Fulfilling our mission to create lasting impact
At the Wean Foundation, we believe impact must be measured. To make our vision real, we challenge ourselves to measure effectiveness and growth through a lens of racial equity.
As we partner with residents and organizations, we support ongoing, equitable access to resources, knowledge and opportunity, especially in communities of color. We have created a culture rooted in learning that values the voices of residents. Their experiences inform strategies that drive towards the solutions most important to them: Upward economic mobility, education and career opportunity and improved physical landscape.
2022 Impact Report
Empowered residents creating an equitable Mahoning Valley
2022 was a year for reflecting, restructuring and redefining what it means to be a more equitable grantmaker in the Mahoning Valley. The COVID-19 pandemic and the upswell of
calls for racial justice prompted us to look inward, to ensure our actions were consistent with our vision of empowered residents creating a healthy, vibrant, equitable and economically stable Mahoning Valley. Upon reflection, we recommitted to adopting national best practices and restructured long-time programs. We granted nonprofits multi-year general operating support to provide them greater flexibility and autonomy and distributed additional funds to active grantees to counter inflation. We organized a new learning series on pay equity,
and launched a fellowship to offer Black and Hispanic/Latinx individuals an on-ramp to executive leadership.
Looking ahead, we will continue to refine how we work, pushing to make philanthropy better and measuring success through a lens of race equity and inclusion. We look forward to provoking new thinking, strengthening communities and disrupting the status quo in 2023 and beyond.
Our 2022 Impact Report highlights five aspects of our work — from grantmaking to capacity building to convening and partnerships — and highlights our strategic approach to equitable community building.
Race Equity & Inclusion Workshops
Race Equity & Inclusion Workshops
We See You
Making Philanthropy Better
Making Philanthropy Better, is a special report that captures our work over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic—both what we did to support the community during this tumultuous and uncertain time and how.
Specifically, the report highlights the ways we’ve strived to become more collaborative, resident-centered and racially equitable and calls on leaders to build on four key practices: a deeper commitment to racial equity; more intentional community engagement; courageous experiment and learning; and sustained collaboration.
Download a copy of the report here.
2019 Community Survey
To implement its newly adopted Strategic Direction 2019-2023, in September of 2019 the Foundation conducted a community survey to learn from residents and grantees what they were experiencing as the most pressing challenges and opportunities in their neighborhoods.
The 150 stakeholders who participated provided valuable feedback and insight that continues to inform the Foundation’s grantmaking, capacity building, convening and partnership strategies.
Partnering for change
Authentic change begins with residents — those closest to the challenges imposed by systemic racism and entrenched systems of advantage. Informed by their rich experiences, we partner to establish measurable goals, data-driven objectives and indicators to evaluate our progress. We seek to create a learning, collaborative culture to accelerate and sustain lasting change to fulfill our mission.
Neighborhood SUCCESS: Celebrating a decade of transformation
In 2008, the Foundation created the Neighborhood SUCCESS grant program to amplify the efforts of grassroots organizations working to address challenges in their communities. And for over a decade, the program fulfilled its purpose and the Foundation’s mission, shifting power to residents and their neighborhoods, serving as a reminder that true, lasting change comes from the Valley’s most valuable asset—its residents.
Through Neighborhood SUCCESS, the Foundation expanded meaningful resident participation and leadership; encouraged communication and collaboration among residents and organizations; leveraged financial, human and material resources in the community; and enhanced neighborhoods, physically, socially and economically. More than 250 unique grassroots organizations received over $1.9 million in funding.
In 2018, the Foundation released SUCCESS: A Decade of Transformation, a commemorative book dedicated to the hundreds of residents and dozens of committee and Resident Council members and staff who launched and nurtured the program and made it a success.
Applying lessons it learned over the life of the program, the Foundation made adjustments in 2023 to how it supports grassroots organizations to ensure its long-standing dedication to neighborhood success is embedded in all it does. Grants to grassroots organizations and groups are now known as Resident Engagement Grants.
SUCCESS: A Decade of Transformation
We believe in the Mahoning Valley and in its future, because we believe in the people that call these neighborhoods “home.” They are robust, resourceful and hard-working; this book is dedicated to the celebration and honoring of them.
Wean Park – Where Community Happens
Wean Park is a 20-acre community complex of recreational green space and walking paths that serves as the front door to the City of Youngstown. Located at 229 E. Front Street, near the city’s downtown, it is a continuation of the Foundation’s long-followed practice of supporting initiatives that strengthen community through engaging residents. Families picnic on plush, grassy knolls; atttend summer concerts; enjoy art and culture festivals; and jog or walk the well-appointed trails that encompass the park.
In neighborhoods across Warren and Youngstown, residents and nonprofits are teaming up to create authentic change. Their creativity, collaboration and courage to create change inspires us every day. Join us in supporting their work.
Building a Better Warren: Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership (TNP)
TNP is dedicated to empowering residents through programming and projects that improve the quality of life in the neighborhoods of Warren, Ohio. The vision of TNP is to transform neighborhoods into meaningful places where people invest their time, money, and energy into their homes and neighborhoods; where neighbors have the capacity to manage day-to-day issues;…
The Place That Makes Us: Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC)
Founded in 2009 in partnership with the City of Youngstown and the Wean Foundation, YNDC catalyzes strategic neighborhood reinvestment in neighborhoods throughout the city. To accomplish this mission, the community development corporation utilizes a dual approach that includes strategic investments to rebuild market confidence in neighborhoods with strong assets and broader partnership strategies to strengthen…
Funding the development and implementation of viable solutions led by organizations whose leadership reflects the racial demographics of the communities in which they work.
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.