Fueling the Community Involvement Fire

Fueling the Community Involvement Fire

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It started as an idea back in 2005, just a thought among the folks who brought us Give Back Cincinnati. The development team wanted to figure out a way to fund individuals who had innovative ideas to make the Greater Cincinnati a better place. But how would they do it?


Five years later, Fuel Cincinnati is here. This fund looks for projects that improve Cincinnati through community building, diversity, education and the environment. It officially launched with a party-turned-brainstorming-session Sept. 16 at the Northside Tavern.


"The greatest thing we are looking for is ways to get young professionals excited about Cincinnati," Fuel Founding Board Member Steve Bentley says.


Fuel’s goal is to provide small grants of $500 to $5,000 to individuals who come to the board with new ideas, with the key word being new. If the idea is approved, the fund not only will provide the financial support, but it also will nurture the creative ideas by providing resources and mentoring, Bentley says.


Most of the application process can be completed on the Fuel Web site. "It’s very simple and quick," Bentley says. And with that quick process, Fuel already has funded a few ideas in town, including Conservatunes, a music and conservation festival in Eden Park.


And Bentley is not the only person excited about the promise of Fuel. "The biggest thing for us is that we are funding people," Give Back Cincinnati’s Fuel Coordinator Jay Hummel says. "Our hope is that Fuel in the future can fund $30k a year in projects."


Fuel’s goal is mostly to provide an outlet for the ideas that come from potential future leaders in Cincinnati, Hummel says, and he hopes Fuel gives those future leaders the opportunity to explore how they can make a difference. Funding upcoming leaders will be a win for everyone, he says.


"If we have 50 percent of our projects be successful, that is a win for us," Hummel says. And a successful Cincinnati future, of course, is definitely a chic victory in our book.


For more information about Fuel and how to get involved, check out Fuel Cincinnati.



Photographer: Neysa Ruhl
Model: Steve Bentley
Location: Cincy Chic Offices