Foundation assets total $98 million

Monday, November 4, 2013

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

The Youngstown Foundation, with record assets of $98 million, distributed more than $400,000 in 2013 third-quarter grants.

The Youngstown Foundation attributes the record-breaking assets to a strong third-quarter performance and the addition of new donor funds, said Jan Strasfeld, executive director.

New funds under the Youngstown Foundation umbrella include The W. E. Bliss Fund from the estate of Alice Mae Schmutz with $1.1 million restricted for specific local organizations.

The newest fund, the Youngstown City School District Speech and Debate Fund, is a grass-roots effort initiated by two local business leaders, Attys. Carl James and Alan Kretzer, and aimed at reinstating and preserving the Youngstown Schools’ Speech and Debate Program. To date, donations total $15,000.

In addition, third-quarter donations to existing funds within the foundation exceeded $500,000, said Strasfeld, who noted that the organization had a 12 percent increase in donations this year over the same time in 2012.

She noted that despite tough economic circumstances nationwide, the increase reflects economic recovery and is “very encouraging for our local non-profit community.” The opportunity for donors to make contributions online through the foundation’s website also has had a significant impact, especially with younger donors, Strasfeld said.

At the September meeting, the foundation’s distribution committee approved grants for organizations totaling more than $400,000, including distributions from the unrestricted fund as well as Hine Memorial Fund, the Mahoning Valley Sports Charities Fund and other restricted funds.