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Semifinalists Announced in Local Nonprofit Pitch Contest

Dozens of local nonprofits are one step closer to winning more than $110,000 from the eight local foundations presenting the 2019 NKY Funders’ Grants.

The following organizations will compete in the semifinal pitch round on September 24:

  • Addiction Services: Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky, Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Transitions, Inc.
  • Arts, Culture, and Humanities: Falcon Theater, i.imagine, Kentucky Humanities Council, Pones, and Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council
  • Early Childhood: 4C for Children, Children, Inc., New Perceptions, Prevent Child Abuse KY, Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank
  • Health and Wellness (Durr Foundation): Bluegrass Care Navigators, CARE Closet, Kentucky Senior Citizens, Northern Kentucky Education Council, Welcome House
  • Health and Wellness (Horizon Community Funds): Holly Hill Child & Family Solutions, NKU Research Foundation, Northern Kentucky Children’s Advocacy Center, Pink Ribbon Girls, Women’s Crisis Center
  • K-12 Programming: Catholic Charities, Commonwealth Artists Student Theatre, Crayons to Computers, Friends of the Boone County Arboretum, The Carnegie
  • Reducing Barriers to Employment: Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission, Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, St. Vincent de Paul Northern Kentucky, SQUARE1, Tattoo Removal Ink

“This year brought another tremendously strong group of applicants,” said Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson. “I am sure each funder had some tough decisions to make, as we did. We are excited to hear this year’s pitches, and to continue to grow our impact in Northern Kentucky.”

The semifinalist round of pitches will be used to select two finalists from each focus area for a total of 14 finalists. The finalists will then make their final pitch on Tuesday, October 29 from 5:00-7:30 p.m. at the St. Elizabeth Training & Education Center in Erlanger. The community is invited to attend this event and help determine the popular vote winners. Tickets are $15 and are available at https://2019nkyfundersgrants.eventbrite.com.

“The work being done by our semifinalists is vital not only to the individuals served but also to the entire Northern Kentucky community,” said Scripps Howard Foundation President and CEO Liz Carter. “This is an incredible group of organizations and the Scripps Howard Foundation is pleased to join with fellow funders and Horizon Community Fund to ‘Give light. Change lives.’ of Northern Kentuckians.”

Based on pitches made at the October 29 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 Greater Cincinnati Foundation is proud to be part of the NKY Funders’ Grants and appreciated the applications received in the Addiction Services category,” said Rickell Smith, Director of Community Strategies at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “We applaud the Northern Kentucky organizations that do this important work every day for the individuals and families in our region.”

The funders were also able to make a mid-process modification to the focus areas upon receiving an overwhelming amount of applicants in the Health and Wellness category. The Early Childhood and Early Childhood Literacy categories were collapsed, with United Way of Greater Cincinnati overseeing those applicants. This allowed the Scripps Foundation to take over the popular vote so that the R.C. Durr Foundation could randomly split the Health and Wellness applications with Horizon Community Funds.

“The R. C. Durr Foundation was happy to do a quick two-step with the Scripps Foundation when we found out how overwhelming the response was in the Health and Wellness category,” said Jean Mize, Assistant to the President at the Durr Foundation. “While none of the pitchers will be actually dancing, they will definitely have to be on their toes because the competition is fierce.”

”The semifinalists stand to gain more than a monetary award through this process,” said Barbara Schaefer, Executive Director of the Butler Foundation. “They also earn visibility, and a chance to engage some new donors and volunteers with a well-rehearsed ‘pitch.’ This event creates a real synergy.” 

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.

“We are excited to learn more about our semifinalists and their programs to enrich the lives of youth through communication, environmental education, artistic expression and awareness,” said Beth Broomall, Grants Coordinator at the Dater Foundation.

“United Way is on a mission to unite communities to change lives so that everyone has the opportunity to thrive,” said Amanda Greenwell, Director of the NKY Area Center of United Way of Greater Cincinnati. “Research tells us that children who participate in high-quality early childhood experiences are more likely to be ready for kindergarten, graduate high school, have better health and higher earning potential ultimately breaking the cycle of poverty.”

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.

“We do better when we collaborate and do good together,” said Ruth Klette, Trustee at The Elsa Sule Foundation. “Stay tuned for more announcements, and mark your calendars for October 29!”

-Staff report