One of The Columbus Foundation’s most significant funding initiatives, The Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB) was a web-based, counselor-assisted program that helped Ohioans apply for and receive benefits including health coverage, energy assistance, food assistance, tax help, and veteran’s benefits.
An effort to launch The Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB) began in 2006 when the National Council of Churches (NCC) approached The Columbus Foundation to support the introduction of the Benefit Bank in Ohio. The Foundation issued a Critical Need Alert to donors, asking them to help fight poverty among the working poor. More than $114,000 was contributed by donors, $100,000 of which was matched by the Foundation. In total, $214,500 was awarded to NCC. Soon after, the Ohio Association of Foodbanks (formerly Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks) assumed responsibility for the program.
In 13 years of operation, more than 1 million families have benefited by receiving work support programs and tax credits valued at over $2 billion. As with many efforts, circumstances change and service providers are called upon to adjust. As such, the Benefit Bank in Ohio and across the nation has closed. The Foundation is proud of our commitment to The Ohio Benefit Bank, of its partners in central Ohio, and across the state–including the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and over 1,300 nonprofit partners who directly served individuals who requested assistance with the Benefit Bank.