In Youngstown: 201 E Commerce St., Suite 150 - Youngstown, OH 44503 • P: 330.743.5555 • F: 330.743.1802
In Warren: 147 W. Market St. - Warren, OH 44481 • P: 330.469.6832 • F: 330.394.5601


The Fund for Women and Girls

Attendees enjoying a performance by storyteller Barbara Root at the 2018 “Gems of the Valley”

Women are not just a leading force in philanthropy, women are its future. As philanthropists, women have an unprecedented opportunity to steer the course of the Mahoning Valley by changing not only what is funded, but how money is raised and distributed.

The Fund for Women and Girls serves to expand women’s philanthropy. The Fund is an investment in the development and leadership of women and girls, ensuring the vitality and vibrancy of our community. Permanently endowed, the Fund pools gifts from philanthropic-minded individuals that we call Shareholders, grows those gifts and reinvests in the community through thoughtful and targeted grantmaking or partnerships.

Guiding Circle: Designed to be community built and advised, the fund is driven by a committee of local volunteers. Learn more about the members here.

  • Jana Coffin
  • Michelle Edison
  • Stephanie Gilchrist
  • Sarah Lowry
  • Pat Murphy
  • Barbara Orton
  • Sharon Stringer
  • Kathleen Vrable-Bryan
  • Samie Winick
  • Janet Yaniglos




What We Do

We invest in projects and initiatives throughout the Mahoning Valley that benefit women and girls. Our grants aim to encourage the advancement, leadership and full participation of women and girls in the community and create economic, educational and personal growth for women and girls.

The first grant was presented to the Youngstown Business Incubator for their Women in Entrepreneurship program. The funds were raised through “Powered by SHE”, a joint fundraiser with YBI held at the Soap Gallery in 2016

While grantmaking is central to the Fund, we also aim to provide intriguing opportunities to network, pose questions, learn from others, and develop a sense of kinship regarding our philanthropic potential.

Our annual “Gems of the Valley” event brings together individuals from across the Mahoning Valley to celebrate local women doing amazing things. “Gems of the Valley” has became a heart-warming way to introduce local women not often in the spotlight, but very much the driving force behind innovative, successful initiatives.  We proudly honor these women as examples of what is possible when a good cause is tackled with vision, hard work and support from others.

Learn more about past “Gems of the Valley” honorees here

How It Works

The Fund for Women and Girls is a permanently endowed fund, created by pooling gifts from donors such as yourself. The spending level of the Fund is determined by the Community Foundation’s spending policy, developed to assure that all of the foundation’s permanent endowment funds are carefully managed for long-term stability and growth. The current spending policy “makes available on an annual basis 4.5% of the 12-quarter rolling average market value of the investment pool.” As donations and investment income continue building the Fund, the amount of money available for grantmaking will grow.

Currently, our donors, or Shareholders as we call them, convene annually to hear presentations from local organizations and vote on who will receive grant dollars. Additional grantmaking opportunities will be developed by the Guiding Circle as the fund matures.

*NEW* Women Warriors

The Fund for Women and Girls has launched “Women Warriors,” a special recognition initiative to honor and celebrate the many brave, heroic women who are organizing relief and response efforts in the Mahoning Valley during the COVID-19 crisis.

Week 1: Pastor Julia Wike | Week 2: Leah Sakacs | Week 3: Erin Bishop

We are asking community members to nominate women leading important work, and we will share a story each week! Check out this post for more information and consider submitting a nomination form today!

How to Apply for Funding

This grant opportunity is currently closed. Check back for the 2020 deadline. 

Get Involved

By making a donation to the fund, you become a Shareholder and have a voice in grantmaking to local nonprofit organizations supporting women and girls. In addition, you will have the opportunity to….

  • Meet others who share your passion at periodic gatherings
  • Recommend long-term solutions through leadership, fundraising and advocacy
  • Mentor and guide emerging philanthropists
  • Support innovative projects