To assist donors and others in strengthening and improving our community for the benefit of all its residents.
To help you help others through the most effective philanthropy possible.
The Beginning: 1943
In 1943, during the darkness of World War II, a group of passionate citizens, led by Columbus businessman Harrison M. Sayre, envisioned a way to improve the well-being of the community and the quality of life in central Ohio. With little more than this sound idea and faith, The Columbus Foundation was established.
The first unsolicited gift of $25 was given to The Columbus Foundation by Olga Anna Jones, a teacher, an editor of the Ohio Women Voter, and Columbus' first city councilwoman. From the start, the Foundation has been supported by individuals giving what they can, small and large, for the betterment of the community and all its people. Today, the Foundation serves as a trusted philanthropic advisor in all types of giving—helping individuals, families, and businesses achieve their charitable goals.
Present: Partners in Philanthropy
Thousands of individuals, families, and businesses have partnered with the Foundation, creating unique funds to support the causes they are most passionate about. Grants made from these funds support a wide range of initiatives, programs, and nonprofit organizations that will help our community flourish for generations to come.
Future: A Flourishing Community
The Columbus Foundation, once an acorn, has flourished into an oak tree of stature and strength committed to supporting the central Ohio community now, tomorrow, and for generations to come. As one of the 10 largest community foundations in the United States, our generous donors honor the past, give in the present, and ensure for our community’s future through both current and planned giving.
Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Access
We are all part of the whole, connected to the community. The Columbus Foundation continues its commitment to honoring the inherent dignity of all people and working through earned togetherness to ensure our central Ohio community becomes a place in which each individual feels safe, respected, and valued.
A Spirited Journey
The Columbus Foundation’s history book, A Spirited Journey, celebrated 70 years of inspiring leaders and generous donors. Chronicling the past, present, and future of the Foundation, A Spirited Journey is devoted primarily to the growth of Columbus and the Foundation’s first 55 years with highlights from the following 15 years.