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HUD Region V No. 13-70
Laura J. Feldman
Follow us on Twitter @HUDMidwest
FOR RELEASE
Wednesday
September 25, 2013

THE RAYMOND JOHN WEAN FOUNDATION OF YOUNGSTOWN RECEIVES HUD SECRETARY'S AWARD
HUD and Council on Foundations honor work of place-based funding organization

WASHINGTON - Across the nation, philanthropic organizations and community foundations work to improve neighborhoods and the lives of the people who live in them, often without much recognition for the critical work that they do. Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the Council on Foundations, announced the 2013 winners of the HUD Secretary's Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.

The Raymond John Wean Foundation is being recognized for its outstanding partnership with the public sector to improve housing and neighborhoods, education, health and recreation, transportation, community participation, arts and culture, public safety, sustainability, and economic development. The award was presented at the Council on Foundations' Community Foundations Conference in San Diego.

"These organizations are doing the heavy lifting to improve neighborhoods, often without much thanks. Today, we say thank you!" said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "These foundations are teaming up with public and private partners to bring about positive change and lasting solutions that are making a real difference in their communities."

"These awards provide us all a moment to reflect on the good work that foundations are doing to advance communities across the country," said Vikki Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. "I am grateful to HUD and Secretary Donovan for recognizing the many different ways that foundations are thoughtfully responding to the needs of those around them."

"As a winner of the Secretary's Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships, we are honored to be among such esteemed company," said Jennifer Roller, Interim President. "This recognition demonstrates the high regard for this important work and validates the essential collaborations that can transform communities. This partnership was made possible because both The Raymond John Wean Foundation and the City of Youngstown boldly committed resources to ensure genuine resident engagement. It thrives because Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. continues to be a remarkable driving force in community revitalization efforts in the City of Youngstown," she said.

The Raymond John Wean Foundation was established in 1949 as a family foundation and launched a transformational journey toward becoming a community asset in the early 2000s. The Foundation engaged PolicyLink, a national research institute, to undertake a strategic review process in 2006. The resulting recommendations provided the blueprint for the Foundation's evolution into a place-based grant maker with a focus on serving economically disadvantaged communities in Trumbull and Mahoning Counties, Ohio. Once composed primarily of family members, the Foundation's board evolved into one consisting almost entirely of community members, with the Foundation's efforts carried out by a staff of five. With assets as of 2012 at approximately $72 million, this private foundation awarded $2.6 million in 2012 in five issue priorities: early childhood development, educational opportunity, economic opportunity, community revitalization, and public and civic leadership.

"Focusing funding and technical assistance efforts to support nonprofit organizations and associations, as well as public sector and academic institutions working with: Early Childhood, Educational Opportunity, Economic Opportunity, Community Revitalization and Public and Civic Sector Leadership, the foundation has truly made a difference in Trumbull and Mahoning Counties," said Antonio R. Riley, HUD's Midwest Regional Administrator.

HUD Secretary Awards are given to place-based funders for completed or ongoing initiatives that are executed in partnership with a local, regional, or federal government agency.

Read more about the winners announced today and the HUD Secretary's Award for Community Foundations.

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The Council on Foundations (www.cof.org), formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Council members include more than 1,700 independent, operating, community, public and company-sponsored foundations, and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The Council's mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools philanthropic organizations need to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.