Pandemic Support Funding Takes Youngstown Foundation Back to Its Roots

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — If the past is a prelude to the future, it is clear why the Youngstown Foundation has awarded close to $500,000 in emergency crisis funding to local nonprofits directly impacted by COVID-19.

The foundation, established in 1918, Twas created in response to the worldwide Spanish influenza epidemic and the crippling effects it had on the city of Youngstown. With an initial investment of $33,000, five prominent local businessmen committed their resources to strengthening the city they called home.

That initial investment has grown into more than $125 million, making it the largest community foundation in the region and recognized by Crains as among the top-10 grant-makers in northeast Ohio. History has come full circle 102 years later as the foundation is once again called upon to respond to the devastating effects of a global pandemic, carrying on the vision of its founding fathers, says executive director Janice Strasfeld.

“It is important that we continue awarding grants to local nonprofits experiencing unforeseen challenges due to COVID-19, as well as those that are struggling to maintain day-to-day operations,” she says. “In addition to COVID-19 relief funding, The Youngstown Foundation has maintained its quarterly grant funding cycle for non COVID-19 needs. Qualified nonprofits may apply for funding by following the grant application guidelines listed on our website.”

At its June 9 meeting, the foundation’s distribution committee approved more than $1.7 million in second-quarter grants to local 501(c)(3) organizations. Of this amount, $40,000 was awarded from the unrestricted fund, $418,500 from donor advised and special interest funds, $940,681.00 from the Hine Memorial Fund and $337,422 from the support fund program.

Now more than ever, philanthropic support is vital to local nonprofits as they strive to deliver high-quality, high-impact programs and services, Strasfeld says.

“Although much has changed over the past 100 years in the form of scientific and medical advances, one thing remains the same; our community is experiencing critical needs that must be addressed,” she says. “The Youngstown Foundation embraces its role as a leader in the community and in the spirit of our founders, will leverage our century-long history to continue building a stronger city of Youngstown.”

The foundation’s support fund program is a way for donors to enhance their charitable giving and help strengthen the community, she emphasizes.

Anyone can participate by making a donation of at least $100 to one of the more than 70 approved local nonprofits, and The Youngstown Foundation will add an additional 10%. For more information or to make a donation, go to

SOURCE: Youngstown Foundation.

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