A community-focused fund helping central Ohio families with emergency needs
Life-changing grants through kindness
The Gifts of Kindness Fund launched in September 2014 with an initial gift of $500,000 from a generous, anonymous donor, with the goal of providing one-time, life-changing grants through nonprofit partners to lift up individuals and families who have experienced an unforeseen setback. The goal is not only to provide financial support, but to illustrate how acts of kindness throughout our community make a difference—and inspire others to do the same.
Through Gifts of Kindness, the Foundation collaborates with 22 nonprofit partner agencies to identify individuals to receive these one-time grants, estimated to be between $500 and $3,000 each. The grants help with costs that are unpredictable or that occur due to unexpected situations, such as rent, utility assistance, transportation, and basic household necessities, and provide an immediate financial boost to help individuals and families continue on a path to independence and sustainability. Individuals must already be involved in a service or program of a partner nonprofit to apply for and receive a grant.
Current nonprofit partners include:
- Alvis, Inc.
- Catholic Social Services
- Central Community House
- Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center
- Columbus Area Integrated Health Services
- COMPASS at Broad Street Presbyterian
- Franklin County Family Drug Court
- Gladden Community House
- Goodwill Columbus
- The Homeless Families Foundation
- Huckleberry House
- IMPACT Community Action
- LifeCare Alliance
- Lutheran Social Services
- OSU Extension-University District
- Star House Foundation
- The Salvation Army
- Volunteers of America
- YWCA Columbus
Additional nonprofit partners will be added to reach a representative cross-section of people in need throughout central Ohio.
From its inception through May 31, 2017, the Gifts of Kindness Fund awarded 539 grants totaling more than $907,771. The average grant amount was $1,684.
In addition to the generous initial investment by the donor, the Foundation is inviting donors and the public to add to this fund, which will help extend the reach of kindness and increase the number of central Ohioans receiving support.
You, too, can spread Gifts of Kindness! Join us in helping families with an emergency need. Anyone can make a gift to the Gifts of Kindness Fund using a credit card through The Giving Store. Columbus Foundation donors can make a grant from their Donor Advised Funds, as well.
Share your kindness at #GiveKindnessColumbus
Gifts of Kindness Q&A
Charles W. Gehring, President and CEO, LifeCare Alliance
What have the Gifts of Kindness grants meant to the clients of LifeCare Alliance?
The Gifts of Kindness grants have meant everything to the client of LifeCare Alliance. These grants assist individuals and families most in need—the poorest, often at their most critical and desperate time. The grants keep our clients out of homeless shelters, maintain critical medications, and allow families to remain together. It is important to note that Gifts of Kindness grants allow LifeCare Alliance clients to conquer their problems and eventually return to a normal life. Gifts of Kindness grants to not just provide temporary support, the funding provides permanent answers. Our clients suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other severe illnesses have been able to purchase needed medications.
“I am convinced that this financial assistance has even saved lives.”
Charles W. Gehring, President and CEO, LifeCare Alliance
Why are grants like this necessary for individuals and families? What types of challenges do you see them facing?
Grants like Gifts of Kindness are critical for individuals and families as they provide the most basic needs at a time of greatest desperation. And, there is nothing else like the Gifts of Kindness grants. Nonprofit agencies simply do not have the resources to assist with some needs. These grants provide what needs to be done for the client, whereas many grants fund what the funder wants done.
Applicants are facing financial and life devastation. Life circumstances, often no fault of the client, cause the client to face homelessness, utility shut-offs, lack of food, the inability to purchase needed medications, the inability to access healthcare, and the inability to take care of their families. However, these desperate circumstances can often be overcome with assistance at the right time. Gifts of Kindness grants provide the ability to stabilize lives and help individuals and families recover their lives.
The Gifts of Kindness Fund provides life-changing assistance to selected individuals and families living in the central Ohio community who are experiencing an unexpected setback and have an immediate financial need.
Individuals and families who are current clients of one of the participating nonprofit organizations are eligible to receive a one-time grant through this program.
The area nonprofits that are currently participating are: Alvis, Inc., Catholic Social Services, Central Community House, Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources, Columbus Area Integrated Health Services, COMPASS at Broad Street Presbyterian, Franklin County Family Drug Court, Gladden Community House, Goodwill Columbus, The Homeless Families Foundation, Homeport, Huckleberry House, IMPACT Community Action, LifeCare Alliance, Lutheran Social Services, Maryhaven, OSU Extension-University District, Star House Foundation, The Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, YMCA, and YWCA Columbus.
These organizations were selected because they provide a wide range of services to individuals throughout central Ohio. As the fund grows, additional nonprofit partners will be added.
Grants typically provide assistance such as eviction prevention, utility assistance, transportation needs, and basic household necessities.
The average grant size ranges from $500 to $3,000, based on need.
The Gifts of Kindness Fund was established by a generous Columbus Foundation donor who wishes to remain anonymous.
For more information, please call 614/251-4000.