Skip to Content

Chelsea Kiene, 614/251-4000,


The Columbus Foundation Announces the Launch of The Giving Store: A Next Generation Digital Hub for Giving

Introducing the region’s one-stop shop for easy, effective giving—from donating to nonprofits in an expanded 10-county region and learning about community needs to helping others who are experiencing an unforeseen setback

Columbus, OH (July 21, 2017)
—The Columbus Foundation, the community’s trusted philanthropic advisor,® along with software and mobile development company Allen Williams & Hughes (AWH), is announcing today the first phase of The Giving Store, a next-generation digital hub to strengthen our region and help others. The innovative hub will expand giving opportunities to nine additional counties (beyond Franklin County), and later this year launch Better Together, the region’s first crowdfunding and fundraising platform focused exclusively on urgent, local needs. The user experience and design of The Giving Store was led by long-standing branding and digital partner, FORT. Other parties included Sogeti USA, R. Dorsey+Company, and Foundation Partners, based in Minnesota. The team collaborated with the Foundation on the development of products and services designed to make giving, and helping others, easier and more effective.

“We’re committed to improving our community through smart charitable investments—and we are constantly pursuing ways to animate and make giving easy in our community,” said Douglas F. Kridler, President and CEO of The Columbus Foundation. “Electronic commerce has improved so much in terms of utility and customer experience. With The Giving Store, many such features are now available for our region’s giving experience.”

The new hub creates an integrated user experience, optimized on mobile, tablet, and desktop. It features customized content that informs people about needs in the region and how to impact change, and enables donations to respond to urgent needs and support nonprofits that align with a user’s interests.

According to Joyce Ray, Associate Director of The Giving Store and Knowledge Management at The Columbus Foundation, the store offers benefits for all users—from donors to nonprofits. “Planning for The Giving Store began with a focus on the customer experience—and changes were driven by research and feedback from donors and nonprofits. Each has varying needs, interests, and interacts with the Foundation differently, from reviewing financial information to applying for a grant. The Giving Store brings it all together under one roof.”

“We’re pleased to partner with the Foundation to create an integrated, digital user experience,” said John Finck, Lead Software Developer at AWH. “With The Giving Store, the Foundation can easily and effectively share its knowledge of the community and create customized content for its users.”

The Giving Store allows donors to search by category or explore more than 600 area nonprofits.

Key benefits of The Giving Store include:

  • Easier giving with improved navigation and a global search.
  • New Directory Listings, quick snapshots of nonprofits organizations, will expand beyond Franklin County to include Hocking, Fairfield, Union, Licking, Madison, Delaware, Perry, Pickaway, and Morrow.
  • Improved search for nonprofits by keyword and/or by category (animal welfare, arts and culture, education, employment, environment, food and nutrition, health, housing, and social services).
  • Opportunity to help others through Gift of Kindness, a special fund to support individuals and families who are experiencing an unforeseen setback. The Gifts of Kindness Fund provide one-time grants and partners with more than 20 nonprofits helping individuals and families with emergency needs.
  • Easy access to a personalized giving Dashboard with customized content based on giving interests. The dashboard will help users be inspired with information about timely projects and opportunities to make an impact. Donations can be made by credit card (beginning at $20) and donors with an existing Columbus Foundation fund can authorize a grant or make a credit card gift.
  • Starting in December, join with others to support Better Together projects through a crowd-funding platform designed to fulfill critical needs of local nonprofits in a timely manner for maximum impact. Visitors can learn about current opportunities to provide funding and track each project goal in real time with a virtual progress bar.
  • Give the gift of giving with Charitable Gift Cards, available in denominations of $20, $50, and $100. Recipients can choose to support the nonprofit of their choice in The Giving Store.

“We’re fortunate to have partnered with The Columbus Foundation—helping to create a seamless, branded experience that truly makes philanthropy accessible to everyone. It’s now easier than ever to give to our community,” said Terry Rohrbach, Owner and Creative Director of FORT.

“Generosity is transformational—and The Giving Store offers a convenient one-stop shop for easy and effective giving,” said Angela Parsons, J.D., Vice President for Donor Services and Development, and a key architect of the initiative. “Our region is remarkably generous—and now it’s easier than ever to improve the lives of others through charitable giving.”


Unlike in much of the world of technology, The Columbus Foundation's Giving Store was majority led by women, many of whom are pictured here with team leaders Brenda Watts, Angela Parsons, and Joyce Ray.


About The Columbus Foundation
The Columbus Foundation serves nearly 3,000 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. The Columbus Foundation is Your Trusted Philanthropic Advisor® and is among the top ten largest community foundations in the United States.

Download and print this press release.


July 21, 2017