Philanthropist Roger Grein Honored Nationally, Locally | People
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Roger Grein, founder and president of nonprofit Magnified Giving, was recently honored nationally and locally with distinguished honors for his lifelong generosity and focus on strengthening lives and communities.
Grein was selected from 19,000 full time volunteers as the National Father George Mader Award by the Catholic Volunteer Network. Named after the Network’s founder, the annual Award is given to an organization or individual that encourages lay men and women to serve others locally, nationally, or internationally. Grein was also named 2012 Philanthropist of the Year from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Cincinnati Chapter.
“Life hasn’t been easy for Roger. He has struggled to get what he has gotten and still, the first thing he asked himself was how he can serve others. He has a heart of gold,” said Bill Keating, Jr., a board member of Magnified Giving.
The vision of Magnified Giving is for every high school student in America, beginning with Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, to someday have an opportunity to learn firsthand how to be generous and wise philanthropists through hands-on experience. Participating school groups are challenged to determine how they want to invest up to $2000 in a nonprofit.
The organization’s fourth year is seeing a record number of schools and students involved. Over 2000 students in 36 Magnified Giving programs (35 school-based and one community-based) are researching hundreds of nonprofit agencies, sending over 300 grant invitation letters, and will be awarding grants collectively totally nearly $60,000 at the 2012-2013 Award Event, scheduled for May 16 at McAuley High School.
Roger Grein, the philanthropist
At 70, Grein has lived his life an example of what faith, perseverance, and a believer of potential can accomplish.
In his earliest years when he was not developing according to expectations, doctors gave his adoptive parents little hope of raising a ‘normal’ child. Yet his mother taught him to walk and speak and learn.
Over time, Grein, who wasn’t expected to excel mentally, had a 36-year coaching career leading teams to world championships, earned his MBA and grew an accounting practice that had a staff of eight. His worth was in the millions and he has given away more than $7 million to charities and colleges over the past 20 years. By 1999 , he had given Northern Kentucky University about a half million dollars for scholarships for softball players and to improve the girls’ softball field, and for students with disabilities.
It was about 12 years ago, after learning of an NKU philanthropy program for students, sponsored by the Mayerson Foundation, that he vowed to expand the idea. That promise led Grein’s meeting with Father Michael Graham at Xavier University to start a similar program there, which led 34 colleges and universities embracing his philanthropy education model through a program that is managed by Ohio Campus Compact. And, now to over 2000 local teens engaged in becoming young philanthropists through Magnified Giving.
Grein lost much of his personal wealth when his banking investments plummeted, but that only meant a shift in his giving strategy. These days, instead of writing the checks, he is supporting Magnified Giving to be a self-sustaining nonprofit organization by reaching out to others who share in his passion.
“When I grew up, I saw my parents helping others and they are my role models. Giving has just become a part of who Roger is,” he said. “I have always lived simply so that I was able to help out so many causes.”
For information on Magnified Giving, please visit http://www.magnifiedgiving.org.