January 26, 2022 (Warren, Ohio) – The Raymond John Wean Foundation Board of Directors held their final quarterly meeting of 2021 on December 7. Grants were made in response to the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and persistent systemic racism, through the lens of race equity and inclusion. Community investment grants totaling $1,210,000 were awarded to six organizations for operating support.
“Investment from The Raymond John Wean Foundation has made it possible for us to grow as an organization and continue to serve the community through our programming. We remain committed to equitably addressing challenges facing residents in the Mahoning Valley,” says Nick Chretien, executive director, Economic Action Group.
According to research from The Center for Effective Philanthropy, general operating support can help foster grantee stability, while multi-year funding encourages stronger, trust-based partnerships between the grantee and funder, giving the grantee time to grow, invest in their organization and plan for their future so that they may focus on improving programs that address systemic and social issues.
“As many individuals and organizations have faced challenges through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wean Foundation recognized an opportunity to provide general operating support to organizations in order for them to continue to build capacity and sustainability which in turn can increase the impact they can have on their communities,” says Jennifer Roller, president, Wean Foundation.
The Wean Foundation is dedicated to community building that promotes a racially equitable future through a dynamic combination of grantmaking, capacity building and partnerships in the underresourced communities of Warren and Youngstown. With a focus on its vision of empowering residents in creating a healthy, vibrant, equitable and economically stable Mahoning Valley, the Wean Foundation awarded general operating grants to the following organizations:
Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation — a neighborhood-focused community development corporation with a focus on improving the quality of life in Youngstown by building and encouraging investment in neighborhoods of choice for all.
Boston Avenue Neighborhood Association (BANA) – creating safe and beautiful spaces and inspiring neighbors to contribute to neighborhood revitalization.
Community Legal Aid Services, Inc. – to continue their Neighborhood Law Project in Youngstown and an expansion into Warren.
Economic Action Group (EAG) – providing economic development and entrepreneurial assistance programming within Youngstown and Warren.
Paradise Gardens Development – to repurpose land where houses have been torn down by turning the vacant lots into productive community gardens and enhance the physical landscape.
“We are profoundly grateful to receive the foundation’s community investment grant. With the cost of materials, tools, compost and seed growing exponentially, the grant will allow us greater financial flexibility to acquire the things we need to further our mission of combating hunger and urban blight,” says Samuel Carr, CEO, Paradise Gardens Development.
The Wean Foundation looks to provide grants that fund the development and implementation of viable solutions led by organizations whose leadership reflects the racial demographics of the communities they serve. Guided by the key principle that the deliberate and intentional engagement of residents is essential for authentic, lasting change to occur, the Wean Foundation supports organizations through four strategic priorities: Community revitalization, educational opportunity, economic opportunity and public and civic leadership.
The Wean Foundation is now accepting grants for 2022. There is no deadline and submissions are reviewed year-round. The Wean Foundation recently launched a new brand and website that articulates the vision of the Wean Foundation while making it easy for residents to get involved and apply for grants. If you are interested in applying for a grant, please visit weanfoundation.org.