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May 18, 2020


Contact: Natalie Parscher,, 614/545-3236

Columbus Foundation Emergency Response Grants Surpass $4.5 Million

More than 100 Franklin County nonprofit organizations have received funding to address COVID-19

COLUMBUS, OH (May 18, 2020) — In two months, The Columbus Foundation granted more than $4.5 million in emergency funding for nonprofits struggling with the effects of COVID-19.

Since the Emergency Response Fund launched on March 10, more than 100 Franklin County nonprofits have received a total of $4,611,374 to assist in their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Funding priority has gone to organizations helping to meet basic needs, such as food and nutrition, and housing stability. Priority has also been placed on purchasing PPE, as well as assisting organizations in their transition to virtual service delivery, with numerous organizations receiving funding for technology to provide telehealth and other client appointments via video conferencing.

Grants have ranged in size from $2,500 to Westside Free Store for meals, hygiene supplies, and clothing, to $300,000 to both Community Shelter Board and the YMCA of Central Ohio for direct service, shelter, and isolation and quarantine shelter for vulnerable populations.

Nearly 70 percent of the grants awarded have gone to social service organizations. In total, 118 organizations have received Emergency Response funding. The full list of grantees can be found on The Columbus Foundation’s website.

The Columbus Foundation and our family of donors are committed to the well-being of all our residents, and we will remain engaged through our grantmaking and community leadership to further strengthen and improve the Columbus region during and beyond this challenging time.


The COVID-19 crisis has also led the Foundation to take traditionally unconventional roles in its community response efforts through the Emergency Response Fund. In March, the Foundation partnered with Middle West Spirits to help convert their production lines from alcohol for spirits to hand sanitizer for nonprofits and frontline responders. It also facilitated a donation of 500,000 bottles of soap from L Brands to local agencies, and, most recently, donated 50,000 KN95 masks to nursing homes, EMS workers, City and County Health Departments, and nonprofits.

The strength and resilience of the nonprofit sector is imperative to a healthy community. I have been inspired by the dedication and hustle—across all waking hours—put forth by our team to process these grant applications in record time to help secure these organizations’ well-being through the Emergency Response Fund,” said Dan Sharpe, Vice President for Community Research and Grants Management.

“To some, the sheer volume of the ERF grants may be impressive, but to me, most impressive is the quality of those investments that leave a positive impact on all demographics and central Ohio geographies,” said Sharpe.

Donations to the Emergency Response Fund can be made here. Giving to the fund will be amplified during The Big Give on June 10-11. During that time, donations to the fund will be boosted by a $1 million+ Bonus Pool. More details can be found at

About The Columbus Foundation
The Columbus Foundation serves nearly 3,000 individuals, families, and businesses that have created unique funds and planned gifts to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. The Columbus Foundation is Your Trusted Philanthropic Advisor® and one of the top 10 largest community foundations in the United States.