It is one of the most unique and broad reaching efforts to inspire lifelong wise and generous philanthropists. In its seventh year, nonprofit Magnified Giving kicked off the 2014-2015 school year by giving money to groups of students from a record 52 regional schools, with the charge of extensively researching, debating, discussing, and ultimately investing it wisely into causes of value to them. It all culminated with those more than 2,500 students collectively granting nearly $100,000 to 70 diverse charities in a series of awards ceremonies.
This is the second year that I have helped Magnified Giving spread the word about its impact. (You will probably be reading about it in a community paper near you soon.)
Four students were also recognized with Roger Grein Spirit of Philanthropy Award, nominated by teachers and selected for exemplifying the meaning of philanthropy as expressed through essays. Honorees included: Julie Gyure from Perry High School, Alex Deters from St. Xavier High School, Becca Faeth from Holy Cross High School and Katie Perry from Roger Bacon High School.
To truly understand the power of this organization is to read what these honorees had to say about how participating has changed their outlook, changed their life. Below are excerpts from their essays.
“This program has shown me that philanthropy is all about fixing our society’s problem of inequality from its roots, not just with monetary donations, but with time. Volunteering at organizations and taking your own time to get to know them and make personal connections. Using your talents, finding what you personally do well and then applying that to an organization, such as using an eye for fashion at Dress for Success, or culinary skills at a soup kitchen. A quote that my dad always says is ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ The meaning of philanthropy is use your time, talent, and treasures to do something you love that the common good can benefit from. Magnified Giving taught me that philanthropy isn’t just a definition written in my notebook, but it is a feeling that you demonstrate through giving back to the community.” – Katie Perry
“Mr. Grein came to speak to my service class at St. X, and I paid close attention to every word of his life’s story, especially the parts concerning his service and work for the common good. He was describing a particular moment in his life, in which he came to realize his love of service and the call he felt to serve, and realizing it or not, Mr. Grein articulated the exact conversion that was taking place in my heart….Deep within my heart, I began to feel a call to selflessness, a call to help my fellow man, but more than anything, a call to service. This call has changed my life irreversibly. I will never be able to see the world the way I did before, and I have decided I will live out this call to service wherever it may take me in my life, following Mr. Grein’s example.” – Alex Deters
“Roger (Grein)’s story touched my heart and I want to do something good for the world just like Roger did! The Magnified Giving program is just my first step! The program gives me the opportunity to go out in the world and lend a helping hand to those who need it. I can give my time, support, and love to people who struggle every day. Magnified giving has raised my confidence in becoming a better person. The program has helped me to see how easy it is just to help someone out whether by money, time, etc. I feel like I am an important part in this world because of this program. It helped me see that I want to help people and have a passion for helping others. The program has brought me closer to the outside world, it has brought my school community closer, and it even brought my family together.” – Becca Faeth
“By participating in civic and volunteer activities, I found my niche. I absolutely love working with people, especially when it is for the betterment of society. This has led me to an undergraduate degree at the University of Cincinnati in organizational leadership with a minor in human resources and nonprofit work. Now I believe that as long as one follows their passion; the size of a paycheck does not seem so important. Fast forward ten years. I plan to be working at a nonprofit such as Ronald McDonald House, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, or Make-a-Wish. I’ll be working alongside individuals who are all there for the same reason; to address an issue occurring in the community, working for justice. My team should consist of human resource gurus that not only focus on community needs, but the needs of their fellow co-workers. Together we will be able to apply our skills and talents to create a positive environment in the workplace and for the people we serve. Magnified Giving has set the path for my future and I will forever be indebted to this amazing organization for doing so.” – Julie Gyure
2014-2015 Participating Schools:
Participating Schools include Aiken High School, Anderson High School, Aurora, Badin High School, Bellevue High School, Bethel-Tate High School, Bishop Brossart High School, Bishop Fenwick High School, Catholic Central High School, Chaminade Julienne High School, Cincinnati Country Day High School, Colerain High School, Covington Catholic High School, Dater high School, Deer Park High School, DePaul Cristo Rey, East Clinton high School, Elder High School, Highlands High School, Holmes High School, Holy Cross High School, Indian Hill High School, Lakota East Freshman School, LaSalle High School, Loveland High School, Madeira Middle School, McAuley High School, McNicholas High School, Mother of Mercy High School, Milford High School, Mt. Notre Dame High School, Moeller High School, New Bremen High School, Notre Dame Academy, Perry High School, Purcell Marian High School, Reading High School, Roger Bacon high School, School for Creative & Performing Arts, Seton High School, Seven Hills High School, Shroder High School, Springer School, St. Henry High School, St. Xavier High School, Summit Country Day, Taft Information Technology High School, Taylor High School, Villa Madonna high School and Wyoming High School.
Cincinnati Bell, a partner of Taft Information Technology High School, donated the seed money for Taft’s grant funding.
At a downtown luncheon before nearly 1000 nonprofit supporters, Magnified Giving was recently named by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Cincinnati Chapter as the 2014 Outstanding Youth In Philanthropy Honoree.
The Award is given to an individual, group, organization, corporation or foundation with a record of exceptional leadership and results in encouraging youth (through age 18) to: learn about and participate in philanthropy by planning and implementing a fundraising program to benefit a specific organization(s) or cause(s); demonstrate leadership in a specific organization(s) or cause(s); serve as role models for other youth and/or encourage other youth to participate in philanthropy. Magnified Giving was nominated by CancerFree Kids, Nantucket Creative Management, Northern Kentucky University, Roger Bacon High School, Seton High School, and Villa Madonna Academy.
Founded by philanthropist Roger Grein, Magnified Giving educates, inspires and engages young students in philanthropy through their schools. The vision of Magnified Giving is for every high school student in America, beginning with Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, to someday have an opportunity to learn firsthand how to be generous and wise philanthropists through hands-on experience. Participating school groups are challenged to determine how they want to invest more than $1000 in a nonprofit.
Since its beginning in 2008, the Lockland-based nonprofit organization has given over a quarter of a million dollars through student-awarded grants to local charities; and has grown to include 59 school programs with more than 3000 students involved in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton, and Northeastern Ohio. For the school year 2013 to 2014, youth participant groups granted nearly $75,000 to more than 60 nonprofits; and for the 2014 to 2015 school year, that number is expected to be over 70 charitable grants totaling more than $80,000.
For more information about Magnified Giving, please visit http://www.MagnifiedGiving.org
I have so enjoyed working with the committee of the Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council for more than five years in sharing the news of their Voices of Giving Awards. It is a wonderful effort to say thanks to those who have made lasting contributions to causes close to their hearts.
In this year’s 16th annual Voices of Giving Awards presented by PNC Bank, 26 Greater Cincinnati philanthropists were recognized for their selfless generosity and foresight in contributing a bequest or planned gift to their favorite charitable organization. Also honored were two advisors whose pivotal role in cultivating those gifts is helping sustain valuable causes.
“It is our great honor to celebrate so many truly inspirational individuals in our community. Our Voices of Giving Awards honorees have such diverse passions; however, what they have in common is their selfless generosity and foresight. Their bequests and planned gifts are ensuring the sustainability of many very important causes in our community,” said Michelle Mancini, co-chair for the event.
Philanthropist honorees included: Terry Bruck on behalf of the Cancer Support Community Greater Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky; William and Susan Friedlander on behalf of the Cincinnati Ballet; Rosemary and Frank Bloom on behalf of the Cincinnati Museum Center; Marvin Kolodzik on behalf of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra & the University of Cincinnati Foundation; T. Brian Brockhoff on behalf of the Catholic Inner-City Schools Education Foundation; Dan Meyer on behalf of Episcopal Retirement Homes: Susan Mustian on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; Robert Brant on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati; Herb Reller and Bessie Wessel (both honored posthumously) on behalf of Life Enriching Communities – Twin Towers; Jack Wild on behalf of Life Enriching Communities – Twin Lakes; Roger Grein on behalf of Magnified Giving; Gary and Joyce Sallquist on behalf of Miami Valley Christian Academy; Dr. James M. Garvey, Jr. on behalf of People Working Cooperatively; Gary and Joan Thompson (Joan was honored posthumously) on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati; Robert and Rhea Glassmeyer (honored posthumously) on behalf of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur; James J. and Anne McGraw, Jr. on behalf of The Athenaeum of Ohio; Dorothy Meader Martin Kersten (honored posthumously) on behalf of The Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation (CET); and Fred Grove and Nancy Neff on behalf of Xavier University.
Advisors who were honored were Scott Boster on behalf of the American Cancer Society; and Jan Frankel on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.
To read short backgrounds on each of the honorees,
please click the link below:
2014 Voices of Giving Honorees
To see the entire photo album from the event,
please click here.
The 2014 event was co-chaired by Lori Asmus and Michelle Mancini. Committee members included Sally Alspaugh, Diana Collins, Carol Derkson, Bruce Favret, Jim Friedman, Misty Griesinger, Bill Hitch, Mary Alice Koch, Telly McGaha, Tracy Monroe, Carol Stevie, Sue Ellen Stuebing, Dan Virzi, and Molly Talbot.
The Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council is a professional association for people whose work includes developing, marketing, and administering charitable planned giftsfor non-profit institutions and a variety of other legal and financial settings.
I am so fortunate that my public relations work allows me to help such truly special causes. Magnified Giving is among them. The nonprofit works with schools to teach young people about being educated philanthropists. I have been helping them with their recent year end awards events.
Below is more about them…
They are from different neighborhoods diverse by ethnicity, cultures, religions and economic backgrounds. And for the past year, they were the more than 2500 students in groups from 50 regional schools who were given more than $1000 by Magnified Giving to extensively research, debate, discuss, and ultimately come to a decision on a worthy cause for whom to grant that money. Some also volunteered their time and even raised additional funds to give to organizations that speak to their hearts.
It was a process that taught students leadership and life skills, how to work together as a team toward a common goal, and how to be wise donors to causes important to them. Before filled auditoriums at four events, those students walked on stage to share their experiences and present checks that collectively totaled more than $75,000.
Ian Dollenmayer, a 2012 graduate of Covington Catholic High School and Magnified Giving alumni, shared his thoughts at one of the events.
“Looking at this program’s title, I believe it is that first word—“magnified”—that truly makes this experience unique. What are magnified are our perceptions, our knowledge, and ourselves. Discovering charities around this area requires us to exit our comfort zone, to journey beyond the conceptual academia of the classroom into the harsh pragmatics of the world around us. Outside the walls of our schools, we find a world that is plagued with problems, but we also are able to see working solutions. We see what it is that different organizations are trying to alleviate and how they are going about doing so.
Above all else, we meet people. Some are the ones afflicted by the ills of an imperfect world, while others are the ones trying to help. It is these meetings and relationships that have the capacity to fundamentally change us. We see in those around us a struggle to make ends meet and live healthy lives, and we in turn see those fighting to give those very things.
What I believe this ultimately gives us, at least what it has given me, is vision. We are among the fortunate, so it is our duty to use the advantages given to us to assist those who are in need. This vision allows us to see where our advantages can be used, where our fortune can be shared, where we can change someone’s world. This day, I challenge us all to use the lessons we have learned from the Magnified Giving program as we advance forward in our lives because no matter where we go, no matter what we become, these are the ideas that can carry our world to a better tomorrow. Be you a politician, a doctor, an accountant, a biologist, an engineer, an artist, or any one of a million different professions and vocations, the world will still need improvement. People will still need our help. It is here our mission begins, and it begins today.”
Roger Grein, founder and CEO of Magnified Giving, shared this note he received from one of the participating teachers – Heather Campbell, national board certified teacher at Butler Tech at Lakota East High School.
“I work with some kids who have been disengaged in school, have low self-esteem, have been sometimes marginalized by our education system, and are often times challenged by overwhelming circumstances. I am blessed to have the opportunity and support to teach these students in ‘my way’ through ‘my methods’.
Today as my students had a contentious, intense debate- on task for 1 ½ hours- I realized just what an important part Magnified Giving has played in their process of evolving, scholastically and on a personal level. I was outside of the room, but I could not help but hear them- they expressed their thoughts, their passions eloquently and respectfully. They called me in when they needed help in organizing their thoughts, but I merely listened and summarized what I heard. I did not put my two cents in. I have never seen this group- individually or together take something so seriously. EVERY one of them weighed in. EVERY one of them had definite thoughts and contributions to the discussion.
I assured them that they could not make a wrong decision. In the end, they felt the difficult bending that sometimes must come when a group cannot meet unanimity, but must come to consensus. I think they will volunteer for other organizations who did not receive their award. They know now that awareness is the first step, and that they can be messengers.
Most importantly, I feel that they truly were affected by this process and have become more evolved, more aware, kinder citizens of their community and their world. For this, I am truly grateful to you.”
If you believe in the cause of Magnified Giving, you can support their work with a monetary donation. Please visit http://www.MagnifiedGiving.org to learn more.
To view more photos from the Magnified Awards events, please click here.
Last fall it was so wonderful to have been given the opportunity to learn about one of our region’s truly great philanthropists – Roger Grein when I helped raise awareness of his contributions. Roger has given to local nonprofits with his resources and his heart. However, his greatest legacy is in the hearts of thousands of young people in whom he and his Magnified Giving team of staff and volunteers have instilled long lasting generosity.
Magnified Giving is a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to educate, inspire, and engage students in philanthropy. Its vision of Magnified Giving is for every high school student in America, starting with the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area, to someday have the opportunity to learn first-hand how to be generous and wise philanthropists.
Each year, participating school groups are challenged to determine how they want to invest up to $2000 in a nonprofit. They research, evaluate nonprofit grant applications, fundraise to earn matching dollars – gaining leadership, communication, and teamwork skills as part of the process. This spring in a packed auditorium of over 600 students, teachers, nonprofits, donors, parents, and community leaders, nearly $50,000 was presented to causes doing great work.
“The most rewarding aspect of Magnified Giving is when what we do in the classroom reaches beyond the walls of the school in a tangible way. I see students ‘get it’ when they come back from a site visit,” said Julie Vehorn, director of curriculum and instruction at Roger Bacon High School overseeing her school’s Magnified Giving program.
Aiken College & Career
Cincinnati Country Day
Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy
Miami Valley Christian Academy
Mother of Mercy
Mt. Notre Dame
Notre Dame Academy
Perry High School
School for the Creative and Performing Arts
Summit Country Day
Madeira Middle School
Northern KY Youth Advisory Board