The Raymond J. Wean Foundation has refined its funding priorities and simplified its grant-application process.
In short, said Jeffrey M. Glebocki, Wean Foundation president, the foundation has refined its grant guidelines and priorities to make them more transparent and articulate on how it will spend its resources.
The foundation’s basic goal is to empower Mahoning Valley residents to make nonprofit organizations more effective and to create networks that work together to help change the future here in a positive way, Glebocki said.
“We are betting that the Mahoning Valley can reinvigorate itself through new, combined efforts to engage residents as leaders, build the capacity of community organizations and foster collective efforts and impact,” he said.
The foundation’s strategy is to provide financial, technical and training assistance in five critical issue priorities: early childhood, such as access to quality early child care; educational opportunity; economic opportunity; community revitalization; and public and civic sector leadership.
The Wean Foundation has invested a combined $1 million a year in the Youngstown Neighborhood Corp., Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative and the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership for community development, Glebocki said.
Public- and civic-sector leadership is a new focus for the foundation. “We hope to work with local officials on how to improve leadership and decision-making skills,” he said.
In many ways, educational opportunity is at the heart of what Glebocki said the Wean Foundation seeks to do.
For example, over the past six months, the foundation has been working with the Mahoning Valley College Access Program (MVCAP) to increase the number of young people in the Valley who go to college.
Grant-seekers can find details on the grant- application process and issue priorities at the foundation’s website, www.rjweanfdn.org.