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TOLEDO, OHIO, February 22 – Keith Burwell, president of Greater Toledo Community Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Ronau as the Foundation’s new Director of Marketing & Communications. She will report to Abby Aldrich, executive vice president of operations and special projects. Sarah joined the Foundation on February 12.

“I am delighted to welcome Sarah to our team. She will be a great asset to GTCF, and we look forward to working with her on our upcoming marketing projects. Sarah’s skills and expertise will help us reach new heights of success”, says Abby.

Sarah was most recently the Director of Marketing at This Dot Labs, a remote global tech consultancy that prioritizes diverse community building and advancing the web. She worked closely with tech companies to develop and execute marketing strategies for developer tools and services. Additionally, she played a key role as a member of the company's strategy team, contributing to business strategic planning. Sarah oversaw editorial calendars for eight social media accounts spanning three brands and created content guides to educate content creators on utilizing inclusive language and maintaining brand voice.

Sarah holds a Master of Education from the University of Toledo and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Minor in Creative Writing from the University of Toledo. With over 15 years of experience, she brings a wealth of writing and marketing experience to the Foundation.

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About Greater Toledo Community Foundation

Greater Toledo Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created by citizens of our community to enrich the quality of life for individuals and families in our area. In existence since 1973, the Foundation has more than 970 funds with assets of approximately $382 million. The Foundation provides philanthropic services for individuals, families, businesses and corporations to meet their charitable giving needs. For more information about Greater Toledo Community Foundation, visit www.toledocf.org or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Keith Burwell, president of Greater Toledo Community Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Kurstyn Loeffler as the Foundation’s new Vice President of Philanthropic Services.

Kurstyn Loeffler joined the Foundation on January 2nd. She was most recently the Director of Bowling Green State University’s Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Her responsibilities included strategic direction, fundraising, stakeholder engagement and creating entrepreneurial programming and opportunities for students. She has more than 11 years of experience in management and leadership, with an emphasis in entrepreneurship.  

Kurstyn reports to Abigail Aldrich, Executive Vice President of Operations and Special Projects.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kurstyn Loeffler as our new Vice President of Philanthropic Services. Kurstyn is a Toledo area native with extensive experience working with family businesses. She is a visionary leader who will help us reach new heights of growth and innovation. We are confident that Kurstyn will be a valuable asset to our team and our fundholders. We look forward to seeing her impact within our organization and throughout the community.”

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About Greater Toledo Community Foundation

Greater Toledo Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created by citizens of our community to enrich the quality of life for individuals and families in our area. In existence since 1973, the Foundation has more than 970 funds with assets of approximately $382 million. The Foundation provides philanthropic services for individuals, families, businesses and corporations to meet their charitable giving needs. For more information about Greater Toledo Community Foundation, visit www.toledocf.org or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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The Board of Trustees of Greater Toledo Community Foundation recently awarded grants totaling $443,696 from the Community Funds Impact and Builder Grants programs to nine organizations.

  • Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity – $85,833 was awarded to support a new neighborhood-oriented strategy to address housing needs that features deeper collaborations with grassroots organizations.
  • Monarch Grief Center – $15,000 was awarded to support specialized grief counseling services for those experiencing early life spousal loss, LGBTQ+ partner loss, sibling or child death or loss due to addiction or other circumstances.
  • Partners for Clean Streams – $45,761 was awarded to support the Community Water Action in Toledo project, a multi-agency collaboration that engages residents to collect information and monitor water quality in the Lake Erie basin.
  • The Cocoon – $52,102 was awarded to expand court-based domestic violence advocacy services in Wood County.
  • The Fair Housing Center – $50,000 was awarded to support the Housing Conditions and Reinvestment program, which provides legal advice and representation to Toledo-area tenants living in unsafe or unhealthy homes.
  • The Program, Inc. – $25,000 was awarded to support the Family Enrichment program.
  • Toledo Design Collective – $25,000 was awarded to support the Vacant Lot Reclamation project.
  • Toledo School for the Arts – $120,000 was awarded to support the Community Portal program designed to engage the public in arts-related projects.
  • Toledo Tomorrow – $25,000 was awarded to expand the college access program.

About Greater Toledo Community Foundation
Greater Toledo Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created by citizens of our community to enrich the quality of life for individuals and families in our area. In existence since 1973, the Foundation has more than 970 funds with assets of approximately $382 million. The Foundation provides philanthropic services for individuals, families, businesses and corporations to meet their charitable giving needs. For more information about Greater Toledo Community Foundation, visit www.toledocf.org or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Board of Trustees of Greater Toledo Community Foundation recently approved grants totaling $498,779 from The Sisters of St. Francis (Sylvania) Foundation Donor Advised Fund. Grants were awarded to 16 area nonprofit organizations.  

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. – $50,000 was awarded to support the Immigration Advocacy Project.

Bittersweet Farms – $25,000 was awarded to support the Creative Arts program.

Cherry Street Mission Ministries – $15,000 was awarded to assist individuals transitioning from emergency shelter to permanent housing.

Girls on the Run – $9,250 was awarded to provide a physical activity-based youth development program and running shoes to 50 girls attending Toledo Public Schools.

Historic South Initiative – $50,000 was awarded to support an afterschool enrichment program for students attending the Queen of Apostles school.

La Conexion – $40,000 was awarded to support the Immigrant Rights project.

Logistic Assistance for Migrant People – $50,000 was awarded to assist immigrants in obtaining documents and to provide educational programming about the rights and responsibilities of persons living in the United States.

Lourdes University – $50,000 was awarded to support the Like Me program, which is dedicated to diversifying the local educator workforce by recruiting, preparing and supporting students of color for careers in teaching.

Nature’s Nursery – $40,000 was awarded to construct an aviary quarantine and rehabilitation facility.

Open Door Ministry – $9,000 was awarded to support sober recovery housing services for homeless men.

Partners for Clean Streams – $31,159 was awarded to support the Clean Your Streams program.

Sisters in Shelter – $50,000 was awarded to support the Tiffin-based safe haven that offers trauma-informed supportive services for women victimized by human trafficking.

Same Café – $30,000 was awarded to support the Same Café Toledo program, a pay it forward restaurant that provides diners access to healthy meals regardless of their ability to pay.

Social Services for the Arab Community – $10,000 was awarded to support the job skills development and employment program for limited English-speaking Arab immigrants.

Toledo Muslim Doctors Initiative/Halim Clinic – $15,000 was awarded to support healthcare services for immigrants, refugees and others who are uninsured.

Wood Lane Residential Services – $24,370 was awarded to support the Positive Connections program that provides individuals with intellectual disabilities with job skills training and career opportunities.

About Greater Toledo Community Foundation
Greater Toledo Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created by citizens of our community to enrich the quality of life for individuals and families in our area. In existence since 1973, the Foundation has more than 970 funds with assets of approximately $382 million. The Foundation provides philanthropic services for individuals, families, businesses and corporations to meet their charitable giving needs. For more information about Greater Toledo Community Foundation, visit www.toledocf.org or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Toledo, Ohio, November 16, 2023 Greater Toledo Community Foundation (GTCF) is excited to announce, as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, it will be lighting the Anthony Wayne Trail Gateway to the City in honor of the holidays.

At this time also, it will be kicking off the Toledo Giving Tree Project. Community members can visit ToledoGivingTree.com and find a list of nonprofit organizations to whom they can donate this holiday season. The listed nonprofits cover many areas of concern for our community: animal welfare, arts & culture, education, environmental/conservation, health & human services and others.

The commercial grade LED holiday lights will be donated to the City of Toledo so that they can be used again next year. (L Photo credit: Artisha Lawson)

Over the past year, GTCF has been celebrating its 50th anniversary by distributing an additional $600,000 in funding to local nonprofit organizations. This is in addition to an annual average grant distribution of approximately $18M. The Giving Tree event will end a 12-month campaign called, “Fifty Years of Funding Futures,” along with a yearlong calendar of community events and programs centered on honoring the past, celebrating the present and equipping future generations for continued community impact.

“Fifty years ago, we never could have imagined how many futures we would fund. Today, we are humbled by the immense difference we’ve made. And we’re honored to have celebrated this momentous occasion with the yearlong calendar of events and programs across our community,” said Keith Burwell, president of GTCF. “It’s been a great year, and we are hoping that everyone will remember the work of the Foundation in building community and assisting with the critical issues we face.”

In addition to the many grants given by the Foundation, GTCF serves as a key community leader working with a wide range of partners to address current and emerging challenges and issues. As a provider of philanthropic services to individuals, families, businesses, private foundations and other nonprofit organizations, GTCF strives to help donors make gifts to meet vital community needs.

For more information, please visit https://50yearsfortoledo.com/.

TOLEDO, OHIO, November 8, 2023 – The Stranahan Supporting Organization of the Greater Toledo Community Foundation recently awarded grants totaling $447,018 to 10 organizations and initiatives:

  • Avenues for Autism – $47,500 was awarded to support the counseling program.
  • Black Swamp Bird Observatory – $47,500 was awarded to support migratory bird and conservation education programming.
  • Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center – $47,500 was awarded to support the Children’s Advocacy Center.
  • MemoryLane Care Services – $47,500 was awarded to provide day and respite care for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia and provide supportive services to their caregivers.
  • Mom’s House of Toledo – $40,000 was awarded to construct preschool or toddler classrooms at Laurie’s Place.
  • Monroe Street Neighborhood Center – $27,018 was awarded to support the 2024 Freedom School program.
  • The 577 Foundation – $47,500 was awarded to support the courtyard renovation project.
  • Toledo Opera – $47,500 was awarded to support music education and outreach programming.
  • Water for Ishmael – $47,500 was awarded to support English as a Second Language programming.
  • Zepf Center – $47,500 was awarded to support the Safety Net program.

Greater Toledo Community Foundation and The Blade, in partnership with The Center for Nonprofit Resources, The Andersons, Waterford Bank, Eidi Family Foundation and WTVG-13abc, are happy to announce the 13th Annual Northwest Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Award winners, recognizing local nonprofit organizations that stand out for their contributions to our community. 

The 2023 Northwest Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Awards presentation took place at The Pinnacle in Maumee on Thursday, October 26th.  

 A panel of judges selected the following three organizations to receive recognition at this year’s ceremony:

  • Excellence in Collaborative Programming: So All May Eat Café (SAME Café)
  • Excellence in Organizational Operations: Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo
  • Excellence in Strategic Action: TutorSmart

In addition to being recognized as a leader among northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan’s nonprofits, these winning organizations receive a $7,500 unrestricted grant from Greater Toledo Community Foundation; a $1,000 unrestricted grant from The Andersons; free half-page ad in The Blade; and a one-of-a-kind blown glass art creation by local glass artist Shawn Messenger.

Pictured L-R, Kurt Franck, President/General Manager and Executive Editor, The Toledo Blade; Tiffany Adamski, Executive Director, TutorSmart; Rori Quinonez, Executive Director, SAME Café; Stephen A. Rothschild, Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Federation of Toledo; Rick Russell, President and CEO, Hospice of Northwest; and Keith Burwell, President and CEO, Greater Toledo Community Foundation

In recognition of Greater Toledo Community Foundation’s 50th Anniversary, a new award was announced for this year only – the 2023 Golden Anniversary Nonprofit Excellence Award. All previous innovation and excellence award winners since this program’s inception (covering 12 years) were invited to apply for a chance to win a $25,000 unrestricted grant. Six finalists for this award were chosen by a committee of GTCF board and staff, and all present at this year’s ceremony voted for the organization that exhibited the most impact and innovation in their programming and partnerships in the community. 

The winner of the 2023 Golden Anniversary Nonprofit Excellence Award is Hospice of Northwest Ohio. Receiving the award on behalf of the organization was President and CEO, Rick Russell. In the forty years since Hospice of Northwest Ohio began operations, the organization has increased its annual number of patients served from 90 to more than 2,300. Two inpatient hospice units, the first of their kind in northwest Ohio, offer a home-like setting with wooded views, family rooms and comfortable places for families to gather and spend their final hours with loved ones, while staff and volunteers provide around the clock medical care. 

About Our 2023 Nonprofit Excellence Award Winners

(These are the three finalists in each category; the winner of each is in bold)

  • Excellence in Collaborative Programming
    • So All May Eat Café (SAME Café)
    • Stroke Life Center
    • Zepf Center
  • Excellence in Organizational Operations
    • Avenues for Autism
    • The 577 Foundation
    • Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo 
  • Excellence in Strategic Action
    • Autism Model School
    • The Fair Housing Center
    • TutorSmart

Excellence in Collaborative Programming

So All May Eat Café’
SAME Café opened in 2022 in collaboration with the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library. SAME Café is an innovative participation-based restaurant located in the downtown main library, providing access to healthy food in a community setting where people can be nourished with dignity while contributing what they can — such as time, money or produce — to the operation of the café.

SAME Café’s supportive approach helps people overcome the financial and logistical challenges of accessing healthful food and, for some, through job training, achieve housing and employment stability.

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Excellence in Organizational Operations

The Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo. This organization creates programs within the Jewish community between and among congregations including interfaith efforts, social action and meeting broad community needs. Their programs and services aim to enhance the health, welfare, education and cultural awareness of the entire Jewish community.  Since 2022, it has made over 65 grants totaling nearly $85,000 to local secular charities. They support the communities in which they live.   

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Excellence in Strategic Action


TutorSmart
TutorSmart Toledo was founded based on research by Greater Toledo Community Foundation, Toledo Public Schools and Lourdes University.  TutorSmart’s goal was to find out why Toledo was not seeing a rise in education scores despite more than 120 organizations reporting to tutor across the city.

The study showed that most of what was being called tutoring was really homework help. Although that is beneficial to kids and families, it does not address the underlying skill deficits in a strategic way that promotes mastery. TutorSmart’s goals are to change this to lift the scores and improve tutoring of students in Greater Toledo.

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About Greater Toledo Community Foundation

Greater Toledo Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created by citizens of our community to enrich the quality of life for individuals and families in our area. In existence since 1973, the Foundation has more than 950 funds with assets of approximately $379 million. The Foundation provides philanthropic services for individuals, families, businesses and corporations to meet their charitable giving needs. For more information about Greater Toledo Community Foundation, visit www.toledocf.org or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

The mission of The Center for Nonprofit Resources is to ensure nonprofit organizations in our region have the information and resources required to operate in an efficient and effective manner. For further information about The Center, visit www.c4npr.org  or contact Milva Valenzuela Wagner, Director, at [email protected].

Background on Awards

Collaborative Programming: This award showcases a joint initiative that leverages the skills and resources of multiple nonprofit partners to deliver excellent service to residents of northwest Ohio or southeast Michigan.  Creative partnerships lead to greater impact in the community by reaching underserved audiences and avoiding duplication of service.

Organizational Operations: This award recognizes organizations for overall excellence. The strongest applications will demonstrate active involvement by staff, board members, volunteers and constituents in advancing the mission of the organization.  Eligible applicants must have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status for at least five years and have a local governance and management structure in place.

Strategic Action: This award highlights organizations that have strategically expanded programming or pivoted to a new service delivery model to better meet a community need.  Priority consideration will be given to projects that utilized data and metrics to identify a gap in service, aligned with community-wide planning efforts and successfully implemented and sustained the expansion.  It is anticipated that projects will still be active and have completed the strategic action within the past five years, but the committee will consider older initiatives as well. 

Past Award Recipients

Note: Award Categories Changed in 2022:

Excellence in Collaborative Programming
Connecting Kids to Meals (2022)

Excellence in Organizational Operations
Adopt America Network (2022)

Excellence in Strategic Action
Children’s Theatre Workshop of Toledo (2022)

 Awards Prior to 2022:

Nonprofit Innovation
Unison Behavioral Health Group (2011)
Bittersweet Farms (2012)  
The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo (2013) 
Shared Lives Studio / Lott Industries (2014)
Imagination Station (2015)
Advocating Opportunity, Inc. (2016)
A Renewed Mind (2017)
Center of Hope Family Services (2018)
Neighborhood Properties (2019)
Midstory (2020)
Valentine Theatre (2021)

Nonprofit Excellence – Small Organization
Read for Literacy, Inc. (2011)
Beach House Family Shelter (2012)
Toledo/Lucas County CareNet (2013)
Water for Ishmael (2014)
Black Swamp Conservancy (2015)
Diabetes Youth Services (2016)
Great Lakes Collaborative for Autism (2017)
Leadership Toledo (2018)
Lucas County CASA (2019)
Baby University (2020)
Friends of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (2021)

Nonprofit Excellence – Large Organization
Hospice of Northwest Ohio (2011)                             
Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. and
Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc.  (2012)
East Toledo Family Center (2013)
Cherry Street Mission Ministries (2014)
Family & Child Abuse Prevention Center (2015)
Catholic Club (2016)
Thomas M. Wernert Center (2017)
Boys & Girls Clubs of Toledo (2018)
Habitat for Humanity-Maumee Valley (2019)
Bittersweet Farms (2020)
The Victory Center (2021)

TOLEDO, OHIO, October 18, 2023 – After 23 years of service, Joanne Olnhausen, director of marketing and communications has announced her retirement effective December 31, 2023. Greater Toledo Community Foundation has greatly benefited from her expertise and dedication.

During her tenure, Joanne supported the Foundation’s growth to over five times its size and played a significant role in shaping the Foundation's public image and expanding its reach within the community. Her direction of the Marketing and Communications Department has had a lasting impact on the initiatives and community action undertaken by the Foundation.

“Joanne has been a major asset to the Foundation and to me personally as we have carried on the work of GTCF over the last two decades," states Keith Burwell, president and CEO. “GTCF would not be where it is today without her. She is a true example of the character and work behind all GTCF efforts for the community.”

Joanne's way of storytelling has captivated audiences and fostered a deep connection between donors, nonprofits and the Foundation itself. Matching both the actions of fundholders to aid our community and the nonprofits to carry out this work stands as one of Joanne’s greatest talents.

“Joanne has been a key member of the GTCF team for 23 years. Her warm and welcoming personality has helped build countless relationships in the community and with staff members for two decades. Most recently, Joanne has worked tirelessly to make the 50th Anniversary Celebration a success. I could not be more grateful for her commitment to this project. I wish Joanne nothing but the best as she begins this next stage of her life”, says Abby Aldrich, vice president of operations and special projects.

Please join us in thanking her for her service and wishing her well in retirement.

TOLEDO, OHIO, October 13, 2023 - The Board of Trustees of Greater Toledo Community Foundation recently awarded grants totaling $266,649 from the Community Funds Impact and Builder Grants programs to six organizations. The Community Funds Impact and Builder Grants programs provide seed money for new, innovative programming that addresses unmet community needs. The next deadline for proposals is January 15, 2024. For more details on upcoming grant deadlines, click here.

  • aMAYSing Kids – $15,000 was awarded to support the aMAYSing Kids summer camp program. 
  • Baby University – $25,000 was awarded to support an independent evaluation of Baby University programming.
  • Foundation Center of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo – $70,000 was awarded to support a collaborative hunger reduction program that is a partnership between the Islamic Food Bank and Lucas Metropolitan Housing.
  • Girl Scouts of Western Ohio – $60,000 was awarded to support the Girls Scouts for Every Girl project.
  • Lourdes University – $35,000 was awarded to support the Like Me program that is designed to encourage minority students to enter the education field.
  • University of Toledo Foundation – $61,649 was awarded to support the Math Corps program. 

TOLEDO, OHIO, October 10, 2023 – The Board of Trustees of Greater Toledo Community Foundation recently approved $54,499 in grants from the Toledo Walleye Hockey Club’s Wishing Well Fund to 16 area nonprofit organizations.

Grants from the Toledo Walleye Hockey Club’s Wishing Well Fund of the Greater Toledo Community Foundation are made to nonprofit organizations providing programming that promotes overall fitness and wellness of children during cold weather months.

Grants were made to:

  • Adaptive Sports Program of Ohio - $7,500 was awarded to promote an active lifestyle for youth with physical disabilities.
  • Ballet Theatre of Toledo, Inc. - $3,224 was awarded to purchase a portable non-slip dance floor to support a youth outreach program.
  • Believe Center, Inc. - $5,000 was awarded to support the winter youth basketball and boxing program.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Toledo - $2,000 was awarded to purchase obstacle course materials
  • Children’s Resource Center - $4,475 was awarded to support the Day Treatment youth program.
  • Families for Fitness - $3,000 was awarded to purchase supplies and equipment for a fitness club for youth at Martin Luther King Academy for Boys.
  • Glass City Broomball - $3,000 was awarded to purchase supplies for a female broomball league.
  • Great Lakes Collaborative for Autism dba Avenues for Autism - $2,000 was awarded to support organized sessions for youth with autism.
  • GreaterGenerations - $5,000 was awarded to support the program supplies, transportation and equipment for an economic development and workforce development youth program.
  • New Leaf Group, Inc. - $2,000 was awarded to support sports equipment for a youth program that incorporates dance, basketball and focus on mental health.
  • Nuestra Gente Community Program, Inc. - $2,000 was awarded to support an indoor soccer youth program.
  • Project Noelle - $2,000 was awarded to support sports equipment for a program for youth who have lost a parent to opioid addiction.
  • St. Matthew Lutheran Church and School - $3,300 was awarded to support a nutrition and cooking class for teens.
  • The Leipsic Community Center - $3,000 was awarded to support a youth soccer skills camp.
  • Toledo Day Nursery - $3,000 was awarded to purchase equipment and supplies to upgrade the existing playground.
  • Toledo Lucas County Police Athletic League - $4,000 was awarded to support an indoor youth basketball program.
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