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The Raymond John Wean Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-12-16

At A Glance

The Raymond John Wean Foundation

147 W. Market St.

Warren, OH United States 44481-1022

Telephone: (330) 394-5600


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2015-12-31)

Assets: $76,896,268

Total giving: $2,250,175






Established in 1949 in OH - Since 1949, the foundation has made over $90 million in grants to a broad variety of nonprofit organizations. Over the years, it has evolved from a small, board-managed organization with informal grant making procedures to a strategic and proactive professionally-staffed foundation. Inventive and enterprising industrialist Raymond John Wean established the foundation in Warren, Ohio in 1949. Having achieved success in the flat rolled steel processing industry, Wean created a foundation that would serve the communities in which he had achieved his success. Through the years, the Wean family remained highly engaged with the foundation's board. Jack Wean served as acting chairman of the foundation until the time of his death in 1980. His wife, Sara R. Wean, continued his legacy and served on the board until her death in 1986. Jack and Sara's son, Raymond John Wean, Jr., continued the family's mission. As an original board member of the foundation since its creation in 1949, he served as chairman until his death in 2006. Today, Gordon B. Wean, a third generation member of the Wean family, serves as chairman of the foundation. More recently, new initiatives and a tailored focus have shifted the foundation's processes and grant making during the years. In February 2006, the foundation hired PolicyLink to assist with refinining the foundation's strategic focus. PolicyLink is a national research and action institute that works collaboratively to develop and implement local, state, and federal policies to achieve economic and social equity. Over nine months of interviews and visits, PolicyLink produced a report, "A Community Building Philanthropic Initiative to Strengthen the Mahoning Valley." The report presented recommendations to the foundation on the focus, approach, and structure of a philanthropic initiative that will support the equitable renewal of the Mahoning Valley and expand economic and social opportunities for its residents. The foundation is in the process of implementing the report. The foundation annually grants approximately $4 million. Those funds were earmarked for nonprofits in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties. Through these efforts, the foundation continues to enhance the community's well-being and vitality through grant making, convening, advocating, and providing leadership. The grantmaker is a signatory to Philanthropy’s Promise, an initiative of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). By signing on, the grantmaker has committed to allocating the majority of its grantmaking dollars to marginalized communities and at least 25 percent to social justice strategies, such as advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement

Purpose and Activities

To enhance community well-being and vitality in the Mahoning Valley through strategic grant making intended to support people living in the Valley's economically disadvantaged communities and neighborhoods in adherence to the following principles: to explore new innovative approaches to addressing issues, to seek inclusion and broad community involvement; to build on the considerable assets of the Mahoning Valley; to strive for equity and support social justice; to leverage additional resources, partners and ideas; to support the development of human assets and capital; to cultivate leadership in the community; and to provide support to people and communities which are often overlooked or insufficiently funded.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Early Childhood Development

Funds projects selected to: 1) improve the quality of child care available to parents of preschool children; 2) assure that young children and their families have access to quality health care; 3) assist and educate parents in their efforts to strengthen their families; and 4) provide a stable, healthy, vibrant and progressive environment for young children and their families by developing their neighborhoods and communities. Concentration on organizations working to affect systemic change in improving the quality of early care and education for children under five. See foundation web site for current status of this program.

Neighborhood Success Grants Program

This program will offer grants which may be used for a wide array of resident-driven community projects. Grants awarded are intended to build on the assets and resources of the neighborhoods. The aim is to stimulate the development of creative ideas which effectively address the most important concerns of neighborhood by developing community leadership and organizational capacity; stimulating the development of resident-driven projects which address neighborhood concerns; provide forums for groups to connect and collaborate, and increase opportunities for positive community involvement. Grants will be awarded in amounts ranging between $500 and $5000 to those groups with the most promising ideas for improving their neighborhoods. Grant seekers are required to match the amount they are seeking with contributions of volunteer labor (for the purpose of this program, the value of volunteer labor is $12 per person, per hour), cash, or in-king donations of goods and services. See foundation web site for this program's current status.

Fields of Interest

  • Child development
  • Community and economic development
  • Early childhood education
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Students

Financial Data

Year ended 2015-12-31

Assets: $76,896,268 (market value)

Expenditures: $4,081,000

Total giving: $2,250,175

Qualifying distributions: $3,559,201