Pictured from left to right: Casey Krell, incoming president, Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley; Shari Harrell, CFMV president; Paul McFadden, president, Youngstown State University Foundation; and Heather Chunn, vice president of operations and human resources, YSU Foundation.

Two of the Mahoning Valley’s more well-known philanthropic organizations are establishing a relationship to benefit Youngstown State University and the Mahoning Valley as a whole. Through this relationship, the YSU Foundation will embrace donors interested in establishing a donor advised fund, to be housed at the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley.

Donors participating in the program agree to establish a donor advised fund at the Community Foundation with a minimum of 50% of the annual proceeds going to YSU or the YSU Foundation. The remaining 50% of the proceeds can be distributed to various non-profit agencies and other eligible charitable recipients.

“Our Team of Development Officers do a tremendous job reaching out to and embracing YSU alumni, both locally and across the nation. Most of our alumni grew up in the area and are interested in supporting YSU and their hometown,” stated Paul McFadden, President of the YSU Foundation.

As a community foundation, CFMV specializes in donor advised funds as one of its many giving vehicles, so housing and managing these funds under the Community Foundation’s umbrella was a natural fit. The donor relationships will be maintained and stewarded by the YSU Foundation.

“This is a great example of considering the landscape of organizations that already exist for this purpose and then collaborating in that space,” said Shari Harrell, president of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley. “The YSU Foundation was looking for a way to offer donor advised funds, and rather than configuring things to create their own internal program, they came to us to help them create more options for their donors. We have the structure, staff, and experience in place to offer DAFs, while the YSU Foundation will continue working with those donors to ensure they are supported in their philanthropy and achieving their intended impact at YSU, in the Mahoning Valley and beyond.”

Approximately half of YSU alumni live locally, while the other half reside throughout the country. The vast reach of YSU’s alumni was illustrated by the recently completed We See Tomorrow Campaign at YSU, with 57 gifts of $100,000 or more received from donors outside Northeast Ohio.

“Our mission and our focus at the YSU Foundation is to support the students of YSU. Often in conversation with out-of-town alumni, they speak nostalgically of their days growing up in Youngstown, going to Mill Creek Park, attending the Canfield Fair, etc. These alumni will support local causes. We have not embraced these opportunities in the past, but because of this new relationship with the Community Foundation, together we can.” McFadden said.

The YSU Foundation currently has contact information on 104,000 YSU alumni.

“We see this as a great opportunity for both of our organizations and the many donors who will take advantage of this new giving option, and we are proud to be able to support YSU alumni in giving back to their community,” said Harrell.