Charity Spotlight: The Giving Store

Giving Store team
The Giving Store Team

Photo by LaJuana Taylor | Pictured (left to right) Hailey Stroup, Hilary Stone, Joyce Ray, Lynsey Pipino

By Kerrigan Peoples

If you want to raise money for causes you’re passionate about and get closer to your community while doing something good for humanity, animals, or the environment, visit the Columbus Foundation’s one-stop online shop for charitable donations, The Giving Store.

“The Giving Store is a great way for people to connect with organizations whose missions matter to them,” says Natalie Parscher, Vice President for Communications and Marketing for The Columbus Foundation. “For professionals new to Columbus, especially, The Giving Store helps them get a lay of the land by offering a way to search by category, so they can see who’s doing the work that matters most to them. Even better, The Giving Store offers a way to further filter the categories so the results can be highly specific to your personal passion.”

The Giving Store’s personalized dashboard, available to Columbus professionals when they sign up and login, is its best feature, allowing users to track their giving and easily donate to any of the 1,000+ local organizations with a directory listing, through the Better Together projects or the Gifts of Kindness fund—giving has never been so easy!

“By signing up for an account in The Giving Store, a user can quickly and easily see all the gifts they’ve made over time and to what causes,” says Parscher. “The user dashboard allows you to give again with one click, retrieve tax receipts and see additional opportunities to support great causes.”

The Giving Store works with over 26 nonprofits including Alvis, Inc., Catholic Social Services, The Center for Healthy Families, Inc., Central Community House, Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center, Columbus Area Integrated Health Services, Community Development for All People, COMPASS at Broad Street Presbyterian, Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio, 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, Physician’s CareConnection, Star House Foundation, The Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, YMCA, and YWCA Columbus.

One unique platform that’s part of The Giving Store, is the crowdfunding platform Better Together, which highlights nonprofit organizations who are raising money for a unique project or need outside of their regular mission that is funded through standard charity giving. For example, the Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services is currently raising funds to help skilled immigrants earn certificates and licenses. Central Community House raised $6,195 to provide monthly community dinners in 2019. Sunrise Animal Sanctuary raised $2,560 to provide shade for farm animals, and much, much more.

Another way to help through The Giving Store is through Gifts of Kindness. According to the Columbus Foundation website, this is a “community-focused fund helping central Ohio families with emergency needs.”

“Launched in September 2014, with an initial gift of $500,000 from an anonymous donor, Gifts of Kindness had a goal of providing one-time, life-changing grants through nonprofit partners to lift up individuals and families who have experienced an unforeseen setback,” according to the website.

The Foundation collaborates with 26 nonprofit partner agencies through Gifts of Kindness to identify individuals to receive these one-time emergency grants for unforeseen emergency situations and provide an immediate financial boost to help individuals and families continue on a path to independence and sustainability. They are estimated to be between $500 and $3,000 each.

According to the website, individuals must already be involved in a service or program of a partner nonprofit to apply for and receive a grant. From its inception through November 2018, the Gifts of Kindness Fund awarded 912 grants totaling more than $1,504,371. The average grant amount was $1,650.

This and so much more can all be done through The Giving Store.

“It’s your one-stop shop for charitable giving,” says Parscher. “The convenience and simplicity of using The Giving Store to make charitable donations makes it the perfect place to centralize your giving and find the right opportunities to support new projects and programs that matter to you.”

For more information on The Giving Store, visit columbusfoundation.org/the-giving-store.

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