(May 31, 2016, Warren, Ohio) – The Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, Trumbull 100, and The Youngstown Foundation are pleased to announce a joint commitment of $100,000 over three years to the Fund for Our Economic Future (the Fund), an alliance of funders dedicated to advancing both economic growth and increased access to opportunity for all residents of Northeast Ohio. Each organization will provide 1/3rd of the total commitment for a shared voting membership in the Fund.
The Trumbull 100 has been a part of the Fund since 2009, while the Community Foundation is a past funder and The Youngstown Foundation is new to the Fund. These funders join The Raymond John Wean Foundation, which renewed its Fund membership in March with a $100,000 commitment over three years, as Fund members representing the Mahoning Valley. Jan Strasfeld, Executive Director of The Youngstown Foundation stated, “We welcome this opportunity to expand local representation in Fund discussions and direction to further strengthen development of our region’s economic competitiveness.”
Founded in 2004, the Fund is a nonprofit member-driven organization that today consists of 50 funders—foundations, corporations, universities, health care systems, business and civic associations, government entities, and individuals—from across Northeast Ohio who pool their resources and collective know-how to improve the region’s economic competitiveness through strategies that advance job creation, job preparation and job access.
Voting members contribute a minimum of $100,000 over three years, with several members contributing much more than that. Since its founding, the Fund has honored a “one member, one vote” policy for voting members, to assure that smaller foundations have a strong voice. Each voting member serves on the Fund’s board. “Strong Valley representation in the Fund is important,” said Shari Harrell, president of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley. “Collectively, we can bring a strong voice to this regional table of heavy hitters and ensure the issues that affect our residents’ wellbeing are addressed.”
In return, the Mahoning Valley-based members of the Fund receive access to resources, learning opportunities and new connections to help support local efforts in the community. For instance, the Fund recently approved a grant of up to $20,000 to support the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center in Warren.
The Fund also supported the national WorkAdvance pilot in the Mahoning Valley. WorkAdvance tested how a seamless set of services, with an added focus on post-employment assistance, can better connect disadvantaged job seekers to in-demand jobs and put them on a path toward career advancement, while helping employers find the talent they need for their businesses to prosper.
Already, learnings from this demonstration are being adopted in the Valley and Fund members there are particularly keen on continuing to build on these lessons.
“The Fund provides ample opportunities for learning and connecting with those across Northeast Ohio who share a similar vision for a great community,” said Jennifer Roller, president of The Raymond John Wean Foundation. “At the Wean Foundation, we are putting those connections, particularly as they relate to workforce development, to good use in the Mahoning Valley.”
About Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley
The Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, established in 2000, enhances the quality of life for residents and future generations of the Mahoning Valley by managing donor assets, distributing grants and advancing philanthropy and good works. The Foundation and its affiliates hold nearly $54 million in assets and distributed more than $2 million in grants in 2015. It is the only local foundation with certification from the Community Foundation National Standards Board. More information is available at the foundation’s website, www.cfmv.org.
About Fund for Our Economic Future
The Fund for Our Economic Future is an alliance of funders—foundations, corporations, universities, health care systems, business and civic associations, government entities, and individuals—who pool their resources and collective know-how to advance economic growth and increase access to opportunity for the people of Northeast Ohio through improved job creation, job preparation and job access, an approach we call Growth & Opportunity. We do this by building shared community commitment, supporting high-impact collaborations and marshalling strategic funding. Since our founding in 2004, the Fund has raised more than $100 million for improving regional economic competitiveness. Our efforts have helped retain or create more than 18,500 jobs, add $760 million in payroll, and attract $4 billion in capital to Northeast Ohio.
About The Raymond John Wean Foundation
Raymond John Wean, after having achieved success in the flat-rolled steel processing industry, in 1949 created the Foundation that bears his name in Warren. Since then, more than $100 million in grants have been awarded to a broad variety of nonprofit organizations in support of its vision to empower residents to create a healthy, vibrant, equitable and economically stable Mahoning Valley. To achieve greater impact, the Foundation leverages a powerful combination of support, alignment and partnerships among programs, organizations and efforts in the strategic priorities of community revitalization, economic opportunity and educational opportunity, including early childhood (0-5) and public service leadership. The Foundation recognizes that our community is best served when diverse organizations and constituencies come together and share their knowledge, resources and experiences to address issues and opportunities.
About The Youngstown Foundation
Founded in 1918, the Youngstown Foundation is the 4th oldest in the world. Its mission is to provide financial assistance to charitable, scientific and educational institutions that promote the mental, moral and physical well-being of the inhabitants of Youngstown and vicinity. The Youngstown Foundation is the largest community foundation in the Mahoning Valley with over $110,000 million in assets and is among the largest grantmakers in Northeast Ohio. More than $6M was distributed in 2015 representing more than 200 grants awarded to local nonprofit organizations. In addition to its unrestricted fund, The Youngstown Foundation is composed of over 65 Donor Advised Funds, Restricted Funds and Special Interest Funds.
About Trumbull 100
Trumbull 100’s mission is to embrace and facilitate opportunities by providing resources and leadership to projects that enhance the quality of life of its residents. Founded in 1994, the group is composed of business and civic leaders who are engaged locally and regionally in identifying and developing projects and opportunities that meet the goals and mission of the organization.