KeyBank donation supports YW’s social justice work

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KeyBank donation supports YW’s social justice work

Categories: 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge, Advocacy, Blog, Get Involved, Give, News

YWCA Dayton is one of several area nonprofits across central and southwestern Ohio to receive a total of $300,000 in KeyBank Foundation third-quarter grants for COVID-19 relief and social justice efforts. The funding provides $240,000 in grants for COVID-related support to local organizations serving our community’s most vulnerable populations across Key’s markets in greater Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton. It also includes $60,000 directed toward grassroots racial equity and social justice initiatives.

“These grants are incremental to Key’s substantial ongoing community support to the region as directed through the bank’s five-year, $16.5 billion National Community Benefits Plan,” explained Karen Crane, senior communications manager.

“KeyBank’s purpose is to help our clients and our communities thrive. That is true in good times and in challenging times,” said Corporate Responsibility Officer Stacy Thompson Speare-Hardy, who is also a 2017 YWCA Dayton Women of Influence honoree. “COVID-19 hasn’t revealed new issues; rather, it has shown us the depths of issues we continue to work to address with our community partners, and just how much further we have to go.” Thompson said that along with committing additional funds at the beginning of the pandemic, KeyBank shifted some of its 2020 planned philanthropic resources to meet more immediate needs.  “We realized early on that many of our community partners needed to pivot in response to the pandemic’s impact on their vulnerable populations, so we worked with them to reallocate our planned support to help them.”

Five Dayton-based nonprofits received funds to support their social justice work. In addition to YWCA Dayton, organizations include West Dayton Caravan’s Dayton Scholars Program, Neighborhoods Over Politics, Dayton Young Black Professionals, and McKinley United Methodist Church’s John Moore Center.

YWCA Dayton President and CEO Shannon Isom noted, “KeyBank continues to be a sustaining thought-giver in the space of philanthropy.  YWCA Dayton, like many other nonprofits, has to be moment-readied for the emergencies that women and women with children face; but, confound this with our state and national COVID-19 emergency, our response and readiness has to be even more exacting. Because of partners like KeyBank, our doors never shuttered; our frontline staff were treated with dignity of pay; and our space was made safer for both residents and clients. KeyBank consistently shows up having done their homework and ready to give, the right give, at the right time.”

$20,000 from KeyBank will allow YW to expand its popular 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge to include a version specifically for youth, which is one of the top requests the agency has received since starting the Challenge — which is offered free as a community resource. The latest edition, held in June 2020, saw more than 6,000 people sign up to participate.

In addition to the above grants, KeyBank teammates donated more than $2 million through KeyBank Foundation’s 2:1 Response Employee Matching Gifts program, supporting COVID-19 relief and social change efforts through more than 1,200 nonprofits across the country, including many in Central and Southwestern Ohio.  KeyBank’s employees also participated in the bank’s Virtual Neighbor’s Make a Difference initiative during the months of June and July, which, due to the pandemic, replaced the bank’s traditional annual day of caring with volunteering projects with non-profits that employees completed remotely.

“I am deeply proud of KeyBank’s community spirit and the way our teammates have come together to support our clients and our community,” said KeyBank Market President Michael McCuen.  “Key’s long and strong history of support has helped our customers and communities prevail through many challenging times, and together we will get through today’s challenges as well.”