Rick Shale Trust Benefits 4 Nonprofits

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Four local organizations – The Butler Institute of American Art, Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, Mahoning Valley Historical Society and Youngstown State University Foundation – have been awarded gifts from the Rick Shale Trust.

Shale, a longtime English professor at YSU, history enthusiast and philanthropist, planned what would happen to his trust and assets after his death.

“Rick began planning for future gifts long before most of us do,” says Shari Harrell, president of the Community Foundation.

Shale created a blueprint where several organizations would receive gifts from his estate, which totaled more than $6 million when he died in 2022.

The Rick Shale Fund was established at the Community Foundation in June with a distribution from the Rick Shale Trust of just over $3.7 million.

“We worked with Rick for many years, making sure that we understood what his vision was for the fund here at CFMV and how that fund could support the community he valued so dearly,” Harrell said.

Shale laid out five broad areas of interest for the fund: local history, the arts, parks, education and social services. The Rick Shale Fund will begin making grants in the first quarter of 2024, with open applications being accepted through the general grant cycle of the foundation.

“Dr. Shale touched the lives of countless students at YSU,” said Paul McFadden, president of the YSU Foundation. “His legacy will live on for generations through his most generous bequest that will support scholarships and provide annual funding for the English Festival, the YSU theater department and WYSU-FM.”

The Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s gift will be part of the foundation of a capital campaign being organized to expand and improve MVHS buildings and programs, said Bill Lawson, executive director.

Shale also designated gifts to Phi Kappa Phi Foundation Inc. and Ohio Wesleyan University.

Shale is the 2023 recipient of the Legacy Award presented by the Mahoning-Shenango Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. His award will be celebrated at the local National Philanthropy Day event Nov. 16.

Pictured at top: The late Rick Shale. Photo courtesy of YSU.