“Unifying my community is my purpose,” says Brittany Lovett, marketing and communications officer at the Community Foundation of Lorain County.
“Philanthropy is a big word, and it isn’t just giving financially, but at the community level,” she relates. “I remember visiting the nursing home to see my great uncle, and I would walk around and visit with the other residents. I’d sit and listen to their stories and join them in the dining hall. It has always been ingrained in me and natural to be there for people in my community.”
Lovett’s passion and heart for the community was recognized when Philanthropy Ohio celebrated its Philanthropy Forward ’23 conference in October, celebrating outstanding give-back warriors in the state who are making a difference. Lovett was awarded Emerging Philanthropist of the Year.
One of her latest hallmark contributions is the foundation’s Connect to a Cause annual, 12-hour crowd-funding campaign to support the county’s nonprofits. The event launched in 2020 and has raised more than $1 million in that time for local charities. Last year, 94 nonprofits were recipients of funds from donors who participated.
“Anyone can be a philanthropist,” Lovett says, relating that the campaign highlights this by introducing nonprofits to community members and businesses who can give a few dollars or much more. “This is not something we do alone. We are a staff of 12,” she adds.
In 2022, Lovett spearheaded a pilot program meeting with local nonprofits one-on-one for a pick-your-brain session. “We created a blueprint for how we are going to move forward to support these organizations, and help each other grow and build,” she says.
Last year, Lovett was named a trustee of Philanthropy Ohio, where for years she has engaged in professional development and volunteering. She also serves on the board of Lorain County Urban League and is president of the young professionals chapter.
“I’m a mentor to anyone of any age, and I’m grateful to be a part of these programs,” she says. Lovett created and led the Toni Morrison essay contest for young people, building coalitions with the Lorain County School District to recognize youth creativity and writing in celebration of the hometown hero.
She also chartered Urban League Young Professionals chapters in southwest Ohio and Cleveland, introducing the initiative to Lorain County in 2022. She is proud of its recognition as the National Rookie Chapter of the Year. “I have been a part of this movement for a long time, and it helps me get out in the community to get that feet-on-the-street vibe,” she says.
Indeed, Lovett’s good works are stitched into the community’s fabric. Born in Oberlin, she eventually moved to Elyria and then graduated from Avon High School before attending Xavier College to earn a degree in marketing. At that time, she began working for the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati and volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Rooted in Oberlin, she is committed to a grassroots fund her great Aunt Ruby started in Oberlin to support students in Oberlin financially and through mentoring, so they can pursue higher education. She currently serves as a board member and vice chair of the organization.
“They are first-generation collegegoers or need support, and we make sure every board member is paired with a student to make sure they complete their journey,” Lovett relates.
Lovett lives in New Russia Township with her sons, setting an example for what it means to give back and support something bigger than yourself. She says, “Yes, my plate is always full, but it’s full of all the things I am passionate about.”