Innovation is a part of the history of The Raymond John Wean Foundation. It is a common thread that weaves throughout Raymond John Wean’s life, his work, the Foundation and the work the Foundation does each day in the community.
We haven't forgotten the Mahoning Valley
Since 1949, The Raymond John Wean Foundation has made over $90 million in grants to a broad variety of nonprofit organizations. Over the years, the Foundation has evolved from a small, board-managed organization with informal grant making procedures to a strategic and proactive professionally-staffed foundation.
Inventive and enterprising industrialist Raymond John Wean established The Raymond John Wean Foundation in Warren, Ohio, in 1949. Having achieved success in the flat rolled steel processing industry, Wean created a foundation that would serve the communities in which he had achieved his success.
Through the years, the Wean family remained highly engaged with the Foundation’s board. Jack Wean served as acting chairman of the Foundation until the time of his death in 1980. His wife, Sara R. Wean, continued his legacy and served on the board until her death in 1986. Jack and Sara’s son, Raymond John Wean, Jr., continued the family’s mission. As an original board member of the Foundation since its creation in 1949, he served as chairman until his death in 2006. Today, Gordon B. Wean, a third generation of the Wean family, serves as chairman of The Raymond John Wean Foundation.
More recently, new initiatives and a tailored focus have shifted the Foundation’s processes and grant making during the years. In February 2006 the Foundation hired PolicyLink to assist with refining the Foundation’s strategic focus. PolicyLink is a national research and action institute that works collaboratively to develop and implement local, state and federal policies to achieve economic and social equity. Over nine months of interviews and visits, PolicyLink produced a report, “A Community Building Philanthropic Initiative to Strengthen the Mahoning Valley.” The report presented recommendations to the Foundation on the focus, approach and structure of a philanthropic initiative that will support the equitable renewal of the Mahoning Valley and expand economic and social opportunities for its residents. The Foundation is in the process of implementing the report.
The Foundation annually grants approximately $4 million. Those funds are earmarked for nonprofits in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties. Through these efforts, The Raymond John Wean Foundation continues to enhance the community’s well-being and vitality through grant making, convening, advocating and providing leadership with a focus on economically disadvantaged people and neighborhoods.