Skip to Content
July 13, 2016


Contact: Carol Harmon, The Columbus Foundation,, or Kelley Griesmer, The Columbus Foundation,

The Columbus Foundation Announces a Day of Community-Building Conversations

All are invited to participate!

Columbus, OH (July 13, 2016)—Today The Columbus Foundation announced The Big Table, a new initiative focused on community building through hour-long conversations taking place all around the region on August 30. The Big Table will bring the voices of residents together around many tables, with gatherings held in homes, offices, libraries, places of worship, and in recreation and community centers.


Initial supporting partners for The Big Table include: Columbus Metropolitan Library, United Way of Central Ohio, YMCA of Central Ohio, The Harmony Project, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Ohio, BESA, and other community nonprofits, as well as businesses such as Donatos Pizza, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and others soon to be announced.

On August 30, more than 4,000 residents are expected to participate in at least 400 conversations held across the region. The hosted conversations of 8-12 participants will revolve around a snack or meal, where people can express ideas about the strengths and challenges we face as a community.

To date, hosts and host sites include homes and businesses from Dublin to Columbus’ Near East Side, from New Albany to Weinland Park, from CEOs and neighborhood leaders to students and others throughout our community.

Central Ohio is a caring region. We thrive and create new opportunities when we come together to discuss the challenges facing our community.

— Douglas F. Kridler, President and CEO of The Columbus Foundation

"When we give our time to listen and learn from one another through open and thoughtful dialogue about the issues that connect us, we can make our region as a whole, stronger," said Douglas F. Kridler, President and CEO of The Columbus Foundation.

The emphasis is not on finding immediate solutions, but rather on creating authentic civic energy and engagement through the conversations that occur and the ideas that are shared. The Big Table will give participants an opportunity to share their thoughts about creating a promising future for our community.

“Everyone has the power to be part of The Big Table and be heard,” said Kelley Griesmer, Director of Special Projects for The Columbus Foundation, who is leading the project. “We believe these conversations will spark new relationships and ways to work together by deepening our understanding of each other.”

The Foundation’s Big Table project is inspired by The Chicago Community Trust, now in its third year of hosting conversations.

In gratitude and honor of each person who participates, The Columbus Foundation will make a contribution to the Gifts of Kindness Fund. This fund provides one-time emergency grants to help lift up individuals and families who experience an unexpected setback.  

Interested in participating in The Big Table on August 30?

Learn more or register to host a conversation


For more information, visit or contact us at or 614/251-4000.


About The Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to more than 2,400 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. More than 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. Visit to learn more.