SHARON, Pa. – The Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio awarded more than $8 million through 2,229 grants in 2020, which averaged $3,698 in size.
The smallest grant was $6.71, showing that “even the smallest gifts can make all the difference,” says Kyle English, executive director.
“For many organizations, COVID-19 didn’t just create more need, it brought new needs,” he says. “Virtual learning technology, freezers to accommodate new meal distribution processes, increased cleaning and health screening and PPE were just some of the resources that the foundation helped provide as organizations reacted to changing community needs.”
In July, the Community Foundation launched the inaugural PA OH Gives fundraising campaign, which brought in $575,000 for the 40 participating organizations. During the weeklong campaign, the foundation matched donations, while six member funds matched giving up to $130,000.
To close out the year, the foundation matched donations made as part of the Raise the Curtain fundraiser concert, raising $45,000 for five theaters in Beaver, Lawrence and Mercer counties and Mahoning County in Ohio.
“Through historic and unprecedented challenges, the foundation saw staggering generosity and resilience. Donors from across Mercer, Lawrence, and Trumbull counties ensured that those in need were met with compassion and provision,” English says.
The new year brings a new opportunity for students in the region to apply, through March 1, for an available $500,000 in college scholarship funds.
The foundation, established in 1981, has grown to oversee more than 750 funds and has awarded more than $100 million in grants.