Young Erie Philanthropists

The Erie Community Foundation (ECF) is partnering with Young Erie Professionals (YEP) and the Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership (ERCGP) to create Young Erie Philanthropists. A selected committee of YEP members, many of whom are current or former members of ECF’s Friends of the Foundation, will meet quarterly to serve as advisors to The Young Erie Philanthropists Fund, a Donor Advised fund housed at The Erie Community Foundation.

In the project’s first year, ECF will provide education on endowment basics, community foundations, and grantmaking best practices. Young Erie Philanthropists will learn the power of an endowment and the impact it can have on our local community. Ultimately, the Young Erie Philanthropists will determine specific causes and/or locally-based nonprofit organizations they want to support by issuing a grant of up to $5,000. As the Young Erie Philanthropists grow the endowment, the grant amount should increase annually. In August of this year, the grantmaking process will culminate in an awards celebration jointly hosted by ECF, YEP and the ERCGP.

Former YEP President Kristi Bailey will chair this year’s Young Erie Philanthropist Committee. Kristi is the Business Development Manager at Team Hardinger and a member of The Erie Community Foundation's Erie Women's Fund (EWF). Kristi will partner with Keely Doyle, M.S., also a YEP and EWF member, and the Philanthropic Services Director at The Erie Community Foundation, to spearhead the committee. The following YEP Members have been chosen for the committee's first year (2020):

  • Jacob Bartko: Executive Director, Community Access Media
  • Joelyn Bush: Director of Marketing & Communications, United Way of Erie County
  • Katie George: Staff Accountant, Marquette Savings Bank
  • Megan Grochulski: Development Director, Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • Lisa Herring: Director of Community Impact, Erie Philharmonic
  • Yelena Kokhanevich: Inside Claims Representative, Erie Insurance Group
  • Anne Lewis: Director of Marketing, Red Letter Hospitality
  • Sarah Liang: AmeriCorps VISTA, Lake Effect Leaders
  • Cynthia Lillis: Senior Marketing Strategist, Highmark Health
  • TJ Richter: Client Advisor, Loesel-Schaaf Insurance Agency
  • Dave Schumacher: Development Officer, Shriners Hospitals for Children
  • April Soriano: LTSS Service Coordinator, UPMC Health Plan
  • Breanna Watts: Director of Advancement, Mercy Center for Women
  • Erin Yates: Operations & Special Projects Manager, The Nonprofit Partnership
  • Alec Zaphiris: Sales Associate, Great Lakes Insurance

Copy Of Open For Applications

The Young Erie Philanthropists Endowment was established to support local initiatives aimed at making a profound impact on attracting and retaining young people in Erie.

A donor advised fund of The Erie Community Foundation, the Young Erie Philanthropists Endowment is issuing this Request for Proposals.

We are currently seeking proposals for projects and initiatives targeting the attraction and retention of youth and young professionals, ultimately addressing various needs in the local region. Such projects (in no priority order) may include but are not limited to job attraction, career readiness, youth education, professional development, and economic & community development.

The Young Erie Philanthropists Endowment has committed up to $20,000 for this 2021 mini-grant cycle. Proposals should not exceed $20,000.

Eligibility: any Erie County 501(c)3 nonprofit

Ineligibility: for-profit, sectarian religious activities, fundraising solely, hospitality projects

Deadline: Applications must be submitted by June 25, 2021, through this link:

Important Dates: Finalists will be selected by July 23, 2021, and grant recipients will be announced by September 10, 2021.


Contact Keely Doyle, Director, Philanthropic Services, Erie Community Foundation: or 814-454-0843.