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Local organizations Recognized as the 5 Nonprofits to Watch in 2024 by The Columbus Foundation

Columbus, OH (March 18, 2024)—Since 2014, The Columbus Foundation's 5 Nonprofits to Watch platform has honored exemplary nonprofit organizations working to strengthen and improve our community. This year’s honorees—chosen through a rigorous selection process—represent growing, small- to medium-sized organizations serving the central Ohio region. The 5 Nonprofits to Watch are on the frontlines of addressing pressing community issues, including priorities such as housing, hunger, education, youth engagement, underrepresented populations, and supporting belonging and neighborhood connectedness.   

This year's 5 Nonprofits to Watch are: Affordable Housing Alliance of Central OhioFranklinton FarmsMansion Day SchoolNative American Indian Center of Central Ohioand We Amplify Voices.

Pictured (l-r): Carlie J. Boos, Esq., Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio; Gabrielle Fields, Executive Director of Franklinton Farms; Nicholas D’Andrea, Executive Director of We Amplify Voices; Masami and Ty Smith, Directors of the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio; and Dee James, Head of School at Mansion Day School. The photo was taken at Direction for Youth & Families’ Crittenton Community Center.

With this distinction, each nonprofit will be awarded a $20,000 unrestricted grant from The Columbus Foundation. Additionally, each organization will receive a year-long consulting engagement with UpRys, a local strategy consulting and project-based delivery firm, to help address growth, capacity building, and sustainability. Capacity building projects will be developed by the organizations themselves and reflect their greatest priorities.

“The Columbus Foundation is thrilled to recognize this year’s 5 Nonprofits to Watch honorees and the incredible positive impact each organization has on our community,” said Dan Sharpe, Vice President for Community Research and Grants Management at The Columbus Foundation. “Through their dedication, innovation, and collaboration, each of these nonprofits is helping to build a more vibrant, equitable community.”

Each year, the 5 Nonprofits to Watch are announced to mark the takeoff of Jerrie Mock's historic around-the-world flight in her single-engine Cessna named Spirit of Columbus. This week marks the 60th anniversary of the start of Mock's record-breaking journey, which began at Port Columbus International Airport on March 19, 1964, and culminated on April 17, when she became the first woman to fly solo around the world.

“The 5 Nonprofits to Watch honorees promote the bravery, boldness, and determination that Jerrie illustrated,” explained Sharpe. “Sixty years after Jerrie’s monumental flight, we are proud to celebrate her remarkable spirit along with the work these nonprofits do in, and for, our community.”

The 5 Nonprofits to Watch in 2024

Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio (AHACO)
Founded in 2015, AHACO uses data, research, education, and advocacy to help close central Ohio’s housing gaps. Guided by the expertise and experience of the organization’s members, AHACO engages with government, businesses, policy leaders, and community organizations to advocate for and unlock housing solutions. AHACO leads through collaboration, including working with partners to design the innovative Resiliency Bridge and Success Bridge programs, creating a nonprofit housing portal in Rentful614, and administering the CONVERGENCE Columbus coalition to close Black and minority homeownership gaps.

Franklinton Farms
Located in Columbus’ Franklinton neighborhood, Franklinton Farms is a vibrant urban farm dedicated to nourishing well-being and connection through farming, gardening, and education. After starting as a community garden in 2007, the organization now provides sustainable urban agriculture, therapeutic gardening education, safe natural spaces, ecological beautification, and fresh food access. Franklinton Farms offers pick-up and neighborhood delivery of its produce, offered at subsidized prices, to help more individuals and families access fresh, nutritious foods.

Mansion Day School
Mansion Day School is a coeducational preschool through 5th grade preparatory day school located in Columbus’ Woodland Park neighborhood on the Near East Side. Since 1989, the school has been committed to educating students to become confident learners in a disciplined yet nurturing environment. With a focus on rigorous academics in a multi-cultural environment, Mansion Day School helps students develop a strong work ethic, a lifelong love of learning, and a strong foundation of academic excellence.

Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio (NAICCO)
Established in 1975, NAICCO is devoted to preserving and restoring balance in the lives of Native Americans through traditional, cultural, educational, family, community, and wellness-driven initiatives. NAICCO serves as a critical presence in the lives of Native American individuals and families, promoting cultural preservation and restoration, social development, and economic development and sustainability. The organization also operates NAICCO Cuisine, a Native American owned and operated food trailer based out of central Ohio.

We Amplify Voices
Launched in 2011, We Amplify Voices is dedicated to empowering and uplifting underrepresented voices in the community through creativity, dialogue, and collaboration. The organization offers youth, adult, and family programs that involve an array of mediums, including songwriting, painting, performance, singing, and poetry. Through its unique and healing-centered programs, We Amplify Voices works in the confluence of arts, social-emotional learning, education, youth violence prevention, and character and leadership development.

About The Columbus Foundation
The Columbus Foundation, one of the top 10 community foundations in the United States, serves thousands of 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.


March 18, 2024