In 2015, the Cincinnati Development Fund
teamed up with IFF
(and the JP Morgan Chase Foundation) to provide loans to nonprofits
in Greater Cincinnati and Dayton. The facilities and equipment loan program was designed for nonprofits that served low-income neighborhoods and special-needs populations.
“This has been an incredible opportunity, and we’ve lifted this partnership up as a model for CDFI collaboration across the region,” says Kirby Burkholder, vice president and executive director for the Eastern Region of IFF.
Eight area nonprofits — Bi-Okoto Drum and Dance Co.
, The Center for Great Neighborhoods
, Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky
, DECA Preparatory Academy
, Findlay Kitchen
, Kennedy Heights Arts Center
, United Way
and the Washing Well
— have all received loans through the program, totaling more than $6.6 million.
Development highlights that were the direct result of these loans include:
- The Corporation for Findlay Market borrowed $980,000 to buy, renovate and equip Findlay Kitchen.
- The Center borrowed $1.75 million to convert the historic Hellmann Lumber building in Covington to a headquarters that now includes community meeting and event space and eight artist studios.
- A $140,000 loan allowed Opportunity Matters to turn a vacant storefront into a nonprofit laundromat for Lower Price Hill residents.
The partnership has resulted in impact beyond the loan fund, says Jeanne Golliher, executive director of CDF. For example, IFF has brought $6 million in New Market Tax Credits to the area to help support the development of the Shelterhouse Men’s Center on Gest Street in Over-the-Rhine.
IFF also participated in a loan with CDF to help develop Market Square near Findlay Market.
“IFF has also opened the doors to a new funding partner, which resulted in $2 million in additional capital for us that can be used for additional IFF partner loans or for our direct lending,” Golliher says.
Initial grant funds have been expended, but Golliher and Burkholder both say that their respective organizations plan to continue their partnership. They’re also working with the community to help fill gaps and to better understand need.
“We want to continue to explore opportunities to refine and grow together,” Burkholder says.
Check out a video about the program here
Enjoy this story? Sign up
for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.