Supporting resident-centered, equitable and viable solutions

The Wean Foundation believes a healthy community is one where residents are engaged, civic organizations are operating at a level of excellence, and strong networks form alliances around shared interests and ambitions.

A key principle guides our work: Resident engagement is essential for authentic, lasting change to occur. Led by our values, we fund the development and implementation of viable solutions led by organizations whose leadership reflects the racial demographics of the communities they serve.

Grantmaking Philosophy

Strategic Priorities

We focus support on viable solutions well-aligned with our mission, values, racial equity outcomes and the strategic priorities of:

  • Community Revitalization
  • Economic Opportunity
  • Educational Opportunity
  • Public and Civic Sector Leadership

Race Equity & Inclusion

We prioritize principles of racial equity to focus attention and resources on the Mahoning Valley’s most entrenched challenges. Our grantmaking seeks to address long-held assumptions, redistribute decision-making power, and challenge the lack of equitable access to resources, knowledge and opportunity.

Value Alignment

We support the development and implementation of viable solutions and organizations whose work strongly aligns with our values and whose leadership reflects the racial demographics of the communities in which they work.

Capacity Building

We support sustainable (strong leadership, thoughtful strategy and impact) organizations with a focus on Black and Hispanic/Latinx-led organizations. The WeanFolio, when reviewed by staff includes the identification of potential capacity building opportunities including best practices, networking opportunities and leadership development.

What grant should I apply for?

Community Investment Grants

$5,000 and over

Description

Funding for the development and implementation of viable solutions (correct analysis, sound tactics and well-designed end results) aligned with our values and strategic priorities.

Eligibility
  • Nonprofit / 501(c)(3) status
  • Mission and values alignment
  • Strategic priority alignment
  • Sound and thoughtful approach to addressing at least one of our strategic priorities
  • Evident indicators that the organization has the capacity to carry out the work
Application Process

While not an application, completion of the WeanFolio is the initial step in the Community Investment Grants process.

All WeanFolio submissions are reviewed by Foundation staff who will respond with appropriate next-level engagement.

Deadlines

There are no application deadlines; submissions are reviewed year-round.

Neighborhood SUCCESS Grants

$500 to $5,000

Description

Funding in support of grassroots groups in Warren and Youngstown with the most promising efforts addressing resident-identified priorities that: 

  • Center race equity and inclusion in design, implementation and impact
  • Expand meaningful participation and leadership of residents closest to the challenges imposed by systemic racism
  • Build community by encouraging communication, collaboration and connection among residents and organizations
  • Leverage the financial, human and material resources that exist in the community
Eligibility
  • Grassroots organizations and groups in Warren and Youngstown
  • Nonprofit / 501(c)(3) status, or operates under the fiscal sponsorship of a valid 501(c)(3), or qualifies as a place of worship
  • Match the amount it seeks with contributions that may include volunteer labor, cash or in-kind donations of goods and services
  • Operates with little or no paid staff and usually without large budgets or revenue reserves
  • Works with a clear understanding that the group is a vehicle for the collective action of the members
Application Process

Grantseeker Orientation (virtual only)

Participation in a virtual Grantseeker Orientation session is highly encouraged to learn pertinent details about applying for Neighborhood SUCCESS and connect with Foundation staff and peer groups. View dates and register.

Technical Assistance (in-person and virtual)

Technical Assistance opportunities are strongly recommended for grantseekers to receive an in-depth review of their application prior to submission. Data supports that grantseekers who participate in Technical Assistance sessions increase the likelihood of receiving a Neighborhood SUCCESS grant. View dates and register.

Resident Council Review

The Resident Council reviews grant applications based on program-established criteria and goals as well as supporting documentation.

Grantseeker Learning Conversations

Grantseekers may be invited to a 30-minute Learning Conversation to learn more about your group, project and neighborhood.

Grant Decisions and Awards

  • Grantseekers will be notified of award decisions within six weeks of the application deadline.
  • Organizations may only receive one Neighborhood SUCCESS Grant per 12-month funding cycle. 
  • A maximum of 30 projects will be funded each year. 

Deadline

Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on February 18, 2022

The WeanFolio

Completion of the WeanFolio is the entry point for all grantmaking, capacity building and community building engagement.

The WeanFolio is an efficient tool to share a snapshot of your organization. All information is stored securely online and once created, can easily be updated with your leadership, programs, reports or other important information. All submissions are reviewed by Foundation staff who will respond with appropriate next-level engagement.

Applicant Resources

Candid

The Wean Foundation utilizes Candid to help its grantees, partners and resident-led initiatives access information to support their work. Through research, collaboration, and training, Candid connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to do it by providing data tools on nonprofits, foundations, and grants. Visit www.candid.org to learn more.

Neighborhood SUCCESS Resource Portal

The Neighborhood SUCCESS Community Resource Portal showcases the work and wisdom of grassroots organizations working in the urban core of Warren and Youngstown. Members of these groups share creative approaches, successful strategies and skills that are valuable tools for others doing similar resident-led work.

The Portal serves as a connection point for neighborhood groups in the Mahoning Valley to:

  • Become informed of what other groups are doing
  • Find new groups and ways to partner with others
  • Leverage existing human and material resources
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively
  • Share ideas, strategies and contacts with other neighborhood groups
  • Maintain a web presence to which members can direct funders, stakeholders and volunteers
  • Locate essential resources and develop meaningful partnerships
  • Share and leverage Neighborhood SUCCESS grant practices and resources

Grantmaking

Funding the development and implementation of viable solutions led by organizations whose leadership reflects the racial demographics of the communities in which they work.

Capacity Building

Supporting the strong leadership, strategy and impact of Black and Hispanic/Latinx-led organizations.

Convening and Partnerships

Defining challenges, formulating solutions and taking collective action, with Black and Hispanic/Latinx-led organizations who have a stake in the decisions being made.