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Equity & Belonging





We envision a community where every resident has the opportunity to flourish.

A community flourishes when all members of it have the opportunity to live up to their full potential, unencumbered by disadvantages inherited simply by the color of their skin or the zip code in which they were born.


Our community can move forward, together, but we must earn that togetherness by addressing the systems that created our present conditions, conditions that are not equitable for everyone and that limit the ability to succeed in life, especially for our Black residents and other communities of color.


Equitable conditions for all residents are essential; however, they alone are not sufficient. A genuinely strong and healthy community requires strong social bonds, too. Those connections keep us stitched together during hard times and provide us with support and a respected place within the great community conversation; in short, they give us a sense of belonging. With our partners in community—donors, nonprofits, and residents—we strive to advance both equity and belonging through a number of ways.



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As a philanthropic institution, grants are the primary vehicle through which we contribute to more just systems and better outcomes. Through our Racial Equity Fund, other funds, and donor co-investment, we prioritize the equitable distribution of charitable capital to Black-led and Black-serving organizations. See some of our recent investments intended to help advance equity.

The Center for HumanKindness cultivates a culture of kindness that fosters a sense of belonging for all. Through Gifts of Kindness and other program-related grantmaking, we support activities and programs that honor every person’s humanity.

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Community is built through the contributions of many, and collaborative partnerships have long defined our approach to community improvement. Through participation in coalitions such as the Franklin County Digital Equity CoalitionAffordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio, and the Community Development Collaborative of Greater Columbus we work to advance equity collectively at the systems level.

Since 2018, we have used human-centered design to help tackle issues facing our residents. This approach bakes equity into the process by designing solutions to social system problems with residents, not for them. Being asked to help solve problems enables people to contribute, thereby strengthening our community and increasing belonging.

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We think “BIG” when it comes to connecting the community. Our community-wide events, The Big Table and The Big Give, invite residents share their voices and their resources in the spirit of common purpose that unites us for the betterment of our neighborhoods and nonprofits.

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Our external actions require a complementary internal commitment to equity and belonging. In 2021, we undertook a third-party organizational audit to examine current structures, practices, and policies, and to establish benchmarks for diversity, equity and inclusion, against which we will hold ourselves accountable and measure our progress and success.

Our staff continues to engage in trainings and education to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to deeply ingrain equity as a value in our organizational culture. Our partnerships with the Racial Equity Institute and Philanthropy Ohio’s Putting Racism on the Table series have provided substantial grounding upon which we are building our understanding.

The Columbus Foundation commits to helping create a community in which the well-being of all residents is valued and protected. By advancing equity across our region and strengthening our collective belonging, we can achieve transformative change that truly allows our full community to flourish.




Columbus Foundation makes ‘game-changing’ investment in Columbus Urban League


The Columbus Foundation is committed to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in our work and workplace.


Zora's House to build anew on site of former carryout Weinland Park with investments from organizations like The Columbus Foundation.