Family Independence Iniative

GCF's Investment in the Family Independence Initiative

Greater Cincinnati Foundation has made our first deep, concentrated investment to address significant issues in our region. GCF is proud to partner with its donors to announce a $1.8 million investment in the Family Independence Initiative (FII). 

As your community foundation,  Greater Cincinnati Foundation is committed to ensuring that everyone in our eight-county region can thrive. 

Supporting people in moving from poverty to self-sufficiency lifts us all

We need to act now because:

  • 72% of the jobs in our region pay less than a self-sufficient wage
  • Three out of four children living in poverty live in a single, female-headed household. 
  • Sixty percent of extremely low-income households spend more than 50% of their income on housing. 

With these statistics in mind, GCF recently updated our Community Investment Strategy to include a focus on women’s upward mobility.

About Family Independence Initiative

Founded in 2001, the Family Independence Initiative (FII) brings a new approach to empower people with financial and social capital to lift themselves out of poverty.

Families that partner with FII set goals they want to achieve, such as purchasing a home or continuing their education, and work together to help each other meet these goals. With sites in seven cities across the nation, FII has partnered with more than 2,000 families investing in their solutions to escaping poverty.  

On average during two-years of engagement with FII, families report:

  • 23% increase in monthly income.
  • 60% decrease in public subsidies.
  • Doubling of their annual income and assets.
  • Increased education outcomes from their children.

Families interested in FII are asked to first select their cohort groups. They then receive access to the technology platform needed to input data monthly in exchange for a stipend. This data helps each family and their cohort better understand what they need to advance their family’s well-being. After six months, families may apply for resources from the dedicated fund to achieve their goals. Small investments in families from this fund create life changing results. 

Find out more about how families can get involved in this program.

Why GCF believes in FII

Greater Cincinnati Foundation loves the Family Independence Initiative because: 
We love the FII model. 

  • It’s proven. Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will be the eighth community.
  • It is data driven.
  • It empowers families to lift themselves out of poverty.
  • It’s unique and forward thinking.
  • The return on investment is outstanding.
  • Our BIG investment will allow us to help families NOW!

GCF is inviting our donors to partner with FII

FII is coming to Greater Cincinnati though the efforts of the GreenLight Fund. Their initial funding will support 100 families participating in the program.  

  • $2,500 will directly fund a family's participation for two years

GCF and its donors’ additional support will accelerate FII’s reach to 500 families!

We’re asking donors to join us and support 1, 5, 10 or more families. All investments in the GCF Family Independence Fund will go directly to supporting families, with no fees. 

If you are a GCF donor and interested in partnering with us on FII, contact your Giving Strategies staff member.


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Suite 120
Cincinnati, OH 45202


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