Congratulations to our 2018 NKY Funders’ Grants Winners!

First and second place winners in each category:

• Arts: first place, Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center; second place, Vent Haven Museum

• Children & Youth: first place, Salvation Army in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky; second place, Children’s Law Center

• Economic Opportunity: first place, Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky; second place, Life Learning Center/Legal Aid of the Bluegrass collaboration

• Education: first place, Adopt A Class; second place, UpSpring

• Health: first place, Vivian’s Victory; second place, Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky

The $5,000 popular vote prize was awarded to Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky.


The Butler Foundation, The Charles H. Dater Foundation, The R.C. Durr Foundation, Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky, and The Elsa Heisel Sule Foundation joined forces to create NKY Funders’ Grants, an ongoing program that convenes foundations and funders around mini-grant competitions for nonprofits that serve Northern Kentucky.

Hundreds from the community attended the inaugural mini-grant competition, held Tuesday, November 20 from 5-7 p.m. at the St. Elizabeth Technology and Education Center in Erlanger (3861 Olympic Blvd, Erlanger, KY 41018).

The fall 2018 foundation partners chose the following as focus areas:

  • Arts (The Elsa Heisel Sule Foundation)

  • Children & Youth (The Dater Foundation)

  • Economic Opportunity (The Butler Foundation)

  • Education (Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky)

  • Health (The R.C. Durr Foundation)

Each partner offered $10,000 in grants, and selected two finalists in each focus area to pitch their project or program to the audience at the November 20 event. Based on pitches made at the event, partners selected a first-place winner to receive $6,000, and a second-place winner to receive $3,000. Additionally, a popular vote at the event will determine an additional $5,000 award for one of the ten finalists.

Finalists also shared further information about their respective organizations at presentation booths positioned throughout the event space, set up for the duration of the event.

2018 Timeline:

Applications due September 30, 2018

Semifinalists determined by October 15, 2018

Mandatory semifinalist workshop on October 29, 2018

Semifinal pitches on November 1, 2018

Mini-grants competition event on November 20, 2018 (5pm-7pm)


The Butler Foundation helps Northern Kentuckians in need, as directly as possible. Established by Corporex CEO Bill Butler and his wife, Sue, it is a private foundation that supports direct service charities, provides “Helping Hands” hardship grants, and awards “Butler Scholar” funds to select high schools and colleges in Northern Kentucky.

The Charles H. Dater Foundation makes grants to non-profit organizations in the Greater Cincinnati area to carry out programs and projects that benefit young people and focus in the areas of arts/culture, education, healthcare, social services and other community needs. Since its founding in 1985, the Foundation has made over 2,900 grants totaling more than $45 million.

R.C. Durr (1919-2007) was a successful entrepreneur, a life-long resident of Northern Kentucky, and a generous, though quiet philanthropist who had an abiding compassion for the less fortunate. In keeping with his legacy of commitment and caring, the R.C. Durr Foundation is dedicated to celebrating the life and legacy of its benefactor by providing philanthropic support to improve the quality of life of the larger Northern Kentucky region and its people, with a particular emphasis on education, social services and community development.

Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky is a qualified public charitable 501(c)(3) organization established as a community foundation in 2017 by Northern Kentucky leaders. Its mission is to unite resources to raise the quality of life for all people in the Northern Kentucky community. Learn more at

The Elsa Heisel Sule Foundation is an independent Private Foundation established by Elsa Sule in 2004. The Foundation advances the philanthropic aspirations of Elsa by investing funds to “provide opportunities in education, community and the arts” to 501c3 organizations which provide programs in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The Sule Foundation board and staff practice engaged philanthropy. Please find more information at

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