Community Foundation Highlights Grants, New Funds in Annual Report

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley ended 2021 stronger than ever thanks to the addition of new funds, new software, new staff and a new racial equity assessment of its work, according to a release.

All these steps forward, as well as details on the grantmaking by the Community Foundation’s fundholders and supporting organizations, are available in the newly released 2021 Annual Report. A four-page version of the report is available in the April issue of The Business Journal.

“Last year was a challenging and exciting one for the Community Foundation,” says Foundation President Shari Harrell. “2021 laid the groundwork for many of our long-term goals and we ended the year better equipped to work toward our mission of creating a more inclusive and equitable Mahoning Valley.”

Across its four grant cycles in 2021, the Community Foundation awarded $2.2 million in grants to nonprofits in the Mahoning Valley, supporting efforts across the board. Among those highlighted in the Annual Report are Kent State University’s prison education pilot program at Trumbull Correctional Institution, Action’s mobile market project and support of The English Center of Youngstown’s courses teaching English and skills to immigrants of the Valley.

Meanwhile, the Western Reserve Health Foundation awarded $702,204 to 24 projects, the Trumbull Memorial Health Foundation awarded $386,332 to 15 projects and the William Swanston Charitable Fund awarded $296,000 to 16 projects.

Other 2021 highlights featured in the Annual Report include the launch of a new software system that makes applying for scholarships and grants simpler, information on the foundation’s 10 new funds and an update on its racial equity journey, which saw the completion of a Racial Equity Assessment and the beginning stages of the creation of a new strategic plan.

“Our work with Third Space Action Lab and Work In Progress will help guide the Community Foundation toward more equitable practices, grantmaking and fund creation, which will help make the Valley a better place for all people in the region,” Harrell says. “We look forward to getting the final version of Work In Progress’ strategic plan in the coming months and putting it into motion.”

Also in the Annual Report is information on the month-long Giving Tuesday campaign that started on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and ran through the end of the year. In that program, the Arnett Family Fund matched all donations to agency funds at the Community Foundation – up to $5,000 per fund – which resulted in more than $76,000 in donations with the Arnett Fund contributing more than $47,000.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.