Skip to Content

Contact: Natalie Parscher,, 614/545-3236


The Big Give Result: A Record-Breaking $32 Million for our Community

Generosity was on full display for the biggest Big Give ever!

Columbus, OH (June 11, 2020)— The Columbus community persevered through a crashed website caused by unprecedented demand and community-wide power outages during an evening tornado warning to set an impressive new record for the region’s signature giving event. The Columbus Foundation announced that, despite challenging economic circumstances an astonishing $32,588,660 was leveraged to support central Ohio nonprofits.

Within 60 seconds of the giving event opening, more than 1,000 users logged on to the Foundation’s website, temporarily slowing the site and preventing users from giving. Despite the challenges, Big Give donors came through in a big way, shattering records in multiple categories.

  • The $32,588,660 generated during the event represents a staggering 81% increase of the previous record of $18,003,826 from 2017. Total cumulative impact for the local nonprofit sector from all five Big Gives since 2011: $84.7 million.
  • Four organizations broke a million dollars in donations: Gigi’s, Columbus Museum of Art, The Ohio State University Foundation, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Ohio. Previously, no Big Give had seen more than one organization break that milestone.
  • 1,107 nonprofits received donations, topping the previous record of 906 set during the previous Big Give in 2017. 91% of nonprofits in The Giving Store received donations during The Big Give, showing the wide breadth of support for regional charities.
  • 44,509 gifts were made across organizations in 10 central Ohio counties. Total gifts represented a 47% increase over 2017.

The goodwill shown to central Ohio nonprofits was not confined by the geography of donors. Donations came in from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 11 countries, including Australia, Andorra, Canada, China, Czechia, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

“When you think of what our community has gone through over the past several months — from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our health and jobs, to the pain and suffering felt by those fighting for racial justice — it is almost unimaginable that we would have seen this level of generosity. What an outstanding community moment. The Big Give 2020 should instill deep pride in all of us.”


The event began with a Bonus Pool of $1.5 million, which climbed to $2 million with additional contributions from the Foundation and its generous donors. All donations received during The Big Give are increased by Bonus Pool funds on a pro rata basis, giving everyone who participated in the opportunity to have their donation boosted.

In addition, all credit card fees were covered by The Columbus Foundation, so 100 percent of donations will go directly to the nonprofits.

The $2 million Bonus Pool was made possible with support from:

  • AEP Foundation
  • Atlas Butler Heating & Cooling Fund
  • Chlapaty Family Fund
  • William H. Davis, Dorothy M. Davis and William C. Davis Foundation
  • Paul G. Duke Foundation
  • Walter and Marian English Community Needs Fund
  • Grange Insurance
  • Hinson Family Trust
  • Huntington National Bank
  • Ingram-White Castle Foundation
  • Licking County Foundation
  • Lorem Ipsum Fund
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • Pickett Family Fund
  • PNC Bank Fund
  • The Harold C. Schott Foundation
  • The Siemer Family Foundation
  • Margaret and Robert Walter Foundation
  • Seanna C. and Matthew D. Walter Fund
  • Wolfe Associates Fund

New this year was a social media contest that asked for nominations of “Big Heroes,” people going above and beyond for our community during these challenging times. Nearly 250 people were nominated, and 20 were selected and awarded $1,000 prizes to give to the nonprofit of their choice during the event. 

The Foundation was also joined by numerous generous local businesses who provided redeemable rewards to everyone who donated during the event. The perks package included offers from Donatos, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Piada Italian Street Food, The Candle Lab, and White Castle

About The Big Give

The first community foundation match day in America was created by The Columbus Foundation in 2008. The Big Give was created by The Columbus Foundation in 2011 to give the central Ohio nonprofit community an economic boost. The previous four Big Give events (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017) leveraged $52.2 million for local nonprofits. Click here to view the results from The Big Give 2017. 

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. Learn more at

June 11, 2020