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Mahoning Valley Community Response Fund

In response to the growing global health crisis directly impacting the Mahoning Valley, CFMV has created a fund to address pressing needs of Valley residents. Focused currently on the impact of COVID-19, this fund is intended to become a long-term resource to assist our community now and in the future when needs arise.

The Mahoning Valley Community Response Fund will provide support and resources to eligible organizations working with those disproportionately affected by an emergency or crisis, in this case COVID-19 and the consequences related to the virus’ outbreak.

Joint Application and Coordination

The Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, the Raymond John Wean Foundation and the Youngstown Foundation have created the Mahoning Valley COVID-19 Crisis Relief Grants for Nonprofits. This common application can be accessed from all three foundation websites and allows grantees to submit the same request to any one of the foundations or all three at the same time, simplifying the application process and expediting funding decisions.

Applicants should keep in mind, however, that each entity has its own priority areas and guidelines; therefore, applicants can submit requests for immediate, acute needs and/or longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery, as well as tangible funding needs and general operating expenses. Each foundation will consider accordingly. CFMV’s current priorities are outlined below and more information about the other foundations can be found at and

In addition to a common application, the three foundations and other area funders have pledged to coordinate efforts, leverage informational and monetary resources, and collaborate on COVID-19 response funding when possible. This joint statement details the funding partnership and collective pledge.

Current CFMV Priorities

Initially, grants from the Mahoning Valley Community Response Fund will address the economic impact of reduced and lost work due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, as well as the immediate needs of economically vulnerable populations caused by closures and cancellations related to COVID-19.

Examples of areas of immediate need:

    • Food
    • Mental health services
    • Housing and shelter
    • Childcare (especially for first responders)
    • Emergency financial assistance (such as rent and mortgage assistance)
    • Critical health care and medical needs

Priority will be given to proposals that are specifically addressing and eliminating racial and economic inequities for the residents they serve. Applicants should also demonstrate a history of serving their target population and the capacity to continue doing so.

This first phase of funding is intended to rapidly respond to immediate needs, but as we learn more and the situation evolves, we will adapt our process and priorities.

Eligible Applicants

  • Public charities as designated in section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code; also eligible are government agencies, public schools, or churches
  • Organizations serving the Mahoning Valley that have experience directly supporting local residents
  • Organizations providing direct relief to local residents and families who are most affected by the emerging health, economic, and social impacts as a result of COVID-19

Please note that you do not need to be a current or past grantee of the Community Foundation or its affiliate foundations to apply.

Application Process

  1. Access the common COVID-19 Crisis Relief Application here.
  2. At the end of the application form, choose one or more of the three foundations (Community Foundation, Wean Foundation, Youngstown Foundation) to review and consider your request. Each foundation selected will evaluate your proposal based on their specific priorities and guidelines. (Please note: Foundations are reviewing applications collaboratively, so your request amount should reflect your organization’s entire need. Therefore, if you would have traditionally made individual requests to each foundation, include the total of those request amounts on the collaborative application form. The foundations you selected will then consider your full request together and funded proposals may receive a combination of funding from one or more of the foundations.)
  3. Submit completed application and wait to hear from us. We will contact you via email as quickly as possible with funding decisions or if we have additional questions.

The deadline for this fund is rolling and the Foundation is accepting applications continuously. Requests will be reviewed by an advisory committee and decisions made as quickly as possible to expedite support.

If you have any questions about this Response Fund or application process, please contact Casey Krell, Director of Supporting Organizations and Donor Services.

Grant Recipients

  • Heart Reach Neighborhood Ministries ($10,000): To support the expansion of their distribution hubs in Mahoning County that are providing: 1) Daily microwavable nutritious dinners for children ages 1-18; 2) School breakfasts/lunches and school activity packets in Campbell; 3) Emergency food boxes for families; 4) Diapers, toiletries and other family essentials; 5) Oh Wow! STEM activity packets; 6) Super Kids program activity packets; 7) Goodie bags for children (treats, small games, books, etc.). Our funding was a part of a $30,000 collaborative grant with the Wean Foundation and The Youngstown Foundation.
  • HFLA of Northeast Ohio ($25,000): To support the emergency loan program that can provide up to $1,500 for Mahoning Valley residents economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A streamlines process was implemented to ensure quick loan decisions to help cover basic needs such as food, gasoline, daycare, medication, utilities and rent/mortgage. Our funding was a part of a $50,000 collaborative grant with the Wean Foundation.
  • Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries, Inc. ($5,000): To support the workforce efforts to provide job seeking support to Mahoning Valley individuals who lost employment in connection to COVID-19 as well as offer remote team training opportunities for Valley companies who have unexpectedly required their employees to telework without preparation or training. There are immediate openings in certain industries such as grocery stores, janitorial services, and healthcare, and Goodwill has created remote and virtual services to support community members as they apply for those jobs. In addition, existing training in computer skills, information technology, and healthcare certifications are now all remote through course platforms and telecommunication channels. Our funding was a part of a $15,000 collaborative grant with the Wean Foundation and The Youngstown Foundation.
  • Youngstown Promise Neighborhood ($7,500): To support a Choice Food Pantry and distribution of food and household items to families impacted by the closure of the Taft and Wilson school food pantries of the Youngstown City School District. Distributions will occur twice a week, providing items not available from the other food giveaways such as baby formula, milk, eggs, bread, fresh meats, fruit and vegetables. Our funding was a part of a $15,000 collaborative grant with The Youngstown Foundation.
  • United Returning Citizens Inc. ($2,500): To support basic needs of returning citizens in the Mahoning Valley related to the COVID-19 crisis. Many returning citizens have lost their jobs because they are considered "nonessential", and that loss of income and security will greatly impact ability to pay bills, mortgages, rent, etc. as well as have a potential negative impact on mental health. In addition to financial assistance, URC will provide care baskets with essential items and toiletries to lessen their burden as well as launch a hotline to help individuals navigate these turbulent times. Our funding was a part of a $5,000 collaborative grant with The Youngstown Foundation.
  • Youngstown Area Jewish Federation ($2,500): To support the childcare program providing necessary care for children of medical and front line personnel in the Mahoning Valley. The program will run 24 hours a day so that medical professionals do not need to worry about childcare. They are also expanding the family services department and have started a hotline to either provide a service to individuals or direct people to other organizations.

  • Basement Outreach Ministries Inc. ($2,500): To support the increase in their outreach services in Trumbull County, including food/ hygiene product distribution, meal delivery and shelter care. They have shifted their operations to limit the volunteers preparing meals, and have increased their delivery services for food and hot meals to limit the traffic of individuals coming into their facility. In addition, they have modified their support for homeless families and individuals to ensure they have safe housing, providing motel stays rather than staying in a crowded shelter setting.
  • Salvation Army-Warren ($10,000): To support the expansion of their food pantry in Trumbull County. Their requests have almost doubled each day, with an anticipated increase as the economic climate worsens and neighboring food pantries have closed due to lack of volunteers and food supply. To meet the demand, the organization has already converted their gym into a food warehouse where they can store and pack groceries. Our funding was a part of a $25,000 collaborative grant with the Wean Foundation.
  • Salvation Army-Youngstown ($10,000): To support the expansion of their food pantry in Mahoning County. Already serving 50 households a day, they report numerous families contacting the organization for support daily. They are supplementing the limited supply they are able to get from Second Harvest Food Bank, as well as purchasing perishable dairy and meat items to make sure families are getting well-rounded orders. Our funding was a part of a $30,000 collaborative grant with the Wean Foundation and Youngstown Foundation.

Join the Giving

This fund was seeded by several component funds of the Community Foundation, as well as the Western Reserve Health Foundation, Trumbull Memorial Health Foundation, and the William Swanston Charitable Fund. We continue working with other local funders to leverage support and strengthen our regional response to this crisis.

You can join the giving and support our Valley’s nonprofit partners and the local residents they serve. Any individual can donate to the fund online.

Make a Donation

Additional Resources

If you have a resource that should be added to the below list, please email Rachael Chacon at