2021 Annual Report

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Please explore our 2021 highlights.


Grant Impact          Grant Stories          Affiliate Funds          Residential Engagement

Connect to a Cause          Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity         Scholarships          Financial Highlights


In 2021, we awarded $6.9M in grants and scholarships to non-profit organizations and students.  Of that $6.9M, $829K was awarded in scholarships to Lorain County students pursuing higher education or trade school.  

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Health and Human Services

Youth and Education

Arts and Culture

Strengthening Lorain County

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Bridge Pointe Commons 

Lorain County’s Permanent Supportive Housing Building (PSH) will soon open in the city of Elyria. Bridge Pointe Commons is a 62-unit building that will prioritize chronically homeless individuals with disabilities who have significant barriers to housing stability.

New residents transitioning to housing from homelessness do not typically own items like bedding, cleaning supplies, and others necessary to live in and maintain a home. Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation, Eden can supply Lodging Kits that help support residents in accomplishing daily tasks that enable them to continue to live increasingly independently in the community and achieve their individualized housing goals.

Photo Caption: Lodging Kits include living essentials such as bedding, laundry supplies, dishes, cookware, silverware, kitchen supplies, bath towels, shower curtains, cleaning supplies, and other essential household items.

North Pointe Ballet

North Pointe Ballet (NPB) is an organization making an impact in the community through the art of dance with a mission to make classical ballet accessible to all. The Community Foundation has long been a supporter of NPB’s Sensory-Friendly Initiative, and in 2021 NPB received a grant from the July Community Grant Cycle that allowed the organization to receive a Physically Integrated Dance Teaching Training certification. As a result, NPB can choreograph translations for the young sit-down dancers that join their productions.

In the 2021 performance of The Nutcracker at the Lorain Place Theatre, NPB contracted a guest artist from the Dancing Wheels Dance Company, Craig Sams III, a sit-down dancer, to perform in both acts. The performance showcased both student diversabled performers and professional ones, thus showing the capability of diversabled people to pursue dreams where opportunities usually exist only for typically abled individuals.

SafeZone Training, LGBTQ+ Lorain County

LGBTQ+ Lorain County received a grant from the Community Foundation to help offer SafeZone training, which is an opportunity to learn about LGBTQ+ identities, gender, sexuality, and examine prejudice, assumptions, and privilege. The workshop gives participants a better awareness and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and how to be an effective ally. It is also a safe place to ask questions and get resources for further education.

Attending a SafeZone training helps create a more profound familiarity and comfort with vocabulary, inclusive practices, and privilege to help individuals identify ways to provide a more safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ loved ones, friends, family members, coworkers, and others we interact with our day to day lives.

family standing

Elyria Teen Mentoring Program

The Elyria Teen Mentoring program has been operating through a partnership with the Elyria Schools since its inception, more than 25 years ago. The Elyria Teen Mentoring Program addresses problems faced by many Elyria students including peer pressure, bullying, cyberbullying, discrimination, and other factors that affect a student’s ability to succeed and received a grant from the African American Community Fund.

All students who participate are referred to the program by their respective school. Students are expected to uphold behavioral and academic standards deemed appropriate by the school to remain eligible. Students participate in group discussions and activities that address topics such as bullying, value of education, peer pressure, self-esteem, respect for parents and teen development. Students will learn positive social skills allowing them to interact in appropriate manners with adults, teachers and authoritative figures. They will learn the importance of healthy social interaction and respect for others. Mentors assist students with homework help and tutoring as needed. Long term academic improvements will assist in increasing students’ confidence and facilitate the transition from junior high to high school and beyond. Students will foster an appreciation for education and learning, keeping them engaged and strengthening their potential for future academic success.


Building relationships with residents and supporting their work helps us to better learn, understand, and strengthen our community.   

The Community Foundation partnered with Neighborhood Connections and In Our Backyards (ioby) to build relationships with residents and support community members in their own efforts to create, lead, and crowd-fund projects in their neighborhoods.  

Neighbor Up

“…Igniting the power of everyday people to create, together, an extraordinary world right where they live…”

In 2020, the Community Foundation partnered with Neighborhood Connections to bring Neighbor Up, a community network building initiative, to the city of Lorain. Neighbor Up focuses on building stronger relationships between residents and their gifts.

The Community Foundation put out a call for community builders in Lorain to join the creation of the Neighbor Up network in Lorain County. Fifteen residents joined and went through a series of workshops focused on asset-based community development, community trauma and resiliency, racial equity, and network-building tools that focus on nurturing relationships.

In 2021, the Neighbor Up network expanded to Elyria, where a group of 12 residents went through similar workshops.

In Our Backyards

The Community Foundation has also partnered with In Our Backyards (ioby). This non-profit crowd-funding organization focuses on neighbors taking care of each other, encouraging civic participation, and building trust between neighborhoods.

This initiative connects residents and grassroots groups with the opportunity to receive funding for projects and ongoing initiatives without creating a non-profit. The Lorain County Match Fund initially focused on the city of Lorain, then expanded to Elyria, and now includes all of Lorain County.

In 2021, three residents led ioby campaigns to raise funds for their projects.

Learn More About ioby

ioby neighborhood projects

Connect to a Cause

In 2021, our community raised $277K for Lorain County non-profit organizations through Connect to a Cause!

Over 1,000 individuals donated to the 65 non-profit organizations that participated in Connect to a Cause 2021.  Gifts ranged anywhere from $5 to $15K, and we received donations from as far as Fargo, North Dakota, Maine, and Bonita Springs, Florida. 


Community Foundation is committed to ensuring Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Lorain County. As a part of this commitment, the Community Foundation hosted two Racial Equity Institute (REI) Phase One training sessions where attendees were provided with talking points, historical factors, and an organizational definition of racism. REI believes that organizations often work intentionally civilly yet operate from multiple understandings that rely more on personal feelings and popular opinion. This creates complications in eliminating racial and ethnic disparities and producing equitable outcomes.

If you are interested in participating in REI Phase One training, please email us at communications@peoplewhocare.org.  


In 2021, the Community Foundation awarded $829K  in scholarships to Lorain County students pursuing higher education or trade school. The awards were made through the Community Foundation’s scholarship process and numerous school endowment funds. 

Thank you to the 30 volunteers within Lorain County that helped us evaluate applications. If you are interested in serving on our scholarship committee, please email scholarships@peoplewhocare.org.

Learn more about our scholarships here.




The Community Foundation of Lorain County is built on a promise to promote philanthropy, to invest in our community, to wisely protect that investment, to use the fruits of our investment to improve the quality of life, and to provide leadership in our journey toward the future.

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in Assets
Fiscal Year 2021


Annual Grants
& Scholarships

One Year Return
on Investment

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