2021-2022 Request for Proposal Schedule 

In the summer of 2020, we announced the postponement of all scheduled Request for Proposals (RFPs) in order to focus on emergency requests related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we are still engaged in an equitable community recovery, we are returning to a sequenced RFP schedule in 2021.

GCF has many ways of investing in the community, some of these ways are proactive, while some are responsive. RFPs are one of the ways we award grants. In the spirit of continuous improvement, we have taken this time to evaluate our RFP grantmaking practices. For us to move toward an even more equitable process, we have shifted our RFP schedule to the following below.

Please Note:
Mini-Grants for Kids cycles will remain the same in 2021 and all Private Foundation grant cycles will also remain the same for 2021-2022. 

2021 RFP Schedule*

Educational Success (Release: Q1)

Release: January 6, 2021

DeadlineMarch 1, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

Download RFP [PDF]

RFP Workshop (Virtual)
February 3, 2021 from 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Watch the Virtual Workshop online.

For more information, contact Zohar Perla at zohar.perla@gcfdn.org.

Safety Net (Invitation Cycle: Q3)

Invitation Cycle: Q3 2021

For more information, contact Michael Coffey at michael.coffey@gcfdn.org.

Vibrant Arts & Culture (Release: Q3)

Release: Q3 2021

For more information, contact Rosie Polter at rosie.polter@gcfdn.org.

2022 RFP Schedule*

Inclusive Communities (Invitation Cycle:Q1)

Invitation Cycle: Q1 2022

For more information, contact Rosie Polter at rosie.polter@gcfdn.org.

Safety Net (Release: Q3)

Release: Q3 2022

For more information, contact Michael Coffey at michael.coffey@gcfdn.org.

Environmental Beautification (Release: Q3)

Release: Q3 2022

For more information, contact Rosie Polter at rosie.polter@gcfdn.org.

*Please note, GCF is on a calendar year schedule: Quarter 1 is January - March, Quarter 2 is April - June, Quarter 3 is July -September, Quarter 4 is October - December.

Key Changes:


  • Safety Net RFP in now be released during 3rd Quarter instead of 1st Quarter. If your organization is seeking funding for COVID-19 recovery funding, we recommend that you submit an inquiry. On the inquiry form, please indicate that your request is COVID-19 related and we will handle this request in an expedited manner. Unfortunately, due to limited funding, we will not be able to accommodate all requests.
  • The Educational Success and Safety Net RFPs will be moving to a multi-year cycle process. Safety Net RFP will be invite only 2021 to start a multi-year funding cycle. When a cycle is open, any 501(c)(3) organization is eligible to apply. Applicants awarded through this process will be eligible to renew their grant award based on the first year follow up report.
  • Strengthening Communities through Organizing and Advocacy RFP will no longer be running as an RFP process, however funding opportunities are still available. We welcome inquiry submissions from constituent-led organizations that work directly with economically marginalized communities.

We are always interested in hearing about the innovative ideas happening in our community. If you have a program or project that is not aligned with one of our RFPs, you can still submit an inquiry. While submitting an inquiry is not a formal funding request it is an opportunity for GCF staff to review and recommend potential funding opportunities for your organization’s program or project. We will reply to your organization’s inquiry within 30 days.

How does this drive equitable grantmaking practices?


Through 2020’s emergency COVID-19 response, we have learned that effective partnerships and philanthropic support should be based in trust. GCF is committed to removing the barriers of our own grantmaking processes and moving towards best practices within the field. These practices include:

  • Deepening our investments and impact by providing more multi-year funding opportunities
  • Streamlining processes for grantees including eliminating grant agreements
  • Providing non-monetary support by building quality relationships with our community partners, especially for those serving and lifting the voices of communities least heard
  • Prioritizing racial equity in grantmaking decisions and community solutions

Most importantly, GCF will continue to be transparent, accessible and responsive to our community partners by providing open communication as we continuously move towards a more equitable grantmaking practice.

Stay tuned for the 2021-2022 Grantmaking Strategy Webinar in early 2021.

Request for Proposals in Additional Areas

In addition to the RFP schedule above, GCF also will offer other Requests for Proposals in more niche areas on a less frequent schedule. As these RFPs become available, we will update this page. If you would like to be notified via email of upcoming RFPs, email us at werisetogether@gcfdn.org to be added to our list. 

Emergency Needs

If your organization has an extremely urgent need where service is interrupted, please call 513-241-2880, to discuss your situation. For other non-emergency requests, submit a funding inquiry.

Greater Cincinnati Foundation defines a funding emergency as an immediate need for funding to avoid total stop of services of basic needs to vulnerable people.

Have a question?

We are here to help! Email us at werisetogether@gcfdn.org.

See more about our other grant programs

Grants from Our Donor Advised Funds

Many of the donors of Greater Cincinnati Foundation will suggest grants to nonprofits through their donor advised funds



720 E. Pete Rose Way,
Suite 120
Cincinnati, OH 45202


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