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Fifth Third Foundation Announces 2017 Strengthening Our Communities Fund Award Recipients

Heidi Jark, Managing Director, Fifth Third Foundation (Photo: Business Wire) Multimedia Gallery URL


The Fifth Third Foundation has announced a total of $2.5 million in grants from its Strengthening Our Communities Fund in 2017. The Fund awards grants to designated nonprofit programs that support homeownership, affordable housing, small business development and financial stability for individuals and families. Programs in these areas strengthen and stabilize communities and make them a better place to live, work and thrive.

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“The Strengthening Our Community grants are important because they result in people’s lives being positively changed, and they allow organizations the opportunity to expand their reach,” said Heidi Jark, managing director, Fifth Third Foundation. “Through these grants, we are able to continue building lasting relationships and help strengthen the communities we serve.”

The fund in 2017 had an impact on more than 355 people through neighborhood revitalization projects and nearly 5,200 people who received workforce development and financial education services. More than 1,640 households were assisted 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. Nearly 2,200 more people were helped by economic development programs, including technical assistance and micro-lending for small businesses.

Fifth Third Bank’s Western Michigan region received $250,000 in SOC grants. “We are humbled and grateful to be a Strengthening Our Communities grant recipient alongside some outstanding organizations, and to mobilize these funds in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood of Grand Rapids,” said BriAnne McKee, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. “Fifth Third Bank’s generosity and commitment to affordable housing and strong neighborhoods is bringing the neighbors of Roosevelt Park one step closer to realizing their vision for their neighborhood.”

Other organizations in the region that received SOC funds were the Literacy Center of West Michigan, for linking their adult and financial literacy programs, and Start Garden, for its Start Garden loan pool fund.

Nationally, SOC grants were awarded to nearly 60 organizations across Fifth Third’s 10-state footprint. Some of those organizations in the Bank’s regions included:

  • Central Ohio ($250,000): Funds will be used by The United Way of Central Ohio’s leadership academy; Partners Achieving Community Transition’s home repair program; Community Development for All People’s healthy neighborhoods and families program; the Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council’s supplier diversity executive education program; and Habitat for Humanity MidOhio’s Habitat Housing Initiative.
  • Florida ($250,000): Funds will be used by the Central Florida Urban League’s Meet the Bankers program; Affordable Homeownership Foundation’s program for affordable housing for low-to-moderate income home buyers with disabilities; Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa’s comprehensive asset building project; Florida Housing Coalition’s nonprofit rental development capacity; Florida Gulf Coast University’s growth acceleration and new market development initiatives; the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida’s technical assistance program; University of South Florida Foundation’s Florida Small Business Development Center; and the Urban League of Broward County’s Entrepreneurship Center.
  • North Carolina ($150,000): Funds will be used by the North Carolina Development Initiative’s Building Capacity and Meeting the Need fund; Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership’s Homeownership Center of Charlotte; Charlotte Housing Authority/CORE’s Destination Homeownership program; Community Link’s VITA/Homeownership Asset Building program; North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development’s small business technical assistance program; and the Renaissance West Community Initiative’s computer literacy training program.
  • Georgia ($100,000): Funds will go to the Urban League of Greater Atlanta for its Housing and Community Development Program; Georgia Advancing Communities Together for its Capacity Building Initiative; Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs for the ACE Business Advisory Services program; and the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership’s Neighborhood by Neighborhood Initiative.

“The Bank strives to improve lives by supporting programs and initiatives that create strong, vibrant communities and provide pathways to opportunity for as many people as possible,” said Byna Elliott, senior vice president and director of Community and Economic Development, Fifth Third Bank. “We are committed to creating strategic, philanthropic community partnerships that align with programs and impact focus areas for the purpose of empowering communities and the people in them.”

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.

About The Fifth Third Foundation

Established in 1948, the Fifth Third Foundation was the first philanthropic foundation 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. As of Sept. 30, 2017, the Company had $142 billion in assets and operated 1,155 full-service Banking Centers and 2,465 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to nearly 55,000 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 also has an 8.6 percent interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of Sept. 30, 2017, had $348 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $36 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 www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC.

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