2016 Innovation Award from Philanthropy Ohio

On September 21, 2016, The Ashtabula Foundation was the recipient of the Innovation Award presented by Philanthropy Ohio.  Ashtabula Foundation Board members, Cheryle Chiaramonte, John Dolan, Jerome Brockway and William Hill attended the 2016 Learning Institute in Columbus to accept the award.

Philanthropy Ohio is a statewide membership organization serving as the leading voice and premier resource for philanthropy in Ohio.  There are 220 diverse member organizations working with Philanthropy Ohio.  Philanthropy Ohio provides the network, tools, and knowledge to help people engaged in philanthropy.

The Innovation Award is bestowed upon an organization that has moved philanthropy forward, or had an idea that led to positive change in how the philanthropic section operates, thinks or impacts communities.

The Ashtabula Foundation was nominated for its Youth Philanthropy program that was established in 2011 as a pilot project at Grand Valley High School.  The Ashtabula Foundation provides $5,000 to a school, and the students are required to follow the procedures used by The Ashtabula Foundation to grant funds to non-profit organizations in their area.  

The students solicit applications, review the applications and conduct on-site interviews to learn more about the organization’s request. Then the students meet to decide which organization should be recommended to receive a grant.

As the program progresses, the students are learning that the needs in their community far outnumber the $5,000 that they have to give.  As a result, students have learned that volunteering their time is also a form of philanthropy.  They have given of their time to help paint a roof, or conduct drives at their schools to collect supplies needed by food pantries and women’s shelters.

Since 2011, ten Ashtabula County high schools have joined the program, including, Edgewood, Geneva, Grand Valley, Jefferson, Lakeside, Pymatuning, St. John Catholic School, Ashtabula County Technical & Career Center, Grand River Academy, and Conneaut, which is sponsored by the Conneaut Foundation

At the close of the 2015-16 school year, over 240 students have participated, and have granted $117,500 to local non-profit organizations.

The Ashtabula Foundation is proud of its Youth Philanthropy program and the work of the advisors who work so enthusiastically with the students to inspire the next generation to continue giving of its time, talents, and treasures.

Ashtabula Foundation