Innovative education programs are the focus of GCF’s upcoming grants

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is now accepting applications for two programs designed to fund education projects for youth during the school year and summer months.

GCF’s Learning Links and Summertime Kids grants help educators and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with limited project budgets provide creative learning experiences for kids year-round. Funding requests for up to $1,000 will be accepted for both proposals.


Summertime Kids

Summertime Kids grants are available to nonprofit organizations, schools or churches working with young people in GCF’s eight-county community — Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren in Ohio; Boone, Campbell, and Kenton in Kentucky; and Dearborn in Indiana. These grants provide programs , running from June 1st to August 31st, with the necessary resources to promote summer learning and fun opportunities for children in these communities.

This has, in previous years, included providing transportation for summertime trips, new uniforms for summer sports leagues, and outings for children who wouldn’t normally be able to go on their own.

Each organization may submit up to two applications, either for two different programs or the same program in separate locations. The funds may be used to support, expand, or strengthen existing programs or launch new programs for the organization. Grants for Summertime Kids have added nearly $3 million of support in the Greater Cincinnati area. More then 180 organizations received Summertime Kids grants in 2018, including Elementz, Butler County Educational Service Center, and Big Brother Big Sisters of Cincinnati.

The deadline for Summertime Kids proposals is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 15. This is a competitive process. An invitation to submit a proposal does not guarantee a grant award. A volunteer committee reviews each application and makes funding decisions, and chosen applicants will be notified by mail at the end of May.


Learning Links

Learning Links has provided grants of up to $1000 for classrooms and educational projects in the Greater Cincinnati area since 1993. These grants are available to schools in GCF’s eight-county community for the purpose of providing opportunities for K-12 educators in the area to bring creative projects and events to their classrooms during the school year.

Funding may be used to support, expand, or strengthen existing projects or events or to launch new ones. It may also be used to support capital costs for equipment or supplies, which then become property of the school.

In 2018, 153 schools received grants ranging from $400 to $1000 in funds to support educational programs and activities. These schools — including Hamilton High School, Ryle High School, Harrison Elementary, and more — have used these funds for everything from theater programs and activities for students with behavioral and emotional problems to service projects and visits from local organizations that provide further educational opportunities in the classroom.

The deadline for Learning Links proposals is 5 p.m. on Friday, April 12. This, too, is a competitive process, and an invitation to submit a proposal does not guarantee a grant award. Up to two grants will be provided per school. A volunteer committee reviews each application and makes funding decisions. Chosen applicants will be notified by mail (to the school) at the end of August.

These grants have been made possible through the generous support of GCF’s donors and continued support from the Charles H. Dater Foundation. For more information on the grants available, the application process, or how to get involved, visit

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Erin Pierce.

Erin Pierce is a contributing writer for Soapbox, and a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University.