CFMV Reports 2019 Impact, Updates Changes in 2020

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Working to report back to the broader community, the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley recently published a 2019 impact report and an update on 2020 in the MidJuly edition of The Business Journal. The report featured a breakdown of the record $3.6 million invested in charitable projects last year by the foundation’s various component funds, along with details of how the organization is collaborating with other funders to respond to the negative effects of COVID-19.

“Like everyone, we’ve experienced vast changes over the past few months,” said President Shari Harrell. “We postponed publishing our 2019 annual report to focus on responding to the coronavirus’s effects, but we want to share this report now to communicate our impact in 2019 and update folks on the shifts to our work in 2020.”

The foundation’s grant-making experienced some of the most drastic shifts so far this year.

In March, the Community Foundation, the Raymond John Wean Foundation and the Youngstown Foundation created a joint COVID-19 grant application to facilitate collective grantmaking, and together, the three foundations granted more than $877,000 during the first phase of emergency funding. The second phase of funding, which recently began, expands beyond crisis relief to also prioritize projects and programs focused on the Mahoning Valley’s reemergence efforts.

In addition to the Wean and Youngstown Foundations, CFMV’s three affiliated foundations are collectively receiving, reviewing and funding COVID-19 proposals, resulting in a stronger approach to regional grant investments.

The 2020 update also highlights the importance of racial equity to the foundation’s work.

“Health equity was a primary pillar when we created the Healthy Community Partnership,” said Harrell. “We know we still have a long way to go in that work and that the need for racial equity extends far beyond just health. We are working internally to examine and amend our own policies and practices and help center racial equity in all of our activities.” The foundation’s statement on racial equity can be found on its website and staff plan to provide updates on more detailed action steps over the coming weeks.

Other highlights of the foundation’s 2019 work include:

  • One of nine new funds opened in 2019, the Willanna and William DiCiero Memorial Fund is the first completely unrestricted fund in foundation history and will carry on the DiCieros legacy in the future grants made from the fund.
  • CFMV brought together more than 450 people at six events to discuss important community topics such as public health policies, racial equity and food insecurity.
  • Twenty-eight donors committed $2.8 million to CFMV’s Building Forever Campaign, which launched at the beginning of 2019 and continues seeking support to establish and/or grow funds that offer more flexibility for the foundation to respond to emerging needs.
  • Last year, there were more than 100 individuals and 70 organizations involved in the Healthy Community Partnership, all working collaboratively to address health outcomes through its three action teams—active transportation, healthy food retail and parks and green spaces.
  • The William Swanston Charitable Fund made grants totaling $166,000 for 6 local projects supporting children experiencing crises, including those who are/have been abused, neglected or dependent.
  • The Trumbull Memorial Health Foundation disbursed $191.807 for 10 Trumbull County projects and 23 scholarships while the Western Reserve Health Foundation granted $544,915 for 21 Mahoning County projects. Funding from TMHF and WRHF aligned with the priorities identified by each county’s community health assessment.

A full online report with lists of 2019 donors and funds held at the Foundation is available at

The Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley advocates for strategic philanthropy, partnering with donors to anchor a permanent and growing endowment and making investments in the Mahoning Valley that improve the quality of life for all residents. The Community Foundation is the only local foundation with certification from the Community Foundation National Standards Board. Its grants total more than $29 million.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.