Skip to Content
September 06, 2017


Carol Harmon, 614/251-4000 x 113,

Columbus Foundation Grants Soar to $205.8 Million in 2016—An All-Time Record
Kindness in full bloom as The Columbus Foundation shared results of a remarkable 2016, presented its 2017 Philanthropic Awards, and announced something BIG is coming October 10! 
COLUMBUS, Ohio (September 6, 2017)The Columbus Foundation, the eighth largest community foundation in the United States, celebrated its 2016 results with donors and friends, including an historic all-time high in grants awarded—and its second best year ever in gifts received—during its annual Celebration of Philanthropy at the Foundation today.
The Foundation also revealed the return of The Big Give, its signature online giving rally, to a crowd of 150 nonprofit leaders and promotional partners during a breakfast event. The Big Give is back for the first time in more than 2.5 years. The 26-hour giving rally will take place from October 10 at 10 a.m. ET through October 11 at 12:00 p.m. ET at New this year is The Big Give’s expansion to 10 counties: Franklin, Delaware, Fairfield, Hocking, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Perry, Pickaway, and Union.
“We are proud of the generosity of individuals, families, communities, and businesses that strive to move our region forward through strategic philanthropic investments,” said Douglas F. Kridler, President and CEO of the Foundation. “We champion events like The Big Give to support the great work of our nonprofits over a 10-county region and to show what our community can collectively accomplish through kindness.”
In 2016, grants from Columbus Foundation donors totaled an all-time high of $205.8 million and benefited more than 3,300 nonprofit organizations in a wide range of fields. Gifts made to new and existing funds and Supporting Foundations totaled $314.7 million—marking the seventh consecutive year of gifts exceeding $100 million. The Foundation’s assets, held in 2,440 unique, named funds and 28 Supporting Foundations, totaled $2.01 billion as of December 31, 2016.
The Big Give will help thousands of people support the nonprofits they care about by utilizing the Foundation’s Giving Store, which includes nearly 1,000 nonprofits in a 10-county region. All gifts received during the 26-hour online event will be amplified on a pro rata basis thanks to a $1.3 million+ Bonus Pool made possible by generous donors and corporate and community partners. In addition, all Big Give credit card fees are covered by the Foundation, meaning 100 percent of every donation made will go to the nonprofit(s) selected that are part of The Giving Store.
The Foundation is including an option in this year’s Big Give to support the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund of the Houston Community Foundation  The fund was created by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
The Columbus Foundation is working with community foundation partners from the Delaware County Foundation, Licking County Foundation, Pickaway County Community Foundation, and the Union County Foundation to help spread the word and expand the reach of The Big Give.
The Celebration of Philanthropy events also honored the 2017 Philanthropy Award winners:
  • David and Mo Meuse received the Harrison M. Sayre Award for their decades of generosity, leadership and compassion. READ MORE.
  • Lutheran Social Services was named The Columbus Foundation Award recipient for helping central Ohioans in need for more than 100 years. READ MORE.
  • Louise (Omie) Warner, M.D., and Clyde W. Gosnell, Jr., of Ashville, were named the recipients of the Leadership in Philanthropy Award for their remarkable support for environmental and conservation efforts in central and southeastern Ohio. READ MORE.
Those gathered also recognized members of the Foundation’s Legacy Society, who have indicated they intend to leave a future gift to the community. More than 700 Foundation donors have established Planned Gifts, creating a lasting legacy to support the community and the organizations they care about most.
About The Columbus Foundation
The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to more than 2,500 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. More than 70 years strong, The Columbus Foundation is the eighth largest community foundation in the United States. The Foundation’s new Giving Store is a one-stop shop for easy and effective philanthropy. Explore The Giving Store at