Community Foundation Adapts Grant Process Amid Virus

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Community Foundation will forego its regular June 1 deadline for its general grant and First Place Community Fund cycles.

The June 1 deadline for the International Institute Funds will remain in place, but granting priorities for that fund will be updated in light of the pandemic. 

The Trumbull Memorial Health Foundation, Western Reserve Health Foundation and William Swanston Charitable Fund are also forgoing their current grant cycles. 

Instead, nonprofits seeking funding are encouraged to apply to the Mahoning Valley Community Response Fund, to which all three affiliated foundations have contributed assets. While grants are currently awarded for emergency, crisis-related needs, the foundations plan to update priorities in the near future to include grants for ongoing operations and sustainability. 

“These are unprecedented times for all of us,” said Shari Harrell, president of the Community Foundation. “We hope these changes, along with the streamlining of our grant application and review process, will aid nonprofits in this time of need.”

Additionally, the foundation boards are instituting flexibility for organizations with current grants for nonprofit partners whose activities have been disrupted because of the pandemic. Grantees can contact Casey Krell at to discuss their organization’s needs, including extended final report deadlines and the possibility of repurposing unspent grant funds. 

“The foundation is using research as well as input from our nonprofit partners to shape our response,” Harrell added. “We encourage all organizations, whether or not they have received funding from us in the past, to reach out and update us on what they are seeing and experiencing as we begin setting priorities for the next phase of COVID-19 response funding.”

More details about the steps each of the four foundations are taking to support nonprofits affected by COVID-19 can be found on their individual pages of CFMV’s website at

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.