Partner Spotlight: Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley

With support from the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley and its three supporting organizations, the Healthy Community Partnership-Mahoning Valley (HCP-MV) is a collaboration of organizations and members who share a commitment to a healthier Mahoning Valley. The partnership’s work has been guided by a steering committee made up of Mahoning Valley residents representing a variety of sectors including the city and county public health districts, council of governments and commissioners’ offices, community development corporations, neighborhood leaders, food cooperatives, and hospital systems.

Partner Spotlights provide us with opportunities to get to know the HCP-MV members and their work in the community in more depth.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this initial Partner Spotlight features the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, particularly their creation of the Mahoning Valley Community Response Fund and their efforts to collaborate with other philanthropic leaders on a regional approach to this health crisis.

The Response Fund was co-funded by several of the Community Foundation’s component funds, all three of its affiliated foundations, and individual community donors. It is intended to provide support and resources to eligible organizations working with those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and the consequences related to the virus’ outbreak. To strengthen the deployment of this new fund’s resources, CFMV teamed up with the Raymond John Wean Foundation and the Youngstown Foundation to create the COVID-19 Crisis Relief Application for Nonprofits, simplifying the application process and allowing the foundations to jointly review and fund proposals.

This collaborative approach to responding to urgent community needs is commendable and necessary to ensure that as many resources as possible are shared as quickly as possible with as many organizations as possible to help as many residents as possible. Putting purpose and people first are critical to building trust and making a difference in our communities, whether it’s responding to an emergency or planning decades ahead.

In a statement from the three foundations about the collaborative application and CFMV’s Response Fund, the group emphasized a coordinated approach and a message of support for their nonprofit partners:

“The foundation leaders and staff extend their sincere gratitude to the local nonprofit community for their efforts to respond rapidly and efficiently to those who are being most deeply impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. This coordinated funding approach is intended to strengthen support for those front-line organizations and the Valley residents they serve.”

Though the leadership of the three foundations communicate regularly, they saw this as an opportunity to put into action their commitment to collaboration and community.