Youngstown Foundation Awards $7M in Grants

By Jan Strasfeld, Executive Director
YOUNGSTOWN – With the onset of a new decade, The Youngstown Foundation holds true to its 100-year mission that addresses critical needs and strengthens our community’s health care, arts and culture, education, environment, economic development and social services. 

This is evident through the foundation’s grant- making process as our organization gave more than $7 million to the community in 2019, bringing donations throughout its history to close to $120 million. 

The Youngstown Foundation devotes its resources to ensure the quality of life for all residents, to build and sustain a vital and prosperous community where justice and opportunity are extended to everyone. 

This vision is fulfilled through three key areas: awarding grants to nonprofit organizations and designing special funding initiatives to address critical challenges; working with donors to achieve high-impact philanthropy; and serving as a leadership resource to share ideas and develop strategy to move our community forward.

In 2018, The Youngstown Foundation celebrated its 100th anniversary by committing $3 million to the city of Youngstown for the construction of the amphitheater project. 

In spring of 2019, The Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre opened its doors, transforming under-used space into a state-of-the-art venue. The 2020 schedule of events is certain to fuel as much excitement as last year, generating business and creating an entertainment destination for Mahoning Valley residents. 

More than 500 grants were awarded in 2019 from the various Youngstown Foundation funds including the unrestricted, donor advised, restricted, Hine Memorial and special interest funds. 

The foundation currently administers nearly 80 funds that make distributions to local, regional and national nonprofits. This past year, the foundation welcomed seven new funds with a total value of $8.3 million.

Throughout the year, several significant grants were awarded. Among the largest was $500,000 to Stambaugh Auditorium for the staircase and façade restoration campaign. 

Also notable was a $50,000 gift to the Economic Action Group toward costs associated with the commission and creation of a downtown statue to mark the 1946 handshake of Jackie Robinson and Youngstown native George “Shotgun” Shuba. This statue recognizes the role Shuba played in an historic moment that helped advance racial equality in American sports and culture. There is no city more appropriate than Youngstown for a larger-than-life statue that honors Jackie Robinson’s achievements and George Shuba’s respect for them.

Last year also saw growth in contributions made through the foundation’s support fund, which enables donors to maximize their charitable giving to their favorite nonprofits. The support fund provides approved local charities the opportunity to receive an additional 10% grant for qualified contributions for their organizations. 

In 2019, donations made to the support fund resulted in the distribution of more than $1.5 million to 77 agencies throughout the Mahoning Valley, an increase of 11% from the previous year. 

The Youngstown Foundation was established in 1918 by a group of industrial leaders with an initial gift of $33,000. Today, with $125 million in assets, it is the largest community foundation in the region and among the top 10 grant-makers in northeastern Ohio.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.