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December 08, 2014


Contact: Carol Harmon, The Columbus Foundation,, 614/251-4000

Columbus Foundation Grants Support Transformative Programs Through The Fund For Financial Innovation

COLUMBUS, OH (December 8, 2014)—The Columbus Foundation’s Governing Committee recently approved six grants totaling $317,250 from the Fund for Financial Innovation (FFI). Originally created as the Fund for Financial Restructuring in 2009, FFI was established in 2010 to support nonprofit organizations and projects that promote social innovation and social enterprise; and partnerships, collaborations, affiliations, or mergers.

“Through the Fund for Financial Innovation, the Foundation is proud to continue its support of truly inventive ideas that help central Ohio nonprofit organizations ensure their sustainability,” said Douglas F. Kridler, president and CEO of The Columbus Foundation.

One of the organizations, Goodwill Columbus, received a $44,000 grant to support the startup of an e-commerce model to sell existing donated books online. Goodwill is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in central Ohio, and each year it provides 1.2 million hours of training, job placement programs, and work programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. 

“We are so grateful to receive this Fund for Financial Innovation grant from The Columbus Foundation, as it provides Goodwill with the investment required to expand our retail market footprint online, allowing us to sell donated items and books more competitively to a nationwide audience through sites including eBay and Amazon,” said Margie Pizzuti, president and CEO of Goodwill Columbus. “Revenue generated from this e-commerce operation will provide the earned income needed to increase funding for our job training programs and other vital services that transform the lives of individuals we serve with disabilities and other barriers in our community.”

Other grants approved were:

AIDS Resource Center Ohio Inc.—$100,000 to increase revenue and strengthen its financial position by expanding medical services to include oral healthcare.

Freedom a la Cart—$46,000 to help scale the social enterprise business to provide workforce development, employment, and support services to adult survivors of human trafficking.

Economic and Community Development Institute, Inc.—$40,000 to fund the expansion of the Food Fort, a revenue-generating food service incubation effort.

Ohio Wildlife Center—$47,250 to broaden outreach and increase market penetration of the revenue-generating program SCRAM Wildlife Control.

Physicians Free Clinic—$40,000 to pilot a social enterprise providing high-touch medical care coordination for adults with uncontrolled type II diabetes.



About The Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to more than 2,000 individuals, families, businesses, and communities that have created unique funds to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Now 70 years strong, The Columbus Foundation is the seventh largest community foundation in the United States. The Foundation’s online giving marketplace, PowerPhilanthropy,® makes it possible for everyone to access valuable information about nonprofit organizations in central Ohio.