The Trumbull 100

by | Sep 19, 2014

The Trumbull 100 could be likened to “a mini Fund for Our Economic Future.” Both are nonprofit collaborations of philanthropically-minded members who pool their resources and invest in and lead initiatives aimed at improving their community’s quality of life. The Trumbull 100 approaches this task on a smaller scale than does our Fund, focusing on one corner of Northeast Ohio. 

Perhaps because of these similarities, members of the Trumbull 100 really understand the importance of collaboration and the power of leveraging both dollars and networks. This understanding helps the organization provide resources and leadership to projects that enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Trumbull County.

The organization formed in 1994 when several area business owners and professionals got together, bonded by a concern over changing economic conditions as industry left the area. 

“We were worried with all the industry leaving that arts and culture wouldn’t be supported,” said Michael Craig, past president and current treasurer of the group.

The founding members set out to form a group of 100 members who lived in, or were concerned about, Trumbull County, and were willing to dedicate time and resources to improve the community.

Today, the Trumbull 100 has 65 members, who each contribute $1,500 a year. The group aims to raise and distribute about $100,000 a year to various projects and initiatives; about 17% of that goes to the Fund for Our Economic Future.

Being a Fund member makes sense for the group.

“We try to use what we have to leverage more money,” said Craig, a principal at the Youngstown office of accounting firm Hill, Barth & King LLC. “Our [mission] is focused on arts and culture and we know that in order to have those things, you need economic development.”

The Trumbull 100 joined the Fund in 2008, at the behest of Congressman Tim Ryan (D-13), who wanted his Congressional district to be well represented in the work of the Fund. The Trumbull 100 splits its membership with the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.

Craig noted several Fund-supported initiatives that have benefited the Mahoning Valley since the Trumbull 100 joined the Fund, including three EfficientGovNow awards totaling nearly $240,000, a federal grant to establish the first National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) (now known as America Makes), and the Tech Belt Innovation Center in Warren.

An important tenet of the Trumbull 100 is that its members must be involved in the projects it funds. Members contribute not only money, but considerable time and leadership—and most have other full-time jobs and obligations. The membership base is diverse: lawyers, accountants, doctors, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and retired professionals.

Some of the group’s projects include a mini-grant program that provides neighborhood groups and associations up to $500 annually for neighborhood improvement projects; city ballpark renovations; the construction of the Trumbull County Veterans’ Memorial and an amphitheater in downtown Warren; and the establishment of a grant writing lab at the Kent State University-Trumbull Campus.

Though the Trumbull 100 focuses on very local projects, it shares the Fund’s desire to see the Northeast Ohio economy prosper, and for all people to benefit from that growth.

“Members of Trumbull 100 recognize the value of belonging to the Fund for our Economic Future as we understand that our region has to compete and exist as one entity,” said Trumbull 100 President Diane Sauer, president of Diane Sauer Chevrolet in Warren. “Yet, we also recognize the specific benefits that Fund membership has brought to Trumbull County.”