformation on a variety of levels. The framework is rooted in the belief that innovative and structured collaboration leads to a strengthened civic infrastructure, which translates into systems-level change, and thus accelerates community-level impact.

    • Civic infrastructure. Is there a web of strong, trusting relationships between people and institutions? Backbone organizations play an important role in improving civic infrastructure by building connections, marshalling resources, enabling community engagement, and sharing knowledge.
    • Systems-level change. Insight on this level took shape through seven indicators. We looked for: a culture of learning, dialogue, experimentation, and reflection; formal organizations making changes in their practices; shifting behavior of the target population; increasing funding streams; evolving social and cultural norms; progress on advocacy and public policy goals; and resources and capacity allocated to supporting partners. Backbone agencies engage with their partners on these medium-term outcomes, because they actually influence the attainment of long-term outcomes.
    • Community-level impact. Is the collective impact initiative achieving the long-term, population-level changes it seeks? Backbone agencies help build data collection systems to track impact across health, education, economic growth, and other indicators in the region.

    The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s theory of change to community transformation.

    To evaluate the impact of the backbone organizations on each of these levels, we reviewed publicly available information, grant reports, and internal information provided by GCF and the backbone organizations themselves. We also interviewed backbone leaders, stakeholders, and GCF staff and board members, and surveyed organizations and individuals involved in each collective impact effort.

    Applying the Framework

    To illustrate how this framework helped us see the progress of each backbone across a number of metrics, let’s look at Partnership for a Competitive Workforce (PCW), a workforce development initiative in the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana tri-state region, and one of the seven backbones GCF supported. PCW’s mission is to meet employer demand by enhancing the skills of its current and future workforce by fostering collaboration between employers, chambers of commerce, workforce boards, educational institutions, and service providers. The initiative has three main objectives:

    1. Connecting businesses with qualified workers
    2. Aligning education with employer needs
    3. Improving work readiness services to help individuals obtain and retain gainful employment

    In terms of building a trustworthy civic infrastructure, PCW has successfully brokered relationships among three sectors that traditionally have not worked well together: business, higher education, and workforce investment boards. PCW has acted as a neutral convener, using data (from workforce needs surveys, for example) and mutual interests (developing a strong talent pipeline) to spark conversations and find win-wins. They collected data from service providers and government agencies on workforce development services, awarded credentials, employment status, current income, and demographic information of clients, for example, and used it to facilitate conversations on how to improve providers’ performance.

    PCW has also excelled at systems-level change, in two areas: 1) establishing a culture of experimentation and learning, and 2) gaining active participation from partners across sectors. In collaboration with another GCF-supported backbone called Skyward, PCW facilitated the creation of a talent pipeline for the advanced manufacturing industry—the second largest source of private sector employment in Northern Kentucky. Employers were struggling to find skilled workers who had a technology background and could take on roles such as welder, or pharmaceutical or electro-mechanical technician. At the same time, Gateway Community College was having difficulties recruiting students for classes in advanced manufacturing. PCW brought both sides to the table to design a predominantly online training program through which students could obtain an industry credential in less time and at a lower cost, and move into job opportunities quickly.

    On the community-level impact front, PCW has served more than 10,000 individuals across five career pathway partnerships since 2008. Of that group, 89 percent of individuals completed training, 78 percent obtained employment, and 67 percent retained employment for more than 12 months. Those who participate in a career pathway program earn up to $7,500 a year more than the previous year.

    Community Transformation Across the Backbones

    We found a very strong civic infrastructure, a high level of systems change, and positive community-level impact at each of the organizations GCF backed.  A few examples follow:

    Civic infrastructure: The Diverse by Design (DBD) initiative facilitated by Agenda 360 and Skyward brings 150 companies together in a community of practice, with 400 volunteers and 5 action teams to strategize around inclusivity, diversity, and culture within their businesses and the region at large. Experienced companies are mentoring others on supplier diversity and the creation of employee affinity groups.

    Systems-Level Change

    • A culture of learning, dialogue, experimentation, and reflection.For Green Umbrella, experimentation has led to numerous independent, highly resourced initiatives, such as the Red Bike program (50 stations and more than 100,000 rides in 15 months), Taking Root campaign (planting of 170,000 trees), and the Tri-State Trails Master Plan (1,000-plus miles mapped).
    • Funding streams are increasing. LISC has tapped into this network to advocate for a land bank in Cincinnati, directly resulting in increased investments for demolishment and development in the region. Most notably, over the past 5 years, LISC has aligned funding totaling over $664 million in grants, private investment, and market tax credits, including a $29.5 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods implementation grant in Cincinnati.
    • Progress on advocacy and public policy goals. StrivePartnership and SB6 have helped the Preschool Promise coalition to expand access to high-quality preschool through an annual $15 million levy.

    Community-level impact. The StrivePartnership has seen positive, sustained improvement across the vast majority of their student indicators, with 91 percent of its 40 indicators currently trending in the right direction.

    Room to Grow

    Finally, while we uncovered many successful efforts, we also saw some areas where all the backbones could grow. These included:

    • Incorporating an equity lens when evaluating community-level impact by developing a set of goals, strategies, and metrics that disaggregate progress by race, class, gender, geography and other important factors 
    • Increasing community engagement through all stages of design and implementation (for example, upfront input, co-creation, and sustaining solutions) by embedding the community voice in every aspect of the work
    • Developing community leaders into “system” leaders who can get others to understand the complexity of the change process, and focus on the “health of the whole” versus just the success of their own organization or interest area

    The good news is that backbone leaders are already shifting their practices to address racial equity and co-create solutions with communities.

    Change requires time and patience; however, most collective impact efforts are probably making progress on at least one level of this evaluation framework. But no matter where your effort stands, it is important to track and articulate these metrics.

  • November 18, 2016 4:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WCPO 

    CINCINNATI -- A walk in the park is not just a recreational pastime. It's serious business.

    That's the trend local developers are beginning to notice, as access to parks, trails and other walkable or bikeable outdoor amenities are becoming key draws for those looking to rent or buy new homes.

    Jim Cohen, with Blue Ash-based CMC Properties, is a developer picking up on this trend.

    "People are really starting to want to live in cool towns with bike paths, rivers, trails, parks," Cohen told WCPO.

    The phrase "cool towns" is indicative of the two key demographics Cohen said is driving this trend: young professionals launching into adulthood -- often referred to as millennials -- and Baby Boomers or other empty nesters looking to downsize or relocate.

    For these groups of potential renters and buyers -- which make up around 70 percent of the U.S. population -- it boils down to finding a place that encourages activity and a sense of community: "What they want today is a community that invests in an urban core and a healthy, active lifestyle," he said, and that means pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

  • November 10, 2016 4:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Business Wire

    Cintas Corporation Supports Green Umbrella’s Waste Reduction Initiatives

    Regional group aims to drastically reduce landfill waste by 2020

    November 10, 2016 08:48 AM Eastern Standard Time

    CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With America Recycles Day approaching on Nov. 15, Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) has signed the Green Umbrella’s recycling pledge in an effort to help Cincinnati achieve a top ten ranking on the list of the most sustainable cities in the U.S. The Green Umbrella, an alliance of organizations across 10 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, hopes to reduce landfill waste by 33 percent by 2020 through rotating recycling initiatives.

    “Paper is one of the simplest things to recycle, yet the landfill in Hamilton County, Ohio, is comprised of roughly 30 percent paper,” Pamela Brailsford, Senior Director of Supplier Diversity and Sustainability at Cintas Corporation and Green Umbrella board member. “Raising awareness of the importance and ease of paper recycling will help our organization, and many others, cut back on unnecessary landfill waste.”

    The Year of Paper initiative, which has been in place since 2015, encourages individuals and organizations to make a pledge to recycle more paper. This category includes everything from documents, magazines and newspapers to corrugated cardboard. The campaign will run through Earth Day 2017, at which point the Green Umbrella will select a new material to divert from landfills, such as electronics, food waste or plastics.

    Cintas is just one of many organizations that has embraced the effort to increase commercial and residential recycling rates. It is using the corporate toolkit prepared by the Green Umbrella’s waste reduction team.

    “Although recycling is voluntary and not mandatory, the more individuals and organizations that we can get on board with it, the better we position this region for sustainable growth,” said Elena Pfarr, Green Umbrella’s Co-Chair of the Waste Reduction Team. “We hope to add 50 new corporate pledges each year in order to make the biggest impact.”

    For more information, and to take the pledge, visit

  • October 20, 2016 3:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: The Clermont Sun 

    What: Area’s largest outdoor events sampler returns to the Tri-state Sept. 24 & 25. Green Umbrella is excited to present the 13th Annual Great Outdoor Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25. This outdoor events sampler will give Greater Cincinnati residents the opportunity to sample the best outdoor recreation and nature awareness programs available in the region. Participants can enjoy over 100 free events at 40 different locations throughout the area over two days. This perennial favorite is expected to draw 10,000 visitors this year.

    Some of this year’s activities include:

    · Learning to kayak, canoe or fish
    · Exploring the tree canopy on an exhilarating zip line plunge
    · Relaxing with yoga in the park
    · Hiking up a mountain
    · Collecting and discovering the critters that live in our region’s waterways

    All of these activities plus many more are available to adults and children alike, free of charge, during Great Outdoor Weekend, one of the largest events of its kind in the country.

    When: Sept. 24-25, 2016; all day

    Where: Over 40 locations throughout the Greater Cincinnati region

    To view more information on specific events held by participating organizations, go to:

    Great Outdoor Weekend is presented by Green Umbrella and, the Tri-State’s year-round guide to the outdoors. Sponsors for this event include The Cincinnati Wild Flower Preservation Society, Cohen Recycling, Great Parks of Hamilton County and The Nature Conservancy Ohio Chapter.

  • October 20, 2016 3:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Northern Kentucky Tribune 

    Southbank Partners has been honored with the 2016 Trail Project of the Year award for the Riverfront Commons Project. The award was presented at the Regional Trails Summit at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden on Aug. 26th.

    “It is exciting to receive an award from your peers,” said Southbank Partners President Jack Moreland. “To be recognized by other people who develop and work on trails in our region validates the success of the Riverfront Commons project.”

    The Fourth Annual Regional Trails Summit was presented by organizations the Tri-State Trails and Green Umbrella. This year’s topic was “Making the Economic Case for Trails”. The program covered topics such as the OKI 2040 Regional Transportation Plan, using trails as an economic tool, and building public support for trails.

    Southbank Partners promotes and manages economic development and infrastructure improvement projects in the Northern Kentucky Ohio River cities of Newport, Covington, Bellevue, Dayton, Ludlow and Fort Thomas.

    “It is quite an honor to be recognized as we continue to move forward with Riverfront Commons,” said Southbank board member Roger Peterman, a member of Fort Thomas City Council. “Much has been accomplished but there is also much to be done to realize our vision of a hike and bike trail along the entire Northern Kentucky riverfront. Public support is a key to realizing our dream and this recognition tells the public we are well on our way.”

  • October 20, 2016 3:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: The River City News 

    It has only just begun - but Riverfront Commons is now an award-winning trail.

    The ambitious recreational trail project that will eventually stretch from Ludlow in the west to Fort Thomas in the east, linking Northern Kentucky's River Cities, was honored at last week's Regional Trails Summit.

    Tri-State Trails and Green Umbrella sponsored the annual summit, held on Friday at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

    “It is exciting to receive an award from your peers,” said Southbank Partners President Jack Moreland. “To be recognized by other people who develop and work on trails in our region validates the success of the Riverfront Commons project.”

    The Fourth Annual Regional Trails Summit’s topic was “Making the Economic Case for Trails”. The program covered topics such as the OKI 2040 Regional Transportation Plan, using trails as an economic tool, and building public support for trails.

    Southbank Partners promotes and manages economic development and infrastructure improvement projects in the Northern Kentucky Ohio River cities of Newport, Covington, Bellevue, Dayton, Ludlow, and Fort Thomas.

    “It is quite an honor to be recognized as we continue to move forward with Riverfront Commons,” said Southbank Board Member Roger Peterman, also a member of Fort Thomas City Council. “Much has been accomplished but there is also much to be done to realize our vision of a hike and bike trail along the entire Northern Kentucky riverfront. Public support is a key to realizing our dream and this recognition tells the public we are well on our way.”

  • October 20, 2016 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: WCPO Cincinnati

    Robin Carothers has had trails on the brain for decades.

    "It's a public health and safety and an environmental issue," she said.

    Carothers is the founding and current executive director of Groundwork Cincinnati - Mill Creek, a nonprofit she spearheaded more than 20 years ago. Groundwork focuses on youth and environmental education; restoring and maintaining area rivers, watersheds and their natural resources; building trails; and revitalizing neighborhoods within the West Side's Mill Creek corridor -- which touches more than 40 of Cincinnati's 52 neighborhoods. 

    She's had such an impact, in fact, that the regional trail-advocacy coalition Tri-State Trails presented her with one of three 2016 Trail Awards during its annual Regional Trails Summit, held Friday at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. She also served as a panelist during Friday's summit.

  • October 20, 2016 3:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Macy's Green Living

    If it seems like there are farmers markets everywhere, it’s because there are. According to the U.S.D.A. Agricultural Marketing Service, the number of farmers markets in the U.S. has increased 124 percent since 2004, from 3,705 to 8,284 today. Some companies are even getting into the act, hosting regular farmers market events for their employees – including Procter & Gamble, Qualcomm, and of course, Macy’s.

    Sponsored by the Cincinnati GoGreen ERG, the Macy’s Market Days are offered monthly during the summer season in the front lobby of our Cincinnati headquarters, and features local farms and and other local and sustainable businesses. Vendors offer a variety of products, including fresh produce, bread, granola, honey, soaps and other locally grown and made items. The GoGreen ERG says the market is designed to encourage associates to buy local, reducing their carbon footprint.

    Good for the Environment

    How does shopping at the farmers market reduce your carbon footprint?

    Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate, which uses a tremendous volume of fossil fuels as well as other natural resources. Food at your local farmers market travels much shorter distances, dramatically reducing that environmental burden.

    Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than most farmers market farmers, as well as generating toxic by-products that contribute to pollution of water, air and land. The vast majority of farmers market farmers utilize sustainable farming practices, conserving natural resources and reducing environmental impact.

    Good for You

    Farmers markets feature locally grown, healthy food that’s in season, providing the opportunity to taste it at its peak. Fruits and vegetables allowed to fully ripen in the fields simply taste better, and are often better for you, as locally grown foods are packed with nutrients rich in your specific climate and region. 

    Farmers market fare offers the opportunity to connect more closely with the seasons: you’ll find fresh greens, asparagus and strawberries in spring, sweet corn and melons in summer and pumpkins and squash as the season shifts towards fall.

    “But I don’t like vegetables,” you might say. Well, we think you’re missing out, but there are lots of other reasons to go to the farmers market. Many offer much more than fresh fruits and vegetables. You can find meats, eggs, cheeses, locally made condiments and sauces, pasta and fresh baked goods ranging from breads to cookies and cakes to pies. At many markets, you’ll even find fresh flowers and garden plants.

    It’s also a unique opportunity to meet and talk with local farmers and food artisans and learn more about where your food comes from and how it’s produced. You’ll also often find recipes, cooking tips and food demonstrations that can help you discover local food treasures and eat a healthier, happier and more sustainable diet. The best benefit of shopping at a farmers market? It’s just plain fun. Farmers markets are social hubs, where families shop together, meet friends and enjoy live music and food trucks as they connect with the community around them in fun new ways.

    Take the Local Food Pledge

    You can support sustainable foods and farming by taking the Local Food Pledge – simply pledging to shift 10 percent of your food budget to locally grown food, and enjoy fresher, healthier food that helps reduce your carbon footprint. For most families, that’s about 13 dollars a week, according to Green Umbrella Executive Director Kristin Weiss. The Cincinnati-based sustainability alliance leader also says “If 10 percent of Greater Cincinnati took the pledge, it would generate more than $56 million for the local economy.”

    Fresh, healthy food that simply tastes good, a chance to connect more deeply with your local community, a stronger local economy and a smaller carbon footprint. What’s not to love?

    Find Your Local Farmers Market

    Where can you find your local farmers market? The National Farmers Market Directory has a great search tool that can help. In addition to listing markets and locations, it includes details on days and hours, products offered and payment options (some farmers markets accept credit cards and food program payments).

  • October 20, 2016 3:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Soapbox Cincinnati 

    Ever had a problem you couldn’t solve on your own? By working with others, perhaps you accomplished more than you thought possible.

    Consider large communitywide challenges such as public education, workforce readiness and neighborhood redevelopment — can any one person alone fix problems in those areas? Even joining an effective, well-run organization sometimes isn’t enough to make a real difference.

    The necessity to work together has new meaning across Greater Cincinnati because of a shared effort called Collective Impact. It’s a disciplined approach that assembles numerous organizations around a common vision by adopting a set of measurable goals, working to reinforce one another’s efforts and getting everyone to row in the same direction.

    Collective Impact has been championed locally by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) working closely with a group of independent organizations — defined as “backbones” — with unique insight into specific community issues.

    The collaborations nurtured by this process, with substantial funding over the past five years, have surpassed efforts from the individual organizations on their own. Assembling groups bridging many sectors — from nonprofits and businesses to government and philanthropic foundations — GCF’s Collective Impact movement has generated impressive results, a living, breathing and evolving practice that participants say is making our community stronger faster.

    Just how Collective Impact took hold here is a bit of a surprise.

    Cincinnati’s civil unrest in April 2001 spurred community leaders to study the root causes of rioting that shocked the Tristate. Cincinnati Community Action Now (shorthanded to the “CAN Commission”) formed teams to focus on issues such as education and youth development, economic inclusion, housing and neighborhood development.

    As the region’s most significant philanthropic funder, GCF supported the commission’s efforts and eventually assembled Better Together Cincinnati, a funders’ collaborative that supported new initiatives to address pressing problems in education, economic opportunity and police-community relations.

    Then, in 2012, GCF committed to investing $3.5 million over five years to support Collective Impact initiatives that could achieve large-scale systems change. Six regional partners were initially recruited:

    Agenda 360 advances regional economic competitiveness by retaining talented workers and attracting new ones, by growing new jobs and retaining existing ones and by providing a good quality of life. It had been a program of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber but was recently integrated into the Chamber’s core work.

    Skyward (formerly Vision 2015) supports economic competitiveness in Northern Kentucky in close alignment with Agenda 360.

    LISC Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky is our region’s program from the national Local Initiatives Support Corporation. It operates Place Matters, a place-based model for investing in underserved communities to strengthen neighborhoods and improve the quality of life for residents.

    Partners for a Competitive Workforce advances regional development efforts to meet employer demand by growing the skills of our current and future workforce. Incubated at GCF, this initiative is now housed at United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

    The Strive Partnership is a “cradle to career” initiative focused on improving outcomes for children and students in the region’s urban core. It was created by early childhood educators, school superintendents, college and university presidents, business and nonprofit leaders and community and corporate funders.

    Success by Six serves as a catalyst for change in early childhood education and kindergarten readiness. It’s housed at United Way.

    A seventh backbone was added in 2014, Green Umbrella, which works to maximize the region’s environmental sustainability in collaboration with Agenda 360 and Skyward.

    GCF’s five-year funding commitment to this Collective Impact mission has allowed the backbone group to coordinate efforts with each other and with hundreds of other local organizations, amplifying their ability to create positive change across Greater Cincinnati. A number of other funders have come on board to support them, led by United Way and Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation.

    GCF’s $3.5 million investment in the Collective Impact program has resulted in more than $820 million in additional leveraged funding for the seven backbone organizations (see chart above). The better than 200-to-1 return on investment certainly underscores the power of collective effort and impact.

    John Kania, a national expert on Collective Impact who has advised GCF’s efforts, says Cincinnati’s program is unusual because of its collaborative focus.

    “It’s very rare for a community foundation and United Way to work arm in arm,” Kania says. “They often are competing or ships passing in the night. Their collaborative work on collective impact is unprecedented, especially pulling together seven initiatives.”

    GCF has furthered this effort and impact with training in Collective Impact best practices and regular “community of practice” meetings that bring together representatives from the backbones and other key organizations involved in their endeavors — such as ArtsWave, The Women’s Fund of GCF, the Health Collaborative, Cradle Cincinnati and others — to compare notes, examine data, analyze results and brainstorm about mutually reinforcing activities and clear, consistent communications.

    This Collective Impact approach is working. Despite severe challenges presented by the Great Recession, community impact has been positive. A few examples:
    • 91 percent of Strive Partnership’s 40 indicators are trending positively.
    • Partners for a Competitive Workplace has served 10,000 individuals across five career pathways with 89 percent completing the training, 78 percent becoming employed and 67 percent retaining employment a year later.
    • LISC identifies positive results on 62 percent of its indicators related to education, health, income and housing in targeted neighborhoods.
    LISC Executive Director Kathy Schwab says, “GCF brought together great organizations that are really focused on their missions in a Collective Impact way. For example, LISC sees value in ArtsWave working in the neighborhoods we serve. They’re accomplishing their mission, and so are we.”

    LISC and ArtsWave partnered to create arts-based activations in five urban neighborhoods. ArtsWave also applied for a National Endowment for the Arts grant to help educate Cincinnati arts organizations on the power of community and the benefits of bringing arts to those neighborhoods, and the NEA awarded the partnership $35,000 earlier this year.

    (LISC and ArtsWave created the illustration pictured at the top of this story to help arts organizations understand their impact in the neighborhoods.)

    As another example of collaboration, Schwab says that Partners for a Competitive Workplace was struggling to get young learners into programs leading to factory jobs. Working with LISC, PCW hosted a series of focus groups in several neighborhoods.

    “That would not have happened had we not recognized that PCW needed a place-based solution,” she says. “Now they’re working very directly in specific communities to get right to residents. I give GCF credit for bringing us all together and giving us the tools and the training.”

    In 2016 Cincinnati is seen as the epitome of successful Collective Impact initiatives. Kania, who observes such endeavors nationwide, says, “GCF is probably the deepest practitioner of Collective Impact, supporting backbones across seven impact areas. Its community of practice goes beyond those seven leaders and creates more connections. I can’t think of another foundation that has as many mature initiatives.”

    Once upon a time modest Cincinnatians cited an apocryphal remark supposedly by Mark Twain: “When the world ends, I’d like to be in Cincinnati because everything happens there 10 years later.” That’s certainly no longer true.

    In fact, when it comes to initiatives in the social service sector, it’s just flat-out wrong. Today Cincinnati is probably 10 years ahead of the curve, serving as a model that numerous cities and regions look to as they grapple with complex social issues.

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