Jewish Innovation Funds | Request for Proposals 


Do you have an idea that would transform Jewish Cincinnati? The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati is pleased to release the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Jewish Innovation Funds, a grants program designed to encourage strategic growth and creative program development in Cincinnati’s Jewish community.


Through this RFP, the Jewish Federation will support One Big Idea (or maybe two) with an award of up to $85,000, coaching support, and a cohort of mentors.


The program's investors are pooling resources and will decide together how to allocate these charitable dollars. New this year, the funders are looking to support One Big Idea (or maybe two) that is collaborative in nature from a social entrepreneur and/or organization addressing a Cincinnati community need through a Jewish lens, and has the potential to transform some aspect of Cincinnati’s Jewish community. As in years past, the focus will be on risk capital that serves as a catalyst for change, encourages initial stage funding innovation, and has a positive impact on the Cincinnati community. The funders are looking for a collaborative, innovative, creative, and socially meaningful project.


Selected grantees will receive a one-time grant between $50,000-$85,000 that may be used over a one-year period (July 2018 - July 2019). Funding is intended for application towards specific project or program-based costs. Both individuals and organizations are encouraged to apply and preference will be given to collaborative ideas.

Application Process Timeline:


  • Applications accepted: March 23 – April 25, 2018 at 5 pm
  • Selected applicants invited to funder presentation (attendance/video presentation is mandatory): June 5, 2018
  • Grant Funding Distributed: July 2018
  • Grantee Narrative and Report Due: August 1, 2019 

Ariel Weiss
Jewish Federation Campaign Director / Grants Contact

Who is Eligible to Apply:


  • Existing nonprofit organizations who possess current 501(c)(3) status.
  • Entrepreneurial individuals or emerging organizations who apply with an appropriate fiscal sponsor who has a 501(c)(3) status.
  • The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati is open to new projects that do not yet have a 501(c)(3) status. If the project is selected as a finalist, we will work with the group to help find a partnering organization or another solution.
  • Applicant organizations from any state may apply. However, the proposed project must be for implementation in the Cincinnati area.
  • This grant does not fund general operating support, capital improvements, endowments, lobbying, or activities that exclusively benefit the members of sectarian or religious organizations.
  • Grantees will agree to display the Jewish Federation’s logo on marketing materials and distribute materials that promote community programs at events.

Preferred Criteria:

  • Project identifies a critical need that no one else is filling. The project will fill an important gap.
  • Project should have clear impact, create change, and have multiplier effect.
  • Project should be free standing and ready to begin – community is ready and idea is prepared enough.
  • Collaboration preferred – necessary partners exist.
  • Project has opportunities for involvement from giving circle members.

If you have any questions about whether your project meets the funding criteria and requirements, please send an email to Ariel Weiss at with a short summary of the project you have in mind. 


Include the following attachments:


  • Complete detailed Project Budget – a line item summary of revenue and expenses.
  • List of board members/volunteer leadership with affiliation.
  • Copy of IRS determination letter indicating organization’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status – if applicable.
  • The organization’s current operating budget, including expenses and revenues, if applicable.
  • Most recent audited financial statement (if not available, attach page one of Form 990) – if applicable.
  • Individuals may need to provide additional financial information at a later date.