Civic Engagement

We believe that a shared sense of responsibility for one another is fundamental to human thriving. We support efforts that provide experiences that inspire this value and its behavioral expression – philanthropy. The following list is a representation of recent grants and projects in the area of Civic Engagement in which The Mayerson Foundation is involved.

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The Mayerson Foundation operated the Mayerson Service Learning Program (MSLP)  from 1994-2018 to reduce barriers to quality service and service-learning in local high schools.  Funding, training, and technical support to local high schools was offered for free through a consultative process for improving and growing the service-learning experiences of high school students.

The MSLP responded to requests for assistance from schools to implement or improve the fulfillment of mandatory service hours, to integrate service into the academic curriculum, to enhance community service with preparation or reflection activities, and to recognize student achievement in the areas of service and volunteerism.

Visit the Mayerson Service Learning Program page for more information about its evolution.

The Mayerson Student Philanthropy Program empowers Northern Kentucky University faculty and students to connect their academic curriculum to community through a philanthropic process of exploring, assessing, and funding nonprofits through grant giving.

The Mayerson Foundation Student Philanthropy Program was ideated in partnership with NKU and the Foundation has continued to provide annual support to the program to help with administrative expenses, faculty training and program evaluation.

The seed for the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project was planted in 1999 during a conversation between Dr. Neal Mayerson, Mayerson Foundation President, and Dr. James C. Votruba, Former Northern Kentucky University President. Both men shared a passion for finding ways to foster civic responsibility and engagement among college students. At that time the two agreed to partner on the development and implementation of a new concept - a program integrating philanthropy into the college curriculum - with the hope of advancing the development of competent student-citizens who seek to play vital roles in their community and who are committed to the pursuit of the common good.

Learn more about the program here.



Give Back Cincinnati aims to enhance our communities through engaging young volunteers and developing leaders by providing unique community engagement opportunities.

The Mayerson Foundation provided support to Give Back Cincinnati that allowed them to upgrade their technology and marketing materials as well as start new programs including, IGNITE, a venture fund for new community projects developed by and for young professionals.

Give Back Cincinnati started with a small group of friends that wanted to give back to their community. Give Back Cincinnati has grown to over 2400 active volunteers (representing 400 companies) and continues to provide young adults in Cincinnati with an outlet where they can have fun, meet peers, and give back to their community all at the same time.

Prairie, Inc. produces photography based programs for schools and community organizations to bridge the gap between disparate communities in Cincinnati using images and reflective activities as a medium for relationship building.  The Mayerson Foundation supported the growth of Prairie, Inc.’s New Voices program to support new school partnership over the course of multiple academic years.

New Voices programs seek to give voice to those who do not usually participate in art making activities or have a voice in community affairs. Exhibitions of student and community-curated photography celebrate partnerships and relationships formed between SCPA and Tender Mercies, Sycamore and Over the Rhine Community Housing, DePaul Cristo Rey and Ohio Justice & Policy Center, just to highlight a few.  

Since 1976, The Center The Center for Great Neighborhoods (CGN) has helped strengthen Covington through creative placemaking programs, community organizing events, leadership development, housing development, youth engagement and financial education. They are committed to helping people discover and develop their skills, find and use the resources they need, and discover partners who share their concern for the well-being of Covington.

The Foundation leveraged a significant grant from the Kresge Foundation by participating in the CGN’s capital campaign to transform a former lumber mill into an active community center for residents by providing a variety of community spaces and leasable artist studios.

The Hellmann Creative Center, as it is now known, is home to CGN’s offices as well as 8 artist studios and 4000+sq. ft. of community event and meeting space. The project has become an important anchor for additional investment and redevelopment along MLK Boulevard and the Westside.

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful provides education, revitalization and environmental initiatives that build community and foster pride in the places where we live, work and play.  The Mayerson Foundation provided funding for Keep Cincinnati Beautiful's educational outreach program called, "Growing Green Habits" in which middle and high school students serve as mentors and educators for elementary students.

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful brings environmental education to urban youth who most likely live in areas where environmental issues truly affect their daily lives. In addition to building ownership of an important environmental message, these programs build leadership, confidence and public speaking skills.