During our 75th anniversary year, we are proud to celebrate our past, present, and future. Through sponsorships of innovative programs and events, we lift up the collaborative nature of our community today, and look at ways we can help build an even stronger community for tomorrow.
75 years ago, local visionaries, led by Harrison M. Sayre, joined together in the spirit of hope and aspiration to establish The Columbus Foundation. Since then, our donors have been catalysts for change, and their collective generosity has helped shape our strong, connected community.
“The best way to extend your life is to give to the community.”
HARRISON M. SAYRE
Seventy-five years ago, a group of passionate citizens, led by Harrison M. Sayre, envisioned a way to improve the community and quality of life in central Ohio. With little more than this sound idea and faith, The Columbus Foundation was established in 1943.
OLGA ANNA JONES
In 1944, the first unsolicited gift of $25 was given to the Foundation by Olga Anna Jones, a teacher, editor of the Ohio Women Voter, reporter for the Columbus Citizen, and Columbus’ first city councilwoman. Today, the Foundation serves as the trusted philanthropic advisor to more than 2,500 individuals, families, corporations, and nonprofit organizations.
MY SPECIAL WORD
“I want to reach as many children as I can in as meaningful a way as possible. It’s not just broad, but it’s deep. I want kids to get so excited that they want to tell their stories to others.”
The premise behind the My Special Word program is simple. Teach children about the importance of positive, encouraging, inspiring words—and have them choose a word that describes them. Dwight Smith developed the program, and established the My Special Word Fund, Donor Advised Fund with his wife, Renee.
Read more about My Special Word.
COLUMBUS YOUTH FOUNDATION
“Since its initial founding in 1955, investing in opportunities for kids to have fun has been a primary goal of the Columbus Youth Foundation.”
Cathy Lyttle, Chair of CYF.
Established as the first Supporting Foundation of The Columbus Foundation in 1976, the Columbus Youth Foundation has awarded more than $4 million in grants to help young people attend summer camp, participate in recreational activities, and engage in athletic pursuits. It makes a difference in the lives of youth from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of Columbus by providing healthy, positive opportunities to learn life lessons through recreation and sports.
Read more about the Columbus Youth Foundation.
GIRLS ON THE RUN OF CENTRAL OHIO
“We teach girls how to take care of themselves, each other, and be active participants in the well-being of their community through learning social emotional life skills and participating in fun physical activities.”
Jess Sparks, Executive Director of Girls on the Run of Central Ohio.
In 2017, Girls on the Run Central Ohio established an organization endowment fund with The Columbus Foundation to help ensure lasting sustainability for their nonprofit. “We knew we were heading in a direction where we needed to invest our reserve,” Sparks said. “We had built that reserve over those early years, and we need to have two seasons of all expenses should we hit a hard time.” Girls on the Run of Central Ohio reached the milestone of its 10th Anniversary in 2018 and has served over 10,000 girls since the organization’s local inception in 2008.
Read more about Girls on the Run of Central Ohio.
Our celebrations are animated through the photos and stories you share on social media! Continue the conversation with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by tagging us and using #TCF75.
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Meet the 5 Nonprofits to Watch in 2019! 🌟These five innovative central Ohio organizations are poised for an exceptional year of growth & progress. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 👧🏽 @a_kid_again 📚 @columbusearlylearning⠀ 🗣 Human Service Chamber⠀ 🎶 @promusicacolumbus⠀ 💻 @tech_corps ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “The extraordinary work of these nonprofits promises to move our community forward. Collectively, these five organizations are tackling challenges and creating hope for a bright future where all in our community flourish,” said Doug Kridler, President & CEO. 🔹 5 Nonprofits to Watch debuted in 2014 as an annual program of the Foundation, and honors remarkable nonprofit organizations working to strengthen and improve our community. Each recipient organization receives a $7,500 grant. 🔹 Read more about this year’s honorees & what they’re planning for 2019 at the link in our bio. 🔹 Now let's give a big congratulations & thank you to these organizations making a difference in our community everyday! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ (📸: @uacreativestudios) #TCF75⠀ ⠀
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Thank you, Columbus!✨ You made #TheBigExplore an historic day filled with excitement and discovery. We couldn't have imagined a better way to celebrate our 75th anniversary than by sharing it with you. Thank you for working with us to create a strong and connected community. Here's to a great 2019!
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Columbus' True Originals!✨ 🔹 “Columbus is filled with extraordinary talent shaping our culture and our community in ways big and small. By launching this program, we look to shine a light on those representing the best minds and hearts in our region.” 🔹 Congratulations to all honorees & thank you for your dedication to our community! We had such a fun day celebrating you! 🔹 Read more at the link in our bio & give a shoutout below to someone who you think makes Columbus the best place to be! #TCF75