Fifth Third Foundation Announces Second Year of Strengthening Our Communities Awards

Total Investment Reaches $5.5 Million

The Fifth Third Foundation has announced the second year of the Strengthening Our Communities fund awards, bringing the total amount invested over the last two years to $5.5 million. The fund has awarded $3 million for 2018. (Photo: Business Wire)

CINCINNATI--()--The Fifth Third Foundation has announced the second year of the Strengthening Our Communities fund awards, bringing the total amount invested over the last two years to $5.5 million. The fund has awarded $3 million for 2018.

The fund is a part of Fifth Third Bank’s $32 billion Community Commitment, which provides investments to designated nonprofit programs that support homeownership, affordable housing, small business development and financial stability for individuals and families. The five-year Community Commitment, launched in 2016 at $30 billion, last month was increased by $2 billion.

“The Strengthening Our Community grants are impactful. Regardless of the neighborhood where one lives or works, every community is an ever-evolving, all-encompassing entity, created by the people who call those neighborhoods home,” said Heidi Jark, managing director, Fifth Third Foundation. “We are intentional about building communities because we know that as their residents become empowered, their entire surroundings will flourish.”

The fund allows the opportunity to positively affect communities through strategic philanthropic partnerships that align with the Fifth Third Bank community impact focus area priorities and Community Reinvestment Act objectives. This year, the fund awarded $1.2 million to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and to create jobs. The Florida Community Loan Fund received $50,000 of that.

“The Fifth Third Foundation’s Strengthening Our Communities grant will support our community development financing programs and will help lead $15 million in direct financing by FCLF,” said Ignacio Esteban, the FCLF’s CEO. “Our financing creates opportunities for low-income Floridians including decent, safe and affordable housing. We thank Fifth Third for supporting our vision that every person in every community in Florida has an opportunity to live with dignity.”

The fund in 2018 had an impact on more than 2,000 people through neighborhood revitalization projects that included assistance with resources for home repair and rehab programs that helped senior citizens maintain their homes and through homeowner assistance programs that helped people achieve the American dream of homeownership. More than 8,500 received workforce development and financial education services. Nearly 4,870 more people were helped by economic development programs, including technical assistance and micro-lending for small businesses. Since 2017 more than 150 nonprofits have benefited from the fund.

In addition to the investments in small business, the SOC program provided $700,000 to organizations that supported affordable housing and over $1.1 million to nonprofit partners for financial empowerment programs. Nationally, SOC grants were awarded to nearly 80 organizations across Fifth Third’s 10-state footprint in three areas of focus. Those organizations include:

Affordable Housing

  • Kentucky: Rebound Inc., Foundation for Affordable Housing Inc. and the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County.
  • North Carolina: DHIC Inc., Habitat for Humanity Charlotte and Prosperity Unlimited Inc.
  • Northwest Ohio: Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation in Toledo (LISC).
  • Georgia: Urban League of Greater Atlanta.
  • Tennessee: Affordable Housing Resources Inc.
  • Eastern Michigan: Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency.

Economic Development

  • Cincinnati/Dayton: Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area; City Wide Neighborhood Development Corp.; LISC Cincinnati; IFF; Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Foundation - Minority Business Accelerator.
  • Florida: Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation Inc. and Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation Inc.
  • Georgia: Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Project Inc.
  • Tennessee: Pathway Lending (also known as the Southeast Community Capital Corp.).

Financial Empowerment

  • Eastern Michigan: LISC Detroit, LISC Flint and The Empowerment Plan.
  • Florida: Children’s Home Society of Florida, LIFT Orlando, Start Right Now Inc. and Affordable Homeownership Foundation Inc.
  • Northwest Ohio: Adelante Inc., Cherry Street Mission Ministries and Goodwill Industries of Northwest Ohio Inc.
  • Tennessee: Dismas Inc. and the Urban Housing Solutions Inc.
  • Western Michigan: Grand Rapids Community College Foundation and Literacy Center of West Michigan.

“The Bank strives to have a positive impact in our communities through inclusive lending, investments and services. This allows us to create new opportunities and to help people thrive and achieve some of their most significant goals,” said Byna Elliott, senior vice president and chief corporate community and economic development officer. “By partnering with various community organizations that are dedicated to bringing effective change, we are demonstrating our commitment to doing what’s right by improving lives one person and one community at a time.

The Fifth Third Foundation invites nonprofit organizations to apply for SOC funding. Awards are made four times per year. Grant awards begin at $25,000 and are for a one-year period. The maximum grant amounts per region depend on the program and demonstrated need.

About The Fifth Third Foundation

Established in 1948, the Fifth Third Foundation was one of the first philanthropic foundations established by a financial institution. The Fifth Third Foundation supports worthwhile organizations in the areas of education, health and human services, community development and the arts.

About Fifth Third Bancorp

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, an Ohio-chartered bank. As of Sept.30, 2018, Fifth Third had $142 billion in assets and operated 1,152 full-service Banking Centers and 2,443 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 53,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of Sept. 30, 2018, had $376 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $38 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank. Member FDIC.


Fifth Third Bank
Danielle Jones, 513-534-0162


Fifth Third Bank
Danielle Jones, 513-534-0162