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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Reflect Cincy Grant funding will support initiatives that serve individuals and families who feel disconnected from current Jewish institutions and fall within the following segments, which were determined by analysis of the 2019 Cincinnati Jewish Community study:

  • Young adults without children
  • Interfaith families with children
  • Families with children ages 0-5

The term “underrepresented segments” refers to the overlap between those who feel currently disconnected from Jewish institutions and who fall within the three demographic groups above.

Reflect Cincy funding is intended to address unmet needs for one or more of the underrepresented segments. An applicant’s target audience may expand beyond the segments if it includes or intersects with one or more of the three segments. We recognize and embrace the intersections between the three segments and other parts of the community, which may include historically marginalized groups.

Applicants should demonstrate a compelling unmet need for their target audience and highlight data around one or more of the underrepresented segment(s). Similarly, applicants should demonstrate how stakeholders are positioned to have influence in their process and include one or more of these segment(s). With any questions, talk with us.

Any individual or organization is eligible for funding. Applicants that are not affiliated with an existing non-profit are required to seek umbrella support from an existing institution for tax purposes (fiscal sponsorship) by the application step.

We encourage applicants seeking a fiscal sponsor to connect with our team to explore possible partnerships with other entities. Individuals may submit an Emerging Idea without a secured fiscal sponsor but should give ample time before the January 14 deadline to discuss with Kim Newstadt before making their submission.

Non-local initiatives are eligible and must either hire or partner with a local individual or organization.

Over the past few years, the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati (TJF) has facilitated communal learning opportunities around the 2019 Cincinnati Jewish Community Study and focus groups. The learnings provide greater understanding of the target segments described above. Reflect Cincy Grant funding is additive to the current TJF portfolio and offers a pool for experimental ideas that is separate from existing TJF funding. See the How to Apply page for more information.

Applying for a Reflect Cincy Grant is a 2-step process. At the first step, applicants may submit up to 2 emerging ideas (also known as the Letter of Inquiry-LOI). If an applicant is screened in and invited to submit a full application (second step), they may submit only 1 application as an independent entity. However, it is possible for an applicant to submit 1 emerging idea as an independent entity and 1 emerging idea as part of a collaborative of nonprofit organizations. If both of these ideas are screened in, an applicant may be invited to submit up to 2 applications. Feel free to contact us for details.

Funding must be tied to a particular program, initiative, or process and all applicants will submit a program budget. Grants will not be made for unrestricted funding or general operating support. An applicant may apply for project/program funding that directly impacts the target audience. Or funding may be proposed for processes that indirectly impact the target audience and are more operational in nature (e.g., new hiring protocols, training, leadership development). See the How to Apply page for more details. 

The spirit of Reflect Cincy grants is experimental rather than evergreen. Grants may be eligible for renewed funding, but this is not guaranteed. Funding must be tied to a particular program, initiative, or process; grants will not be made for unrestricted funding. Preference will be given to initiatives that emphasize experimentation, and include a program, initiative, or process as part of their scope. This work is about the end product, but the end product doesn’t have to look like what you anticipate it to be. If that means your end product changes, all the better. See the How to Apply page for more details. 

Proposed ideas should demonstrate change – something new or an adaptation of something existing. They should be complementary rather than duplicative of what exists in the current landscape. See the How to Apply page for more details.

Applicants may apply for 1-year or 2-year terms. This is intended to give the applicant flexibility to incorporate learning, testing and adaptation. If an applicant proposes a 2-year term, the amount awarded will be divided among those years. A 2-year term is not twice the work, but we will be asking you to share your timeline and pacing of the learning and testing cycles. This work is about the end product but the end product doesn’t have to look like what you anticipate it to be. If that means your end product changes, all the better. See the How to Apply page for more details.

Applicants may apply for up to $40,000 with most grants awarded in the $15,000-$30,000 range. Smaller grant amounts are also welcome. Upon review of the Emerging Idea submissions, the Reflect Cincy team may suggest that a request of significant scope submit a full application for up to $100,000. See the How to Apply page for more details.

Yes, initiatives may be small with a small budget as long as they emphasize learning and adaptation. Because of the range in dollar amount funded and timeline, we expect to see a range of funded initiatives: from smaller (e.g., quarterly artist led Shabbats) to something bigger (e.g., community wide ambassador program) to something more process oriented such as a reimagining of hiring protocols. See the How to Apply page for more details.

We are looking for creative individuals and organizations to apply for funding, and this includes people who don’t live in Cincinnati currently, but who plan to move here or establish a partnership with a local individual or organization.

The Creative Team of Reflect Cincy is responsible for designing a request for proposals (RFP) for Reflect Cincy grants, reviewing proposals, and making recommendations to the trustees.

A set of criteria was developed to define the Creative Team; through word of mouth, individuals were invited to apply. This intentionally small team brings a diversity of professional expertise, life experience, involvement in Jewish life and demographics. The majority of the team identifies as or works directly with the target segments.

Qualities of the Team:

  • Abundance Mindset
  • Creative Problem-Solver
  • Able to Imagine Opportunities
  • Adaptive to Change
  • Ecosystem-Level Thinker
  • Able to Set Aside “Hats”
  • Embracing of Diverse Voices
  • Humility + Empathy

The volunteer Reflect Cincy Creative Team was recruited to review community data, design a request for proposals (RFP) for Reflect Cincy grants, review proposals and make recommendations to the trustees. 

The team began its work by focusing on team building in late March 2021. Over many months, it reviewed local, national and global data, reflected on personal experiences and developed the framework for funding that you see on these pages, always in relationship to community and Foundation stakeholders. Each team member has brought diligence, courage and hope to this process.