Wean Foundation awards more than $1M to nonprofit groups in Mahoning Valley

The Warren-based foundation gives out about $3.5 million annually.


WARREN — The Raymond John Wean Foundation has awarded $1,033,325 to Mahoning Valley nonprofit organizations in its March round of philanthropic giving.

In keeping with the Wean Foundation’s priorities and philosophies, the bulk of the giving was directed toward early-childhood development initiatives, grass-roots volunteer efforts and capacity-building for nonprofits that have demonstrated the ability to effect change in the most impoverished neighborhoods in the greater Youngstown/Warren area, said foundation officials.

The largest of the March grants, $500,000 was awarded to the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative, based in Youngstown.

The Wean Foundation was instrumental in the MVOC’s founding one year ago, and already the organization has been highly effective in drawing public attention and funding to the problem of blight in Mahoning Valley cities, said Joel Ratner, president of the foundation.

The foundation makes grants four times a year based on a competitive application process.

The Wean Foundation was started in 1949 by industrialist Raymond John “Jack” Wean, who based his pioneering rolled-steel operations in Warren.

Gordon B. Wean, his grandson, is the current chairman of the Wean Foundation Board of Directors. Since its inception, the foundation has given away more than $90 million dollars in grants, with annual disbursements averaging around $3.5 million.

The foundation also gave a grant of $176,125 over three years that will provide funding for Community Solutions of Warren to provide Project KIND to all kindergarten children in Warren city schools. Project KIND is an educational life skills program that teaches social and behavioral skills.

HandsOn Volunteer Network, formerly Volunteer Services Association, of Youngstown, was the recipient of a $32,000 grant. The money will support efforts to build stronger volunteer practices within the Mahoning Valley, with a focus on training and orientation of volunteer leaders.

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