Private Foundations in The Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank Announce More Than $6.6 Million in 2020 Grants

CINCINNATI—Eight private family foundations in The Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank, National Association, have announced gifts of more than $6.6 million in 2020.  Grants were awarded from these private family foundations to organizations that focus on education, arts and culture, civic and community programs, health and human services, and community reinvestment activities that benefit low-to moderate-income earners, small businesses, affordable housing, financial literacy and workforce development efforts.

"We are always pleased to honor the vision of the families who entrust their philanthropic foundations to our office," said Heidi B. Jark, senior vice president and managing director of The Foundation Office. "In a year that has been extremely hard on nonprofits and the communities they serve we are especially honored to assist so many organizations with fulfilling their mission."

Bethany House Services, a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of family-centered homelessness services, received funds from the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust. Susan Schiller, Bethany House's chief executive officer, explained how the money, which will be used for the One Step Closer to Home Program, will directly assist families. "The funding will help us build our new family shelter and comprehensive services center, which will meet the needs of 1,000 families who are experiencing homelessness." The organization's offerings include expanded services for children and additional on-site physical and mental healthcare for families. "It has been an unbelievably challenging year for everyone—especially for families without a home. The funding from the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Foundation will create a safe space for single moms and children where they will have warm beds, food, a safe environment for them to heal and a pathway to stability."

American Legacy Theatre received funds from the Alms Trust to create Home Theatre, a new programmatic offering, which innovates theatre storytelling by making the audience a co-producer collaborating with the artist. Matthew David Gellin, producing artistic director, explained that Home Theatre will generate 30 original world premiere productions in six months and reach at least 3,000 people. "Because of the support from the Alms Trust, American Legacy Theatre can share the stories of those who cannot privately pay for this experience and explore stories dealing with extreme poverty, isolation by age or geography, physical or mental disability, and other challenges not readily discussed in our community," he said. "If American Legacy Theatre did not have funding from the Alms Trust, Home Theatre would not be able to happen. This funding allows us the ability to launch a new approach to theatre and to be a leader in the national conversation on how to bridge communities."

The eight foundations and trusts accept letters of inquiry from qualifying nonprofit organizations seeking grant support from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 each year. For guidelines on the inquiry process, visit The eight available funds are listed below with brief descriptions of their focus areas and the total amount distributed from them in 2020 to charitable organizations.

Fund and description 2020 Grants

Charles Moerlein Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Supports religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes.


Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Supports initiatives that empower and assist women and girls
in achieving self-sufficiency.

$1.25 million

Eleanora C.U. Alms Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Supports charitable and educational purposes for the city of Cincinnati,
with a focus on the arts.


Helen G., Henry F., & Louise Tuechter Dornette Foundation,
Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Supports nature and the conservation of nature's beauty, as well as organizations that are beneficial to children, with a preference to organizations that Miss Dornette identified during her lifetime.


Patricia Kisker Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Supports organizations that benefit or serve children, and educational, musical or arts organizations, as well as organizations that Patricia Kisker supported during her lifetime.


Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Supports charitable or educational purposes; for relief in sickness, suffering and distress; for the care of young children, the aged or the helpless or afflicted; for the promotion of education, and to improve living conditions.

$4.302 million

Ohio Valley Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Agent

Funds small equipment and capital improvement projects in the Ohio Valley.


Stillson Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Helps children and provides assistance to those charities the Stillsons supported during their lifetime.




The Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank, National Association, also serves as trustee, co-trustee or agent for more than 300 private and corporate foundations that grant millions of dollars annually to worthy charities across the United States. The foundations support a variety of causes, from education to the arts and from basic-needs organizations like shelters and counseling centers to environmental projects and animal rescue.

To learn more about The Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank, please visit: