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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

Ashland Young Professionals creates charitable fund



ASHLAND – In just five years, Ashland Young Professionals has grown into a force for good in Ashland County.



After raising an impressive $15,000 through a recent “Putts for Pets” golf outing, AYP teamed up with Ashland County Community Foundation to make AYP’s charitable giving even more effective.


AYP’s steering committee brought the proceeds from the fundraiser to ACCF to establish a donor advised fund, and ACCF agreed to provide a $5,000 match to help grow the new fund.



The young professionals group then arranged for $7,000 to be given to each of their two chosen charities—the Homeward Bound Agency Fund in support of the new dog shelter and The Cat House Feline Sanctuary. They also used a portion of proceeds to buy pet product donations for both nonprofit organizations.


While all the money raised through the golf outing was passed through to directly benefit the animal-related charities, ACCF’s $5,000 matching grant will remain in the fund held at ACCF to serve as the fund’s floor—the minimum dollar amount required to maintain a charitable grantmaking fund at the foundation.


Fund dollars will be invested to grow over time, allowing AYP to give more effectively in the coming years. As donor advisors for the fund, AYP can contribute to the fund any time the group raises money through its fundraisers, such as the annual golf outing and the Ashland County Fair beer garden. The group can also make grants from available dollars in the fund at any time to any nonprofit or other qualifying organization.


Donor advised funds have become an increasingly popular fund type among individuals and families, but AYP is the first club in the community to establish one at ACCF.


ACCF President/CEO Jim Cutright is thrilled to see AYP thriving and giving back to the community through the foundation.


He noted that when Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce launched AYP in 2018, ACCF provided seed money for the program from the foundation’s strategic grantmaking pool.


“Often when you provide seed money for a new program, you don’t know how successful it will be,” he said. “So to see that AYP has been successful to the point that they are able to start their own fund for charitable giving is fantastic.”



Emily Grimm helps lead the AYP program as the program’s liaison from Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, where she works as director of membership and marketing.


Grimm said she and AYP’s steering committee members are pleased to be able to start the new fund. Steering committee members include Angela Ringler (Advantage Marketing), Alyssa McQuate (Appleseed Mental Health Center), Bri Noel (Edward Jones), Emily Pauly (Ashland Christian School/Eva’s Treas), Kristin Flickinger (Wayne Savings), Heather Claybaugh (Charles River), Jayla Hyde (Charles River), Matthew Lefelhoc (Whitcomb & Hess), Lindsey Hoover (Simonson Construction Services), Grant Denbow (Ashland Pump) and Jake Jones (Spreng-Smith).


“ACCF helped us get off the ground to start our organization, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without the foundation,” she said. “This fund will help us get our name out there more and help us to be more charitable.”


For AYP members, Grimm said, hosting group fundraisers for charitable causes is a way of making a collective impact.


“We see all the wonderful momentum in the community, and we want to be a part of that,” she said. “We want to give back and to be philanthropic in the community, but because of our age range, our group members don’t necessarily have the finances to be charitable givers.”


The group is excited to have grown the golf outing from 14 participating teams and $2,000 raised in the first year to 33 teams and $15,000 raised this year.


Grimm encouraged any young people in Ashland County between the ages of 21 and 40 to connect with AYP by following Ashland Young Professionals on Facebook and Instagram or visiting www.ashlandoh.com/programs/ayp/.


The group regularly hosts social events, professional development opportunities, fundraisers and community service projects.


“We don’t have a membership fee or any attendance requirements. We just hope you attend the events that sound fun and fit your schedule,” she said.


About Ashland Young Professionals: A program of Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, Ashland Young Professionals provides opportunities for young professionals to connect with one another, grow together, serve their community and make an impact in Ashland.


About Ashland County Community Foundation: Ashland County Community Foundation advances philanthropy and improves the quality of life in Ashland County by connecting people who care with causes that matter. ACCF has awarded over $27 million in scholarships, grants and distributions.

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