Youngstown Foundation Marks Centennial with $5.6M in Grants

By Jan Strasfeld, Executive Director
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio –2018 marked a monumental year for The Youngstown Foundation as it celebrated its 100th anniversary. The foundation commemorated this milestone with a series of surprise announcements encompassing significant new initiatives, programs and projects intended to showcase its rich philanthropic history, as well as its commitment to ensure an even greater impact in the next century.

Highlights of the foundation’s 100th anniversary included:

  • $3 million gift to build The Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater in downtown Youngstown, which is slated to open this summer.
  • The foundation’s support fund, which historically added a 5% match on approved donations to qualified local charities, was increased indefinitely to a 10% match on all gifts of $100 or more.
  • The cap for grants from the foundation’s unrestricted fund was increased to $100,000 and several surprise grants were awarded at that level.
  • The foundation’s YSTAR program, which provides up to $3,000 in last- dollar scholarships to all graduates of the Youngstown City School District to attend Eastern Gateway Community College or Youngstown State University, was doubled to $6,000 per student.
  • Provided funding to erect way-finder signage throughout the downtown Youngstown area.
  • Several funds under the foundation’s umbrella made special awards as part of the anniversary including more than $1.5 million from the Hine Memorial Fund to the Rich Center for Autism, Potential Development, Walnut Grove Playground and Akron Children’s Hospital.
  • Operation Search and Help, which provides direct financial support to children with special needs, reached the $10 million mark in help to local families since its inception.

The foundation devotes its resources to ensure the quality of life for all residents, to build and sustain a prosperous community where justice and opportunity are extended to everyone. We fulfill this vision 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.

Since its inception, the Youngstown foundation has grown from $33,000 in assets to over $120 million, and has distributed over $100 million to support the nonprofit community. Over the last 100 years, virtually every local organization has benefited at one time or another from the foundation, including those serving our most vulnerable populations and those that revitalize our civic and cultural landscape. Grants awarded in 2018 again exceeded previous records, with total distributions of $5.6 million.

This past year, over $3.3 million was received from local donors to establish individual funds under the foundation’s umbrella. New funds include the Buddy Zeller Memorial Fund, the David and Maureen Haska Charitable Fund, the John M. MacIntosh Fund, the Charles W. Darling Family Endowment Fund, the Pleasant Grove-Valley Christian Student Assistance Fund, the Zoe Simon Charitable Fund and the Zachary Simon Charitable Fund.

As the foundation begins its next century of service, we have big challenges ahead. We are sobered by such daunting issues as poverty, decaying infrastructure, the economy and safety. The foundation is poised to address the most pressing issues and support actions and ingenuity to ensure that our city continues to grow and thrive, with no one left behind.


Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.